Festivals 3: Vilnius Documentary Film Festival

I was there two years ago and was impressed of a good programme and had it not clashed with other obligations, I would have enjoyed to go to wonderful Vilnius for some days during the festival, that runs from September 19-29.

The core of the festival is still the competititon programme that consists of films from the Baltic countries. Among the four Estonian films you find Sulev Keedus strong ”The Russians on Crow Island”, in the Latvian section you find ”The Documentarian” by Ivars Zviedris and Inese Kjav, and the superb ”Chronicles of the Last Temple” by Davis Simanis. From the hosting country Lithuania – five films to be presented – two films stand out: Giedre Beinoriute’s ”Conversations on serious Topics” and ”Igruski” by Lina Luzyte.

All in all good films to be watched by a jury that includes Leonard Helmrich, the director who has given us the outstanding trilogy from Indonesia ”In the Eye of the Day” (2001), ”Shape of the Moon” (2004) and ”Position of the Stars” (2010) (photo), all films to be offered the festival audience. New York Times called him “master of impossible camera angles”.

Classics from Lithuanian documentary history have been restored and are presented at the festival with names that have appeared frequently on this blog: Audrius Stonys and Arunas Matelis from the 90’es and Henrikas Sablevicius and Robert Verba from the 60/70’es…. and there is a Panorama of new documentaries in the rich programme.


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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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