Nordisk Panorama Forum First Day

Same procedure as last year – NO:

Online pitching as in many/most of the industry events connected to festivals since March this year. No meetings face-to-face. 10 projects today and 10 tomorrow. 15 minutes per Project. 50% for presentation, 50% for feedback. Business as usual – individual meetings in the afternoon, pre-booked by the Forum staff. And individual meetings later in the afternoon with the North American Decision-Makers, pre-booked as well.

It started at 9 this morning. Moderators were as usual the Danish Gitte Hansen and Mikael Opstrup. Sitting in Malmö. They did not respect the rule of distance, but showed their test results on paper to the camera. Opstrup with the fine Covid-Pass document we make in Denmark, Gitte Hansen with an email from the Swiss authorities; she lives and works in Zürich. Fine to see the two on the screen, much closer than usual. They were fresh, well prepared, enjoying to sit there inviting the filmmakers to present their projects as well as calling for comments from the panelists, i.e broadcasters and film institute/fund consultants. No sales agents or distributors, I guess they will be there for the individual meetings…

I was one of – I think it was mentioned that there were 200 (!) observers. I could see the moderators, the filmmakers and the panelists, who made comments. Sometimes unfortunately with sound and image not being synchronous.

But I could not see, who else was observing. Too many to have on one screen, I guess ! On the website I read the names of those attending, and gosh there are many who – while this is being written – are now busy with the individual meetings.

The panelists – competent veterans like Jenny Westergaard (YLE), Erkko Lyttinen (also YLE, Finland), Charlotte Madsen (SVT, Sweden), Karolina Lidin (Nordic Film/TV Fund), Hanka Kastelicová (HBO Europe), Nathalie Windhorst (VPRO, Holland) – and newcomers like Frank Piasecki Poulsen from the Danish Film Institute, who did his job, positive and straight forward. From the Finnish and Swedish film institutes there were new people, who will have a lot of meetings, I suppose, and learn from that. Also interesting to see what Nils Bökamp can do, film director from Norway, who now works for Netflix. And I liked the energy of Hera Olafsdottir from RUV, the Icelandic television.

Arte, the European Cultural Channel, was there with a representative from NDR/arte, who was asked for comments several times and who was pretty brief saying that « we have no slots for that, sorry ». All right, but some constructive, critical comments or « you should go to my colleague xx » ? OMG is my comment, what happens to Arte.

Another critical point from my side… remember that this public pitch is also a place, where you as an observer can get updated on how broadcasters and film consultants evaluate film projects – content, style, director, production company, film language… I know it’s difficult to be brief but if the comment is only « we have a meeting this afternoon ». What do we observers, the audience get out of it ?

Tomorrow I will write about some of the projects, those that were pitched today and those that will be on screen tomorrow.

Photo is from the Swedish “Calendar Girls”, a project I liked a lot.

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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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