Magnificent7 2013/3

The festival in Belgrade enters into its third day, and the response from the audience has been, yes, magnificent! On the opening wednesday night the film by Swedish Malik Bendjelloul ”Searching for Sugarman” was met by great enthusiasm by the estimated close-to-2000 people, who watched the film. Some hundred less came for Jérôme le Maire’s beautiful ”Tea or Electricity”, nominated for the French-Belgian film award, named after Magritte, and to be distributed this evening in Brussels.

As usual some 30 young filmmakers/visual artists/journalists met with the director the day after the screening. As the director of the film about fabulous Rodriquez, and the whole crew around the film, are in Los Angeles preparing for the Oscars, and therefore could not be in Belgrade – Jérôme le Maire was the first one to talk to the workshoppers thursday morning, and he did that brilliantly, explaining about and showing clips from the three films that he had been making during the last decade. Amazing clips from ”Where is Love in the Palm Grove” shifted with quotes from his hybrid (documentary/fiction) ”Le Grand Tour”, two very different films in style and content. Also le Maire told about his work with ”Tea or Electricity” (photo), about how he approached the people in the mountains, being there for a long time, winning their confidence, before he started to operate the camera. And he shot for months and months, communicating with the villagers in Arabic, having problems with those of them, especially the women, who spoke in the Berber language that the director does not master. It was indeed an entertaining and well prepared two hours insight to filmmaking methods given by the Belgian director.

Thursday evening ”Sofia’s Last Ambulance” by Ilian Metev was shown. The director and his Croatian producer Sinisa Juricic were present at the screening that ended with a long lasting applause and a surprise award of 1000€ given by the private medical clinic BelMedic to the director of the film. Ilian Metev mentioned that today was the birthday – for those of you who have seen the film – of the doctor, Krassi, to whom and the two other of the ambulance team, the nurse and the driver, he would dedicate the award.

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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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