Wish I were in Rio de Janeiro or Sao Paulo! For the 8th time Amir Labaki (it started yesterday) launches his documentary film festival with the provoking Orson Welles inspired name “It’s All True”. I was there years ago as a juror and it is such a pleasure to see – on the site – that the festival is still high-quality with a strong international focus, and at the same time, if you go there, you will see films from Latin America that never reaches Europe.

As you may read this far away from Brazil, go to the website and watch clips from the programme. It starts with the face of Anna Politkovskaya, very moving and right choice to have her first.

There are a lot of sections represented this year – apart from the competition programmes, there are “the state of things”, “horizon”, “10 films that changed the world” (selection by critic Mark Cousins), and a lot more to enjoy.

And a bit food for thought taken from the intro to a seminar to be held during the festival:

“The recent acclaim that the engaged documentary school has received – whose most prominent global symbol is the work of Michael Moore – poses a collateral risk for the documentary genre. Non-fictional cinema might be captured through the lenses of this purely instrumental account to the detriment of one of its richest contemporary resources, namely, the autonomization of documentary film as a free authorial discourse.

John Grierson’s model had many lessons in store, while engaged documentary launches campaigns. Both are filmmaking with a cause. The former preaches from the pulpit, the latter from a dais. But contemporary documentary making is not standing at the forefront of artistic experimentation thanks to signature films. Quite the contrary”.


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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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