Miroslav Janek – Interview

As a follow-up on our ”collected posts” on Czech documentary maker Miroslav Janek here are some quotes from an interview made a month ago by Doc Alliance, below is a link to the whole interview, absolutely to be recommended.

Janek on editing: As an editor, I have been successfully driving directors away from the editing room. Now I drive myself away without much effort. After endless talks with editor Tonička (the wife of Janek, ed.), I delegate all of the material to her and I let her look for new connections and ties yet unrevealed by me, hoping that she will find them. I only enter the editing room when the film shape has been roughly sculpted. However, this active involvement in the editorial process is impossible without a thorough knowledge of the shot material. Before I entrust the material to Tonička’s hands, or rather her mind and soul, I map it carefully, I choose the things I consider substantial and later I gradually “taste” the material, drawing various meaningless and sometimes even meaningful partial ideas on paper…

Janek: I still see film as a visual medium, not a radio one. Although I do not underestimate the sound dramaturgy of the film in any way; quite on the contrary. However, if there is to be at least some space for sound dramaturgy, one has to cut the cackle. I really admire those documentaries (and I envy them terribly) in which nothing is said for like ten minutes and yet the viewers are breathless, the poetic suspense and mystery are growing and the screen… I’m speaking too much again…


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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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