Miroshnichenko and Chajkouskaya: Debut

… and full names: director Anastasiya Miroshnichenko and producer Volia Chajkouskaya. I met Volia C. in Minsk in connection with the Listapad festival, where she gave me a link to their previous film, “Crossroads”, reviewed on this site. About their new project, there is only to say, very talented and well presented, so wonderful news also for me that the project was awarded in Thessaloniki. Here is an edited version of a text from the EDN website:

… On the occasion of the 18th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival — Images of the 21st Century, the ERT S.A. – EDN DOC ON AIR Award was presented to the project Debut directed by Anastasiya Miroshnichenko and produced by Volia Chajkouskaya, the Belarusian documentary project pitched at the annual EDN pitching forum Docs in Thessaloniki. The award is sponsored by Greek public broadcaster ERT and honours the ambitious sociopolitical documentary with a cash prize and a broadcast on public television in Greece, when the film is finished.

Debut tells the story of Belarusian women serving their sentence in a soviet-like prison among 1500 other first time offenders. Some were pushed to crime by unbearable circumstances or momentary weakness, while others became victims of corrupt courts or miscarriages of justice. Circumstances are harsh in this strict environment but for some women, the so-called Culture Club offers a chance to escape the agony. Several times a week, a group of women prepares for their theatrical debut in the club. Under the guidance of a professional director, the inmates perform theatrical works which allows them to express themselves and experience something that could be described as therapy through art. Yet, these women are mostly concerned about how their life will be once they end their term. How will they cope with their tainted past when returning to the outside world?…

The Debut trailer is available here.


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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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