Idfa Docs for Sale

Many visitors to the festival in Amsterdam (November 17-28) are there to look for films to buy for their national television channels. The buyers sit in their booths and choose among more than 500 films, as do festival representatives from all over the world. For the buyers the work is mostly of a pre-selection nature where the films are watched for maybe 10 minutes and then a decision is taken to ask for a dvd screener to take home for final decision, or to state ”not interested”.

The Docs for Sale, that also includes an online service during the whole year – good for those who do not travel to idfa – and for those of us who can not see the films when at idfa because of meetings and attendance of the Forum (see below) – has a hit list of the most watched films. Again a pleasure to see on the top 10 that Latvian ”Family Instinct” has been watched 59 times and that Serbian ”Cinema Komunisto” (PHOTO) and Danish ”Blood in the Mobile” have 57 screenings.

Number 1 – well tv buyers, like the rest of us, like food made with a high artistic quality and a film about ”El Bulli” is of course not to be missed. The film, watched 86 times, is directed by German director Gereon Wetzel and lasts 108 minutes, and this is the catalogue description:

The chefs at the world-renowned, Michelin-starred Spanish restaurant El Bulli have turned cooking into an art form. The doors are only open to the public for six months of the year; the rest of the time, a select team of experts is hard at work creating a new avant-garde 30-course menu. Looking on from the sidelines, we watch experiments with structure, sound, color and – finally – flavor. Cooking with liquid nitrogen, something the restaurant is particularly famous for, is but one of the many unconventional preparation methods used here. Owner Ferran Adrià is always on hand, tasting everything created in this flavor lab and coming across like a softened-down version of Gordon Ramsey. We discover that experimental dishes such as Parmesan Crystal and Vanishing Ravioli came about largely by chance. When one of the chefs fished out an ice cube from his Coke glass and dropped it in the gravy on his plate, he thought, why not make a dish from ice cubes? And why not mix oil with water, for a cocktail that leaves a deliciously soft coating on the lips? At El Bulli, it’s all about feeling something, experiencing something. In the words of top chef Adrià, “The more bewilderment, the better.”

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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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