Message2Man 2015

The festival in St. Petersburg, that has existed for a quarter of a century, starts September 25 and runs until October 3. The selection has been announced but first some quotes from the News of the website:

”… Over 3,400 films from 83 countries entered the qualifying round of the Anniversary… 90 films from 45 countries were selected:

International Competition will present 43 pictures from 25 countries: 10 feature documentary films and 12 documentary short  films, 11 short films and 10 animated films. The largest number of applications came from France, Poland, Germany and the USA. Also directors from Bahrain, Qatar, Morocco, Taiwan, Singapore, Africa and South America sent their works. There were many interesting applications from Russia and post-Soviet countries.

For the National Competition of Documentary Films were selected 22 films, 11 of them are debuts… Russian regional film studios are reviving: the Competition includes films not only from the two capitals, but also from Novosibirsk, Irkutsk, Kazan and other cities.

Finally the (my words) exciting and audience-wise popular Competition of Experimental Films ”In Silico”, which this year also celebrates its 5th anniversary, will present 25 films from 19 countries. At this section there will be three showtimes of original and unexpected copyright short films, most of which will be shown in Russia for the first time.”

I will be there for a week and look forward to watch the new Russian documentaries. That list is not available yet but at the list of long documentaries for the intl. competition I find ”Strange Particles” by Russian Denis Klebeev, that has already been (Joris Ivens Award) at Cinema du Réel in Paris and at Hot Docs in Toronto as well as Polish Krakow festival winner ”Call Me Marianna” by Karolina Bielawska. Have seen both. Otherwise I look forward to watch Daniel Sivan’s “A Hightech Soap Opera”, “Those Who Feel the Fire Burning” by Morgan Knibbe about which critic Neil Young wrote in Hollywood Reporter: Nominally a documentary, Morgan Knibbes attention-grabbing if overly ambitious debut ”Those Who Feel the Fire Burning” is really a poetic boundary-blurrer that seeks to obliterate the fiction/nonfiction frontier. Not to forget ”Censored Voices” by Mor Loushy that has this description: One week after the 1967 ‘Six-Day War’, a group of young kibbutzniks, led by renowned author Amos Oz and Editor Avraham Shapira, recorded intimate conversations with soldiers returning from the battlefield. The Israeli army censored the recordings, allowing only a fragment of the conversations to be published. Censored Voices reveals these original recordings for the first time.

In the short documentary competition there is a film by Viktor Kossakovsky, ”Chicken Pox”, 26 minutes… of course not to be missed!

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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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