Magnificent7 Festival Belgrade 2015

The 11th edition of the Magnificent7 Festival for European feature length documentaries takes off January 30 and continues until February 5. As in previous years filmkommentaren publishes the introduction to the 7 films written by Svetlana and Zoran Popovic. That will start tomorrow. Here follows my introduction to the programme – as member of the selection group together with the Popovic couple:

Can we live without art? Of course not, we do hope that Magnificent7 2015 proves the value of watching film art that gives us something to think about, experiences, joy, maybe sorrow or anger, maybe make us act for change, feel love… the same as wanted Rembrandt and Vermeer and Hals in their time. The three and all the other great artists have for more than a decade been waiting to get a new home as we can see in “The New Rijksmuseum” by Oeke Hoogendijk, a brilliant interpretation of the meeting between art professionals and citizens of Amsterdam, including politicians.

“Messi”… is it good, can we get it? A film about the Argentinian, whose artistic football performances the world has enjoyed. The answer to both questions were affirmative and after a check of an eventual audience interest, the film by Álex de la Iglesia was included in the programme. We hope to see parents take their teenage kids to see their idol on the big screen. A new festival audience!

Another innovation in this year programme is “Virunga” by English Orlando von Einsiedel (executive producer Leonardo DiCaprio!), an activist film that in a powerful language and with brave people on screen makes the appeal to protect the Congolese Virunga National Park.

“You’ve got to have Love for your characters and do everything you can to give them confidence in the job you’ve been assigned…”,says Camilla Nielsson, the director of “Democrats”, a beautifully told observational story from Zimbabwe, where the director sensationally got access to follow two charismatic men, who got the job to put together a new constitution.

The word Love is literally in the title of Finnish Virpi Suutari’s “Garden Lovers”, a film that constantly surprises you with wonderful characters, you laugh, you smile and you are reminded that Love needs to be nursed as the plants in our gardens.

Indeed it does, as does our understanding of human beings, who think and act different than most of us. Portuguese Jorge Pelicano invites us to a hospital with his “Suddenly My Thoughts Halt”, that with humour and original storytelling introduces an actor, who tries to understand and to interpret insanity, helped by the intelligent patients.

French Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnard are back at Magnificent7 with “Rules of the Game”, a new social, yes, why not call it “documentary love story”, because that is the feeling that lies deeply in their story about youngsters, who are put in a pretty hopeless training scheme but manage to keep their integrity and own personality.

To the wonderful Belgrade audience: Welcome! 

NB! The facebook page of the festival has for a long time brought not only news for the upcoming festival but has also given a fine flashback to films shown at previous editions of the festivals, including trailers from the films.

Share your love
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.

Articles: 3866