One World Romania/ 3

Went to watch ”Queen of Silence”, full house, a film directed by Polish Agnieszka Zwiefka, her first film, produced by Heino Deckert and shown at this festival as one of four films in a well deserved homage to Deckert as the strong producer of documentaries he is. The film has been at several festivals and has been awarded.

So it is good? No, it is not, sorry! It is a mess of good wills and ambitions. It wants to portray Denisa, a Roma girl with a hearing handicap. And she is great and you want to live with her. But it also wants to give a characterization of the environment, she lives in, an illegal ghetto in Poland next to high apartment buildings. And it wants to give her the chance to live her dream to be a dancer like the dancers she has watched on the tele through Bollywood films. The result unfortunately is not successful as the editing remains automatic with no space for (poetic) breathing and interpretation of the girl’s inner emotions – as you all the time has to go forward for another musical scene where she is dancing. And then back to social reality – the police comes and we understand that the houses must be taken down. But we also have to see that she and

a friend of hers take garbage in the city, that they argue with citizens of the city and so on so forth. Jumping around, it seems like an insisting on that it all has to be in the film, which makes the film stay on a surface and Denisa being a doll in the hands of well-meaning filmmakers. Having said so, I have no doubt about the director’s honest intentions and commitment, maybe she had too many advisers around, too many cooks… according to the end titles showing the many workshops the film project has been to.

Back to the workshop entitled “Cooking a Doc” (Group PHOTO by Adi Marineci), where 10 projects were pitched on a sunny Sunday in the Journey Pub in Bucharest. We (the participants, Bulgarian producer Ana Alexieva, Czech editor Adam Brothánek and me) had been together for two days working on the projects. The participants were asked to revise or make teasers, they did so, and all of them also came up with a one-page text on their project. It was a fine three hour session, where we profited from the presence of festivals guests: producer Mia Haavisto (”Pixadores”) from Finland, producer Catherine Dussart from France (”The Missing Picture”), director Andrei Schwartz (”Outside”), Romanian director Adina Pintilie, teacher and critic Adina Bradeanu – who all gave constructive criticism to the filmmakers, among who there were several who had never stood on a stage before. Behind it all of course the cool master of irony, festival director and director Alexandru Solomon.

The pitching ended with an award ceremony where Ana Alexieva went to the stage to invite Alex Brendea to take part in the Rough Cut Boutique at the Sarajevo Film Festival, where he can have his rough material evalutated. His ”Teach” about a charismatic, energetic excentric teacher of mathematics, who lives alone with cats and dogs, and does his teaching at this his home is very promising and the choice was very well received by colleagues at the ”Cooking a Doc”.

And then out in the sun to enjoy a cigar and a cup of coffee before back to Copenhagen to watch el classico, and they won FC Barcelona if you are in doubt about what I am writing… Det-us/

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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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