IDFA Forum and Eastern Europe

Hanka Kastelicová from HBO Europe posted a photo and a text on FB that caught my attention: Miha Čelar and Nenad Puhovski just pitching at IDFA. Good luck, guys, you are only pitchers from Eastern Europe at IDFA Forum this year, we are very proud of your achievement, I wish you to find the right partners in Amsterdam.

I can only support the wish for success for this Slovenian/Croatian project.

But the only one from Eastern Europe… It made me go through the list of projects for the Forum and I found one more from the region, the Polish “The Prince and the Dybbuk” by the couple behind “Domino Effect”, Elwira Niewiera, Piotr Rosolowski.

But only two! Why? Is the simple reason that the selection committee did not find more of good quality for the Forum? Is it because the Eastern European producers and filmmakers did not apply because they prefer to go to Prague for the East Doc Platform in March, or to some of the smaller pitching sessions like the ones at ZagrebDox or Baltic Sea Forum in Riga or the one connected to the Krakow festival?

Is it because the difference in budgets for Eastern and Western European documentary films are so big that – without any bad thoughts – both the selectors and those selecting think that it does not make any sense to have a project with a budget of 100.000€ at the Forum? Where the normal is around 250.000€.

… IDFA announced its winners yesterday. There was a Polish/Swedish, a Latvian/Ukrainian, a Georgian, a Scottish/Georgian.

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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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