Magnificent 7 Belgrade – Day 3/4

Take a look at the photo. This man is the one that emotionally carries the Oscar-nominated ”Virunga” by Orlando von Einsiedel. Whenever André is in the picture with his mountain gorillas, you understand how important the message of the film is: We must protect the nature and animals of the Virunga National Park, ”one of the most biologically diverse places in the world… part of UNESCO’s world heritage”. The dramatic documentary tells its story (or stories) through powerful music and effects with undercover journalism as one important storytelling tool.

Around 2000 (yes, two thousand!) attended the screening Saturday night at the Sava Center in Belgrade!

Sunday morning was time for relaxation, at least for us non-Serbians. We were at the home of Nevena Đonlić, part of the festival team and a passionate connaisseur of tennis, the sport of Serbia thanks to Novak Djokovic, who played the final of Australian Open against Scottish Andy Murray – and won easily after four sets, the first two of them with some exciting moments. I had not seen a tennis match for years, enjoyed it due to the numerous interesting camera angles and superb close ups of feet and facial expressions of the players.

Last night back to the cinema, to the third film of the festival, “Messi” by Spanish Alex de la Iglesia. It gave me the chance to put on my Barcelona shirt and go on stage with Zoran Popovic to greet an audience that was different from the regular one: Hundreds of kids were in the hall accompanied by their parents. Wonderful!  I sat next to four boys around 12 years old. When there was talking on screen, they also talked to each other, when Messi was on the pitch their eyes were wide open adoring the little master’s movements. Film and football, what a cocktail!

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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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