DOKLeipzig Sergey Dvortsevoy

He has only made 5 films, Sergey Dvortsevoy, but he is one of the most wanted documentarians for the so-called masterclasses. His popularity is huge as the attendance proved at the festival, where the room was packed for the 2 1/2 hour session, where Dvortsevoy  entertained by talking, answering questions and showing clips from his work. I made an interview with the director 15 years ago for Danish television DR, that showed “Paradise”. What Dvortsevoy said on that occasion was exactly the same as here in Leipzig with the difference that he now speaks excellent English and knows how to structure his intervention. A charming showman as one said to me afterwards.

The first clip was – of course – the small boy eating and falling asleep in “Paradise”. Dvortsevoy told about his fights with the Kazakh cameramen, who did not understand that he wanted to have the boy filmed from one angle in long takes and not from different as they were used to. And he told about the problems that the family in the film still has with the authorities: How can you show the world that we are poor and dirty and wash our hair in kefir milk? (As a woman does in a beautiful scene in the film).” I was recently in India and the people told me that it was the same for Satayit Ray… they said to him, you sell poverty”.

Two clips from “Bread Day”: The long opening scene where the women push the wagon and (as the closing of the masterclass session) the goats kissing each other. The film was made on 35mm material (all his films were made on film material) that Dvortsevoy had won as awards for “Paradise”. The film ration was 1:2,5, and he instructed the cameraman NOT to shoot before he said so – “remember that every second costs 3-5$”!

You have to catch what you can not describe… “I love the image, I love life”, was one of many sentences from Dvortsevoy, who said that he is constantly analysing to find the energy in the scenes through the deep image, not the nice image. To the obvious question why he is not making documentaries any longer, he answered that it was so difficult to get funding for his documentaries and that it was also a moral question with reference to the people he has filmed in “Paradise”. More about this is to be found on this site. On the site of the festival you can find a podcast of the masterclass.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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