Idfa Forum/2

The Forum is half way through and my general impression is that 2010 selection has been good. There are many creative documentaries, and they are well received. It started strongly with Romanian Florin Iepan’s project ”Odessa” (PHOTO), his short catalogue annotation goes like this: ”The uncovering of the largest mass execution perpetrated by an ally of Nazi Germany launches in Romania the first public debate on its fascist past”,

followed by Sergey Miroshnichenko ”Born in the USSR: 28UP”, the Granada Television/Michael Apted concept called “SevenUP”, that the excellent Russian director adapted in 1990, filming the growing up of kids from the age of 7 till their adult age of 28. Also well received was the first international film project from the young colleague Daria Khlestkina, ”The 16th Republic”, which refers to a car factory in the middle of Moscow, where limousines are made, or were made. The director has followed what happens at the factory, where some cars were ordered and produced and then the orders were cancelled. Will the factory survive, great characters and lot of humour…

The Forum is of course giving the profile of a market as it is right now, and you notice of course that ”content is king”, as it has been phrased again and again at meetings like this. And all in all the content of the films proposed are from the world of today. War zones, poverty, violence, crime and about people. And you see how the big channels, alas, like arte and BBC are going cautiously in their selection. BBC Storyville editor Nick Fraser supported two tabloid sensational projects, one about the fall of a filthy rich family in the US, and a project about jewel criminals, who – of course, again a cliché – are from Serbia!

And arte… well, documentaries do not have a strong position in this channel any longer, no more observational documentaries at arte as an editor said to me. So documentaries for arte are normally channelled through the theme evenings. The key person for the editorial line of these evenings, Hans-Robert Eisenhauer, ZDF/arte, was warmly applauded at the end of the second day of pitching for his always supportive attitude to bringing good documentaries to the audience, a true believer of the need for quality in public broadcasting and a man who very often has criticized the way his own channel is going.

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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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