MakeDox Films and Talks Under a Fig Tree

Two hours drive from Prizren, is Skopje, capital of Macedonia. After Dokufest in Kosovo, Sarajevo in Bosnia, it is MakeDox that takes the documentary scene from last night and until friday 26th of August. It’s a festival that names itself a place for creative documentary film and – with some more words taken from the intro on the website: A young and rarely avant-garde festival celebrating the creative documentary film. One of the most powerful catapults for creating cinema audience in Macedonia. It overwhelms, they say, with its warmth and quality. The wonderful KurshumliAn vibrates with film stories, workshops and live performances, doc-talks under a magical fig tree and music under the night sky. Out in the open, every summer since 2010…

I have not yet been there but film people who have, love it. It’s a festival that in its 7 years of existence have used the Onion as a symbol, to signal that the multilayered and not the one-dimensional is the target, when film selection is done. There is a competition programme, a short film competition, a student film program, a section called ”Newcomers” and a presentation of new Russian documentaries.

The opening film from last night, ”My World is Upside Down” (photo) is directed by the key person behind the festival, Petra Seliskar, here first the

website description of the film: Made to explain how difficult and pure artmaking is, this musical documentary film combines Jeek’s songs performed live by some of the world’s leading alternative musicians and Jeek’s amazing archive material from the 1960s to the 1980s. Jeek was a legendary Slovenian actor, timeless writer, unique performer; he even had audience as a prisoner! А person who always lived on the edge, poet, and above all, master of songs. As poor as a church mouse like most artists of his dimensions, Jeek combined irony and comedy to scratch the surface of reality, being always on the side of the “little man”.

I saw a rough cut of the film and praised it: ”Loved the film, what an artist as comedian, as writer of texts, what a commitment, thanks for letting me meet him. Well composed, fine transitions from him to interpretations of his songs by artists all over, consequence in style.”

The festival travels to towns and cities of Macedonia, it educates children and grown ups to understand the qualities of documentaries and – back to the talks under the fig tree. Here documentarians will meet in the coming days for  

“a series of master classes open to filmmakers and film lovers who want to improve their documentary storytelling. For this year’s MakeDox, Iikka Vehkalahti from Finland constructed and designed a series of masterclasses – cut, attached and edited stories – by his own dramaturgical recipe. One

story for each festival day. The masterclasses are open to all interested storytellers, especially to film directors and film students.

Experience, values, ways films seduce, mistakes, choices and ways of film watching are the so-called filming-related sins that he will delve into together with the film directors Magnus Gertten (Sweden), Petra Seliškar (Slovenia), Claudia Tosi (Italy), Don Edkins (South Africa), Leena Pasanen (Finland), Stefano Tealdi (Italy), Tatjana Soboleva (Russia) and Andreas Johnsen (Denmark). They will all take us into their own worlds of filmmaking and film production by bringing closer their latest film story selected for this year’s MakeDox festival program.”

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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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