Message to Man Saint-Petersburg

It is festival time – September, October and November – all over the world and it is a good time for the documentary genre. Gianfranco Rosi won the main award in Venice with his ”Sacro Gra” in competition with feature films, from a jury headed by Bernardo Bertolucci, who said he wanted to be surprised and found Rosi’s film to live up to that criteria with its poetry and characters… words to that effect.

In Saint-Petersburg there is also good chances for surprising experiences when you look into the big programme of Message to Man presented from September 21-28, alone in the competitive programme there is 103 films from 37 countries… should be noticed that the festival shows long and short documentaries, short fiction films, short animation films, experimental films – and have well edited special screenings and programmes.

Difficult to highlight titles from the many sections, but ”The Act of Killing” (director Joshua Oppenheimer’s cut) is there, Chilean ”The Last Station” by Cristian Soto and Catalina Vergara competes as does ”Matthews Laws” by Marc Schmidt and ”Cantos” by Charlie Petersmann.

An intelligent side programme called ”Close. Family Films” include Alan Berliner’s classic ”Nobody’s Business”, Pawel Lozinski’s ”Father and Son”, Polley’s ”Stories We Tell” and ”Svyato” by Victor Kossakovsky – among others.

Under another caption – less descriptive, entitled ”Gala Premieres” – you find titles like ”First Cousin Once Removed” (Alan Berliner), ”La Maison de le Radio” (Nicolas Philibert) (photo), ”My Afghanistan-Life in the Forbidden Zone” (Nagieb Khaja) and ”Life With Jester” (Helena Trestikova), not to forget ”L’Image Manquante” (Rithy Panh).

A feast it will be!


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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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