An almost two year old boy running around observing what goes on. And touching the Golden Centaur statuettes lined up to be given to the winners. A conferencier shouting Russian words into the microphone trying to make a festive atmosphere. Next to him a very professional female interpreter who repeat in English. One after one the winners are called to the stage… but not many of them are present. The atmosphere is supposed to be lifted by loud music that is generally tough for the ears. Nothing is really planned in details and people are sweating during the hour it takes before departure to the farewell reception.

A nice atmosphere, some would say chaotic, my fellow jury friend said ”excuse me my French, but this is a complete disaster”, I would call it anarchistic – and yet, politics are being made, the director of the main private sponsor, a Dutch company, is called to receive a medal as was he a filmmaker, and the board of directors give special prizes for filmmakers, who were not on the lists of the juries…

And outside my travel partner and I look at the young women, who fight to walk the high heels, that they all have. If you don’t wear them, you are not a real woman, one of our young smiling guides told us her mother had said. Photo from “Paris Return”, winner of Message2Man category Best Documentary, see below.

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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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