EFA and Copenhagen and Documentary

Below – in Danish – a critical text about yesterday’s broadcast produced by DR, our public broadcaster in Denmark. Today I met some of the participants at the party for European films, organised by European Film Academy, EFA. They had a good time last night and thought well of the Danish presenter, Mikael Bertelsen. Wish we had a man like that in our country, a Swiss film director said.

All right, but it does not make the Danish broadcast better… If the French/German works, you can check for yourself, those of you who can watch Arte tomorrow, monday night. ZDF/Arte’s fine Hans-Robert Eisenhauer told me that a 90 mins. version commented by himself will go on Arte and on the question if the documentary prize clip would go out (DR transmitted the whole 2 hours), he said NO.

Nevertheless there is big reason to blame EFA for giving documentary very low priority. The nominations for the documentary prize are made a long time before the ceremony, the winner, this year René by Czech Helena Trestikova, is appointed before the ceremony, unlike the other prizes, apparently because the EFA does not want to fly in the documentary nominees. For financial reasons? This prizegiving is something that needs to be done quickly so we can get to the real thing: the feature films. Many will say, the same old story, documentaries are not valued, and right they are. Nevertheless something needs to be changed, film director Arunas Matelis said to me. Next year in Vilnius, when the city is Cultural Capital of Europe, we want to bring nominees and documentary ceremony into the spotlight. I have talked to EFA about this. Wish him all the best luck!


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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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