Herz Frank on Documentaries

Latvian Herz Frank, a master in the history of documentary, with works like “Ten Minutes Older”, “There were Seven Simeons”, “The Song of Songs” and “Flashback”:

In front of me on my work table is the central fragment from Raphael’s fresco “The School of Athens”. Plato and Aristotle discuss the philosophical meaning of life. Plato is pointing upwards – the essence is the Idea! Aristotle, on the other hand, has his palm pointing down to the ground – the basis is the material! Even earlier in the Old Testament (Genesis) both views are united. In the first book of Moses the first lines states: In the beginning God created heaven and earth. Read – the spiritual and the material.

As a documentarian, I follow these principles directly. Facts have to be the basis for documentary films. And if we want to uncover the truth in them, facts have to be portrayed not only on the surface and as purely informative, but also ith sensitive, spiritual eyes. Even better if one eye is dry, and the other – damp… Life has to be filmed imaginatively, and only then will we understand its deeper meaning. There is an image hiding in every detail of each fact, in each living and inanimate thing. You only have to know how to see and record them. A documentary camera is not a video-recorder in the street…

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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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