Festival Opens with Snow Storm

Childhood memories! Snow, snow, snow. Well, we had it in Denmark the last week but not dramatic in the Copenhagen area and no problem in taking off from Copenhagen airport friday morning or to go by the connecting flight from Düsseldorf to Kiev.

But Kiev had snow all over – and traffic chaos. It took a long time to get into the city and the driver had to give up to mount the small hill where the festival hotel is situated. So directly we went to the Cinema House, Dom Kino, where the opening of the 10th edition of Docu Days UA was to take place. Time for a lovely warm borstj soup and off we were, Estonian filmmaker Marianna Kaat, partner in crime, and I for an extremely well attended press conference (photo) and afterwards the opening ceremony which was surprising and intelligent in its dramaturgy. Actually the whole festival was on the edge of being cancelled! More about that later.

Later I wanted to go to the hotel due to my winter coughing and general tiredness. But that proved to be a challenge! The hotel is just 10 minutes from the Cinema House but it was impossible to walk. So what to do? Festival organizer, director and cameraman Roman Bondarchuk took action, put me in his car, cleaned it from snow and started the motor. But the wheels were spinning nicely and we could not move. His friend had a car in a better position in the street and he succeeded to bring us to the small hill from where we climbed the snow to reach the hotel. Bondarchuk has a new film, a photo exhibition, a masterclass and is all over the place. I survived and Bondarchuk is a hero!

Now you know where I am and I will be reporting from the snow stormed festival that I attend, also to be member of the Docu/Life jury.


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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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