One World Romania Festival/ 2

I arrived a couple of days ago to Bucharest for the One World Romania. Together with EDN’s Mikael Opstrup we were taken to the hotel, I was given one of those rooms, where you can not open the window so I had to change for another one, and then down to the lobby to meet an old friend André Singer, whose ”Night Will Fall” is part of the programme. I saw the film on Swedish television in January, it is impressive and unique as a historical document, made by André Singer, who after many years, as he put it ”was happy to be back to filmmaking”. Among many jobs as a producer Singer has been producing documentaries by Werner Herzog. You see him on the photo with the microphone at one of the discussion sessions after a well attended screening. A true English gentleman!

To the left Alexandru Solomon, the director of the 8 year old festival about which I can only say Bravo! A good programme, several good debates and information gatherings, among them one by Mikael Opstrup talking about the (impressive) research, he has done for the organisation about Co-Productions in Europe. Solomon was on that occasion giving his input on the good and bad sides of co-productions – to be done if necessary, otherwise stay away from it (my comment), far too complicated. Unless an artistic element is involved and not only the financing side.

The festival has a great initiative that can easily be taken up by other festivals, or rather adopted by others: ADOPT A DOCUMENTARY. Click below and you can see the details, who adopted which film… The result is of course that the adopters promote the films for their members. Here is a quote from the website: In our effort to support civil society in Romania, we invited several non-governmental organisations to symbolically adopt a documentary from this year’s selection, a documentary that addresses the cause that is closest to their mission and activity…

I watched two films the other night: ”The Serbian Lawyer” by Aleksandar Nikolic and ”Outside” by Andrei Schwartz. Whereas the first one fails to bring balance between the personal and the professional in its portrait of the very sympathetic Marko, the lawyer, who defends Karadić at the Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in the Hague, the second one by Schwartz is a very well made, interesting, warm and surprising (will not give you the end) story about Gavril Hrib, who leaves prison after 21 years – sentenced for murder of two people. Schwartz made a film about him at that time, ”Jailbirds” and when Hrib contacts him asking for a continuation of that film, Schwratz returns.

Right now I have left the workshop – to write these words – where I am tutoring together with Bulgarian producer Ana Alexieva and Czech editor Adam Brothánek. We are on the second day, the participants – 10 projects are being developed – are preparing their pitch, visual/verbal/written for the public pitch tomorrow. They are all Romanians, some with experience, some new talented people. The themes – Romanian hiphop history, ”I became blind 30 years ago due to Chernobyl”, Slavery, a library in Cluj, death rehearsals (!), women and manele music, the Manakia Brothers (film history), an unconventional teacher, a young man with problems…

We are at the Czech Centre in Bucharest, the main organiser of a festival that is made ”in memory of Vaclav Havel”. Love that!




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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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