IDFA Pitched Rough Cuts

I had the pleasure – indeed it was – to observe the online pitch of Rough Cut projects yesterday. There were five of them and the atmosphere was much more relaxed than several of the pitches, where projects were new and comments from the decision makers were included. The sessions included words from director & producer, a teaser or clips – several had 3 of them – so you could imagine how the film would be. And one-on-one were waiting for the filmmakers. I make small remarks to each of them – saying up front that they were all of quality, and as a session put well together geographically: Brazil, Israel, India, Lebanon, Sahel Africa. Here they are:

Daniel and Daniela

Pandora da Cunha Telles & Sofia Pinto Coelho

“Daniel and Daniela are father and daughter. He’s 84, she’s 12. During a road trip, we follow their ode to love and culture.“ Lot of energy in the presentation. Good clips. Charismatic father with controversial views on colonialism. Innocent thoughtful daughter.

The First 54 Years

Avi Mograbi & Serge Lalou

”How to succeed in an occupation for at least 54 years? Mograbi, director and narrator, builds the handbook of the perfect occupier based on testimonies from Israeli soldiers and archive footage.“ Great to see Avi Mograbi back in pitching. Being a big admirer of the director, with the help of colleague Allan Berg, we have on this site, “collected posts of Avi Mograbi.” As before he is working with Serge Lalou, eminent French producer, they were presenting the project in a fine way, the film will be ready by spring 2021, Mograbi will be in the film, he was indeed in a clip that included testimonies by soldiers, who remember from their time in the army – Mograbi found them through the organisation of soldiers in „Breaking the Silence“. Another great film coming up, I am sure, from a director not only critical to the state of things in Israel but also a true auteur“. It will be a handbook for all occupiers, he said!!!

The Golden Thread

Nishtha Jain

Outside Kolkata, jute mills crank on, virtually unchanged since the industrial revolution. How do we look at this work powered by steam and sweat, its sensory experience thereof, or the precarious lives of jute workers from our post-industrial perspective driven by obsolescence?”. The director works with Irena Taskovski on this project – the clips they showed were impressive, direct cinema, ah these crowded factories, these inhuman working conditions, these wonderful people, the girl laughing in the courtyard. Very good filmmaker!

We are Inside

Farah Kassem

After more than a decade, Farah (31) returns to her hometown Tripoli in Lebanon only to find her city and country in crisis. Staying with her widowed aging father Mustapha (83), Farah realizes this is her last chance for a conversation. And that is only possible through poetry, his passion.” Don’t know the director, was caught by the charm of the story about these old men, who meet to read poetry of their own. The director tries to cross their chauvinism, gets into the room, read a poem… Lovely.

Witnesses from the Shadow

Ousmane Samassekou & Estelle Robin-You

«Bordering the Sahel desert stands a house, as a safe haven for African migrants on their way to Europe, or returning home. How do you prepare to face your family, when you are going home with nothing and leave your dreams behind?” The two made a superb presentation. Instead of the usual trailer/teaser they showed a long scene, where a man talks to a young woman in trouble – in the house. Sooo strong. The film project was presented at IDFA 2019 and now they are on editing. In the IDFA credits three names are mentioned that tells me that the team has searched for consultation at the RCS, Rough Cut Service – names are Don Edkins, Niels Pagh Andersen, Iikka Vehkalahti. PHOTO: From the pitch 2019 at IDFA, regret to say that I dont know who the woman to the left is. Maybe Estelle can inform me? 

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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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