MakeDox Goodbye

I am sitting in the lobby of the Bushi Hotel, which, with all its corridors and many rooms, has been a nice escape spot from the heat outside after long workshop days, a few outdoor screenings, meals in the bazaar and on the big square with Alexander the Great statue in the middle.

”Kurshumli an” is the name of the outdoor cinema, where the audience gathers at 9pm in the evening in front of a big screen with a superb projection. And there is a huge audience, many of them stays for the second screening as well, at 11pm. It’s scheduled for 300 but there are more and there is space enough. As two nights before where the festival director Petra Seliskar’s new fim “Body” was to be screened. I came to greet Petra and her protagonist, did not want to see the film again as I had already watched it in Sarajevo the week before. A very good film full of passion and warmth circling around Urška Ristić, the woman – an understatement – who has gone through so much trouble with illness in her body but survived due to her will and strength. And Lust for Life.

The screening started after some crazy moments during a short film before “Body”. Dogs are also in the audience and Petra and her family has a wonderful collie, who is running around being welcomed by everyone. Except for a unwanted stray dog, was it a cane Corso or ?, who suddenly entered and ran directly towards the collie to attack. Lots of fight of barking sounds, Petra’s family in action getting the aggressor out and consoling their own dog. Not nice, I needed another raki. And the dog water and carressing.

I could have needed one (a raki) as well the next day, where a pitching forum took place at MKC, a youth center. 11 projects were pitched, I had some moments where I fell asleep because of the heat, no ac in the room, but maybe also because of the quality of the projects, where most of them were at a “very very early” stage, so would it not have been better to wait with the pitch? Except for Hanis Bagashov’s “I Don’t Want” that I knew from a workshop last year – he has a feeling for cinema – and the Kosovo project “Adelina” by Aurela Berila with Eroll Bilibani I did not find any obvious talent in the trailers. You can find more on the projects on the website of the festival:

And then last night at the cinema I was sitting with dear friends from Georgia, Mariam Chacia and Nik Voigt, whose film “Magic Mountain” will be screened tonight, to watch and enjoy Nicolas Philibert’s masterpiece “On the Adamant”. The place where people – patients and doctors and therapists et al. meet – to talk, engage themselves in creative matters, writing, painting, composing, playing music, singing, talking about football – being there to be with other people, to escape loneliness. To be alive, “to live, to give” as Neil Young has been singing. It was an extraordinary film to watch and to talk about over a nice dinner in the bazaar. And the conversation continued today at lunch with Serge Tréfaut, the French/Portuguese director, who lives in Rio de Janeiro, where his last documentary “Paraiso” is filmed. An extraordinary homage to human life at an old age.

THANKS MakeDox to give so much.

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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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