IDFA Forum 3 – East Beats West

I know that I am biased in the following – working for the Institute for Documentary Films (IDF) in Prague that organises the Ex Oriente Film training Programme and the East European Forum in Jihlava – but I have to share the joy of the success of 3 projects from Eastern Europe.

The one presented in the big room was almost a winner before the presentation as it had been pitched at other market events. But the taster and the pitch skills of Filip Remunda, one of the directors (the other is Vit Klusak) behind world success ”Czech Dream”, were convincing. ”Czech Peace” about the Americans setting up a military base in the Czech Republic next to a small village has the potential to be another fine film for cinema and television.

The two others were presented in the small room where first Serbian Srdjan Sarenac and French Estelle Robin-You (director and producer) got a big amount of support from the 9-10 editors around the table. They presented ”Village Without Women”, in their own words about ”three Serbian brothers attempt to seduce Albanian women in a last-ditch effort to save their remote, dilapitated village”. The taster promises a film far beyond the comedy that the subject could invite you to think it would be. Second presentation came from Poland, from Centrala film that also made ”Gugara” (reviewed here by Allan Berg). The director Thierry Paladino, who made ”At the Datcha” (reviewed here by me), is Italian-French, but lives in Poland. He wants to follow a puppet-master and his pupil on a tour in the South of France. His taster is pure Renoir in approach, a little short film in itself and it seduced for sure the people around the table. A difficult film for a market like the Forum, but thanks for reminding us that there should still be space for the personal and artistic genre of documentaries. It does not have to be social and political all of it, does it?

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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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