What a wonderful and well deserved piece of news. The Best Documentary film (category: under 30 mins.) at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was yesterday given to the Lithuanian documentary ”The River” by Lithuanian filmmaking duo Julija Gruodienė and Rimantas Gruodis. Described at the IDF (International Dcoumentary Institute) site in the following way: An introduction  to life in a remote village. Via eloquent, visually striking footage and the villagers’ humorous commentary, the directors acquaint us with a local way of life whose rhythm is set by a river. Prize 5000$.

I have just been to Lithuania to view the annual production 2009-2010. Still quality but a very remarkable effect from the financial crisis of the country. So much more great the Gruodiene and Gruodis win, a veteran couple in Lithuanian documentary, I can say, having met Gruodis several times during the Baltic Film & TV Festival on Bornholm 1990-2000. I remember strong works like the perestroika masterpiece ”Ona and Mykolas”, ”The Pain”, ”The Bathhouse” and ”The Territory”.

The Best long documentary was won by Mikael Wiström, Alberto Herskovits for ”Familia”.

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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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