East Beats West

I know it looks stupid and tabloid, but I have been using that headline so many times and I do believe that there is a lot of documentary talent and originality to be found in the Eastern European countries. More than in the West where many filmmakers play according to television format requirements. And there is an interest in getting together as the news from IDF (Institute of Documentary Film) in Prague demonstrates:

… We are happy to announce the final selection of projects picked for the upcoming 15th edition of East European Forum, held in Prague within the fourth East Doc Platform. The board of experts went through more than 200 applicants and eventually picked 10 projects. These will be joined by 12 more projects that took part in 2014  Ex Oriente Film workshop. Together all the filmmakers will take part in a five-day-long preparatory workshop and get ready for their public presentations. After the weekend of public project pitching they will all eventually get to the round tables as well as individual meetings, where they will face the industry professionals (TV, funds, festivals and distribution and production companies representatives) from the whole Europe and North America and negotiate support for their documentaries…

10 from 200… and I am happy to see some projects presented by people I know so well and appreciate. Like Vesela Kazakova and Mina Mileva with ”The Beast is Still Alive”, a project the two have been working on for a long time and have come back to after ”Uncle Tony, Three Fools and the Secret Service”. Equally Salomé Jashi (if you want to see how she looks – take a look at the top of this page, she is the one in the middle) presents ”The Station” after her international success with ”Bahkmaro”. Estonian Jaak Kilmi is there with a project to be produced by Latvian company Mistrus Media, it’s called ”People from Nowhere”. And of course Vitaly Manski (photo) will be there with his personal Ukranian story to be produced by Guntis Trekteris, Ego Media, Latvia.

”Sometimes it turns out that borders of political events in your country come so close to the borders of your own creative work that you have no other chose but to step over and participate. That is what happened to Oleg Sentsov, Ukrainian film director from the Crimea who is now in Russian jail. The secret services of the Russian Federation are trying to prove that Sentsov has been preparing a series of terrorist acts on the territory of the Crimea, such as explosion of the Lenin monument and the “Eternal flame”… A quote from the description of the film project by Askold Kurov, ”Release Oleg Sentsov” that will be presented in Prague as well.




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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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