Juris Podnieks: Hello do You Hear Us?

No film-visit to Riga without the thinking back to Juris Podnieks and his contribution to world cinema. With an introduction by Lev Gushin, who took part in the scriptwriting of the five hour breathtaking perestroika documentary made for British television, the first of the five parts of ”Hello do You Hear Us?” were shown and proved to be as fascinating fresh and emotionally strong as when I saw it 20 years ago. I had forgotten how brilliantly the presence of composer Aleksei Rybnikov and his music links the parts of a film that bears the title Red Hot and includes chapters like the Armenian earthquake, the Jaroslavl factory, the Chernobyl aftermath and the 
Soviet Spring. The film is in itself a composition, rythmical and breaking the rules of classical dramaturgy. And can only again stress the director’s position as one of the most important political filmmakers ever.

I met Antra Cilinska, the editor of the series and all films Podnieks made until his tragic death in 1992, including the beautiful piece of patriotism, “Homeland”. Cilinska is the CEO of Juris Podnieks Studio and is currently planning the premiere of “Is it?” that is a follow-up of “Is it Easy to be Young?” and “Is it Easy to be” shot 20 and 10 years ago. The premiere will be on the 4th of May, the Latvian day of independence, and Cilinska herself is the director.

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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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