Leonard Helmrich: The Long Season

Helmrich is using the Single Shot Cinema technique, a style he developed and perfected himself. He chooses to actively engage with his subject rather than remaining a neutral outsider – a position that typifies Direct Cinema. He aims to record events from the inside, not observe from a distance. To achieve this, he created the Steadywing, a construction that allows the filmmaker to move the camera continually in an exceptionally fluid and intuitive way…

These were words we used when Helmrich’s “Position of the Stars” won the first prize at IDFA in 2010. He might very well win again this year with “The Long Season”, that creates this same “feeling of being there” that Leacock was talking about. Constant in movement, being here and there and everywhere… These were my spontaneous notes after having watched the film:

… a formidable insight to a small community, a refugee camp for Syrian refugees, especially from Raqqa, where ISIS was. He gets very close to the people, you see conflicts between women, between man and woman, between kids and grown-ups, they evolve and develop, and you see love, a marriage and happy children run around like they do everywhere. So easy the kids can adjust to the life in a camp full of hard living conditions, mud all over, and so sad that human beings, who are like you and me have a life like that.

The Netherlands, 2017, 115 mins.


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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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