The 9th edition of the European Feature Documentary Film Festival ended Sunday night at the big hall of the Belgrade Sava Centre. Manuel von Stürler presented his ”Winter Nomads” followed by Helena Trestikova’s ”Private Universe”. For the first film, that the European Film Academy voted to be the Best Documentary Film of 2012, and that is this week being released in cinemas in France, around 1000 spectators attended the screening that included a small lamb entering the stage to be saluted by von Stürler and animal lover, festival director Zoran Popovic!

Trestikova’s film was watched by around 900 enthusiastic viewers, who followed the life of an ordinary Czech family over a period of more than 30 years on the background of the country’s history from 1968, Husak, Havel, EU etc.

Staying for a moment with the statistics, the festival augmented its number of viewers with around 10% from 2012 going up to about 6000 – for 7 screenings!

This monday morning the festival held masterclasses with von Stürler and Trestikova. The latter took us, in a very well prepared presentation with 11 scenes from her films, through her work of long-time observation. She showed us clips from ”Marcela”, ”Katka” and ”René” (Best European Documentary in 2008) and talked about the ethical questions connected to being so close to her characters, helping them ”outside” the film as well, to get on the right track in their lives. Trestikova said that she did not really consider herself as a filmmaker, more as a chronicler, who has new films coming up this year and has plans to continue to film René and maybe also the family in ”Private Universe”. Deep respect for Trestikova for a constant non-tabloid humanistic focus on people outside the celebrity spotlight.

Several of her films are available on the vod DocAlliance:

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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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