Magnificent7 Doc Xtra

I have to confess that I was a bit worried, when I saw that Belgrade friends Svetlana and Zoran Popovic and their team launched a documentary retrospective of films that we had selected and screened during the years of the festival – next year late January it is the 13th time that 7 European feature length documentaries will be shown at the Sava Centre in the Serbian capital. For these screenings there are normally between 1000 and 1500 spectators. Would new people come, would many come to see the films for the second time?  

No need to worry, not at all. I want to repeat that the audience for documentaries in Belgrade is loyal to the M7, as we call it. Some quotes from the Popovic couple:

“The audience was very nice for “Un Tango Más” (by German Kral, who was present), 700-800 people, plus the man from Argentinian Embassy and the Israeli ambassador (who wanted to enjoy Tango)! For “The Monastery” (by Pernille Rose Grønkjær) we had about 500-600 people, plus the chief of the

Danish diplomatic mission in Belgrade and an eminent professor of theology!”

These numbers are amazing for a retrospective… nevertheless the Popovic couple was not that happy with the attendance to Gianfranco Rosi’s “Below Sea Level” – there was 300-400 people. “Mostly because the screening was from 5pm.”  My comment: Come on… that many people for a film that is not new. We could not get that in Copenhagen, I think!

For “Twilight of a Light” by Sylvain Biegeleisen there were  600-700 people: “When they sat, the light went up on the stage, where Sylvain sat with the guitar and Zoran was standing next to him. Sylvain started playing and singing, then a short announcement and another chanson de Jacques Brel. After the screening the audience was so overwhelmed with feelings that they stood and applaude very long to Sylvain who was in front of the stage.”

“Before the film of Michael Glawogger, “Whores’ Glory”, we screened the brilliant piece he made here during the festival workshop – where he recites two verses from Goethe’s Faustus in German. “Nothing is inside, nothing is outside…” The audience for the homage to the deceased master was 500-600.

Very encouraging numbers for repeat screenings of great European documentaries!

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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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