Magnificent7 2009/2

We experience right now the golden age of documentary. There has never been such a huge interest from an audience that age-wise mostly is young and has given up on television! And there have never been such an amount of good films made. And thus festivals that show documentaries are growing like mushrooms. Watching documentaries has become part of an event culture.

The popularity of documentaries is also due to the widening of their narrative structures. It seems like all is allowed: animation documentaries, lots of documentaries that mix the genres fiction and documentary, reconstructions, docu-fiction as the French call it. And humour – ladies and gentlemen, documentaries of today can be funny! Just have a look at this year’s selection. You will be invited to laugh a lot, but there are always other layers, which for me is the quality stamp, well the core of what is a documentary. Multilayered interpretation of our reality. Raising questions, not necessarily giving answers. From a humanistic pov. And if a mixed genre approach is used the truthfulness must never be doubted. And please let us sense that there is a voice behind the film, a temperament, passion, a need to say something to others. A personal touch. If the terminology is still remembered, what we find for you in Magnificent7, are films from the European auteur tradition.

Public funding through film institutes, film funds or ministries is a must for the future of the documentary as an art. As is the funding from the EU through the MEDIA Programme – that has changed the documentary situation in Europe immensely. Never have so many documentaries been co-financed helped by the EU, as now, and never has so many clever young producers been educated to work internationally. And that is what documentaries are made for is it not – to be seen and experienced all over.

Excerpt from welcoming words in catalogue, by Tue Steen Müller.

Photo from Sleep Furiously.

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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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