Edinburgh Documentary Pitch/2

It is a public secret that most public broadcasters do not have a young audience. ”Young people do not watch television”, it is being said again and again when television people meet. They watch films, including documentaries, online, or they go to festivals or they download films. Some tv stations, like German/French arte, produce webdocs to reach the young, or they make interactive productions. Remains to be seen what results will come out of this at a longer perspective.

It was therefore refreshing to hear Catherine Olsen from CBC Canada inform the audience (a full auditorium, great to see) that the channel had an audience from 25-40. Less refreshing, however, it was to hear that the channel dubs all their programmes because the audience can not read subtitles. Well, they can, but they don’t do because they send text messages while watching/listening to the programmes. Multi-tasking!

I met a Scottish filmmaker later that day, who said ”I don’t want people to send text messages while my film is on television…”

The language issue, well, the ususal pattern: the channels that do subtitles and thus respect the work of the sound engineer on a film are the European. We are not Barbarians, said Wim van Rompaey from Lichtpunt in Belgium.  

Photo from Scottish Amy Hardie´s “Edge of Dreaming”.

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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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