Magnificent7 – Nina Hedenius

In ”Way of Nature” (”Naturens Gång”) Swedish filmmaker Nina Hedenius uses a radio piece to convey to the audience that there is a world outside the farm that is the location of her film. In a workshop session at Magnificent7 in Belgrade, the director showed clips from her previous films, and revealed that a radio clip from her film ”Vintersaga” from the 70’es was the same as the one in the film from 2009, including a report on Israeli bombing in Southern Lebanon! Noone has reacted, said Hedenius, who refrains completely from social and political themes in her films – even if you can only interpret this 20 year old sound clip as a subtle comment to world politics!

To verbally characterize the work of a filmmaker as Hedenius, who does not use many words but insists on the image, seems unfair and a banalization… but I dare phrase that this unique filmmaker, who does everything herself, is constantly searching for beauty. Her films bear witness of a background as a painter working with magic images where she very often goes ultra-close and transform the skins of cows, or the feathers of chicken, or the hair of a dog into abstract tableaux that you can dive into meditatively.

For ”Way of Nature” Hedenius edited for 14 months, 4 to 5 hours per day. The reason for this long period is to be found in a very strong work on the sound. In the session in Belgrade, she told how she records sound when she is shooting but ”cleans” the sound to make it more authentic. I cant have a dog barking outside the image if there is no dog in the film! Unique in production, Hedenius is as well. She presents her projects to SVT (Swedish public television)(she only wants one financier and no producer), gets the funding, respects the deadline and delivers without having anyone seeing the film in beforehand. Not even colleagues and friends, I asked her, no I get confused from comments. An independent and free filmmaker who is so because of her groundbreaking audience successes with ”The Old Man in the Cottage” (Gubben i Stugan) and now ”Way of Nature”. (Both films are available on dvd, Swedish version, but the dialogue is so scarce that the films can travel all over).

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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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