Magnificent7 2012/1

Edition 8 of the Belgrade based feature length European documentary festival. The opening was last night and the audience was there again, hundreds, maybe almost 1000 spectators for each of the two films that were screened in the big hall of the Sava Centre. Zoran Popovic, who is the mastermind behind the festival together with his wife Svetlana, the two people with whom I since the beginning of the festival have been working on the selection of the 7, and it is only 7, magnificent films, made a beautiful speech including the mention of the sad news about the tragic death of Greek and European director Theo Angelopoulos, a source of inspiration for all filmmakers and art film lovers.

British director Gary Tarn was back in Belgrade with his ”The Prophet” that includes material that he shot when he was in Belgrade in 2007 to show ”Black Sun”. Again he puts you as a spectator in a wonderful meditative mood with his flow of images that you can dive into and that juxtaposes with the text, that he has chosen from cult author Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), whose classic ”The Prophet” he wrote in 1923.

The second film at the opening evening was Portuguese director Miguel Mendes ”José and Pilar” (photo), featuring nobel prize winner José Saramago and his wife, journalist Pilar del Rio. The film has many layers. It is a love story. It is a story about an old man, an extremely charming old man and his fight against Time. It is a story about a journalist who dedicates all her time to her husband, managing his legacy in a very efficient and caring manner. It is a light film, with a lot of humour, and it works so well because of the details Mendes has caught during the four years that he was following the couple. They ”adopted” me, said the director in the Q&A after the film.

Today, thursday, there is one film on the agenda: ”Ramin” by Audrius Stonys from Lithuania. Stonys is here as is his Latvian producer Uldis Cekulis.

From a Belgrade full of snow, and handball fans and supporters. Why are sport journalists so fat, said my wife this morning at Hotel Continental, at the breakfast the morning after Denmark qualified for the semifinals against all odds after the first matches.

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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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