Niki Lindroth von Bahr

The Swedish animation director had her last work, “Something to Remember”, shown as the opening film at Nordisk Panorama, that runs until September 27 and is accessable for all citizens in the Nordic countries. For free. The film took me by surprise, a masterpiece, 5 minutes long, so I had to watch the previous 3 films she has made. Which I did with the generous addition of a masterclass with the artist, all available with some small clicks on the link below – and an easy creation of an account.

4 films during 11 years. Animal animation. Small puppets – a fish, monkeys, a rabbit, a snail… – put into human situations, in a musical as ”The Burden” (2017) that has won 82 awards ( !!!), 15 minutes long, a dark look at our civilisation, where – as she said in the masterclass – the surrounding is the main character. Dark, yes, yet the characters in this cold world sing and dance to make the burden bearable. Monkeys performs so you think of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers! Hilarious.

Different is ”Tord and Tord” (2010), 10 minutes, based on a short story by Jorun Jonasson, narrated by Thomas Lindholm. ” One day Tord accidently enters the apartment next to his own. A man, also named Tord, has just moved in. Tord and Tord start hanging out together.” Dark, yes, and sad, yes, but again with a subtle humour bringing my thoughts to Samuel Beckett, when the fox and the hare start to reduce their communication to codes – on small pieces of paper put through the letter slot of their doors. At the end there is nothing to say and do.

In 2014 she made ”Bath House”. In the masterclass she mentioned that this is a true Swedish local phenomenon that nowadays is falling apart – and that’s what you see in the film, when a handful of animals enter the institution to make life difficult for the manager, who wants all to be in order.

In the masterclass Niki Lindroth von Bahr talks about her upbringing in an art family, her education as an artist, her troubles with getting funding for her work, her place in the art world and in the film world, they are so very different. The masterclass was sent from Manchester, where she right now is working on a Netflix production.

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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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