M2M How Docs Reach the Audience/ 3

No discussion, the female presenters at the Saint Petersburg conference on how to reach an audience saturday/sunday September 24/25 were the best prepared, spoke good English, were used to communicate and had clear power point figures and texts, mixed with film clips. And kept the time so the polite moderators, Cecilie Bolvinkel and me, did not have to interrupt or make signs that ”time is up” as we tried, totally in vain, to do with a couple of male speakers…

Bolvinkel talked on the first day about the EDN project ”Moving Docs”, a pan-European documentary screening network that includes 9 partners. It was launched in 2015 and includes screenings and now also – text taken from the website of EDN, link below – ”… In addition to raising awareness for the ongoing refugee crisis through documentaries such as ”The Longest Run” (director Marianna Economou) and ”At Home in the World” (director Andreas Kofoed), the EDN-led Moving Docs programme recently launched a crowdfunding campaign to support the most helpless victims of today’s crises: refugee children… Bravo, and bravo also for the openness that Bolvinkel showed towards the Russian in the audience – you (film clubs?, Documentary Guild?, Doker festival) can join if you want to show European films. Unfortunately it can not go the the other way, as Moving Docs is paid by the EU.

Over the bridge to Malmø from Copenhagen based EDN. Maja Lindquist took the floor as the first one sunday morning talking about ”The Doc Lounge Experience” with the subtitle ”how to attract new and young audiences to documentaries”. Lindquist who is also programmer for the Nordisk Panorama festival has built up the Doclounge, that (wow!) during the 10 years has had 100000 visitors, has lounges in 19 cities in the Nordic countries (why only two in Denmark!), where people come to hang out, have a drink, watch a documentary, discuss it, or have a music experience afterwards. It has to be ”cool and hip” as Lindquist put it. There are great plans to expand the events with live streaming of discussions. It’s great, simply and you should read more about it, link below. And why not include a lounge or two in Saint Petersburg, there can be no technical problems, or?

The third of the four women I want to praise is Irina Shatalova, brilliant camerawoman, producer (”Linar”) and one of the filmmakers behind Doker that I have written about several times on filmkommentaren. Doker is much more than a festival, it is a film political initiative to create an audience for creative documentaries in Moscow and around in the huge country. Important screenings about important subjects, respect for the makers, long Q&A’s – no support from the Ministry of Culture, but there should be International money for this superb action for international documentaries – in 2015 40 films were shown from 32 countries. And good ones, I was in the jury, so I know. Check their website, below, and click above for previous texts on Doker.

Diana Tabakov from Czech Republic, what is she doing at a Russian-Nordic meeting? Well, organizer Viktor Skubey said to me, when we put together the program that we break the rules and include magnificent project DocAlliance in the program. We did. I will be brief as filmkommentaren has written about the high quality of DocAlliance again and again, and remember it costs €3.99 per month to subscribe and get access to film historical masterpieces as well as new films from all over, actually. And filmed masterclasses with Viktor Kossakovsky and Geoffrey Reggio and so on so forth. Tabakov did a fine show with funny pictures of a happy cat that hopes to be rich through vod and a sad grey cat after the discovery that you do not get rich from vod… But if you try all the platforms available, she said and showed an image of the possibilities. OMG, I thought, then better be poor and happy. Check the website below for that as well.

Photo: Irina Sahatalova on the Square of the Winter Palace at the M2M opening last friday.

One more final report tomorrow.





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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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