Magnificent7 Doc Festival Belgrade 2017

The website of the Magnificent7 festival in Belgrade is up and running. The festival starts February 1st – I am happy to be part of the selection team with Svetlana and Zoran Popovic again, for the 13th time and you will have many reports from Belgrade in the coming two weeks. Here are some words that I wrote for the website/catalogue:

Welcome! Again – for the 13th time – I am looking forward to sit with the best audience in Europe in the huge hall of the Sava Center. A Cinema with a big screen and a good sound that give us spectators a unique Cinema experience.

Because this is what you, dear audience, expect from the Magnificent7 – excellent films, Cinema quality.

I am now using the term Cinema for the fourth time to remind you that documentary is Cinema. All right, let’s narrow it a bit: the films we show at Magnificent7 are documentary films that deserve to be shown on a big screen with the mentioned high quality image and great sound. Contrary to the many tv programs called documentaries, which are mostly based on putting together according to words.

Magnificent7 is the home for the documentary art form. Made by filmmakers who think in images and sound – and have something

important to communicate. Sometimes we forget that when we leave the cinema full of thoughts about, what we have seen, it is because the topic has been treated in cinema language.

2017 edition – I can promise you amazingly composed, stunning images through excellent camerawork. Big words and you might not agree or love all the films – boring if we all thought the same, right? But I think you will agree that not many words are being said in the films of Sergei Loznitsa, Audrius Stonys and Nikolaus Geyerhalter. ”Austerlitz”, ”Woman and the Glacier” and ”Homo Sapiens” do sometimes give you tears in the eyes because of the beauty they convey. It’s Cinema! Don’t talk about it, show it!

Another buzz word I would like to use in describing this year’s selection is Creativity. I dare promise you that this year brings an homage to Creativity. Not only are the films – with a boring term used by European support schemes – creative in the treatment of their stories but a couple of them actually have a focus on Creativity. That goes for Cosima Lange’s passionate journey ”Hello, I’m David” with David Helfgott, the legendary pianist and that goes for Miroslav Janek’s ”Normal Autistic Film” that a critic from Variety characterised as ”a beautifully crafted, intimate, and revealing observational portrait of five youngsters with Asperger’s Syndrome”. The film shows these youngsters having great creative skills.

Remember your school time and the good teachers you had, who have one way or the other influenced your grown up life? The ones I remember are the ones, who were using their creative skills… precisely what the wonderful teaching couple from Ireland, John and Amanda, do and have done for decades at the Headfort School – they seek to get the best out of the students. They play theatre and music, they care! It is pure pleasure to follow them in the film by Neasa Ni Chianain and David Rane, ”In Loco Parentis”.

As a film it is equally pure pleasure to watch Jérôme le Maire’s dramatic, involved and observational ”Burning Out”. But when it comes to content, I am sure you will think and feel with the hospital staff: Something has to be changed at this place. As in many other hospitals in Europe, I can say from Copenhagen.

Hello, I’m Tue – I am happy to come back at Magnificent7 in Belgrade. I hope you find the program interesting, Cinematic and creative.

The photo is taken by a dear guest, Martin Rattini, producer and cameraperson, at the festival in 2016. Zoran Popovic and Tue Steen Müller. The third selector, Svetlana Popovic… will appear in photo(s) in upcoming reports from Belgrade.

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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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