Online is Great/Don’t Forget the Quality DVD

First text of 2015. Happy New Year to all our readers! I sit in the armchair of my room, the place to be when football is to be watched on the small tv screen, or documentaries on the computer via links sent to me or books or magazines to be read. Including the DOX Magazine that we have advocated for to stay in (at least once per year) a printed version. Let it happen in 2015.

Books are on the wall to the left, dvd’s are on the wall that separates my room to the one of my wife. It’s been like that for years, the bookcase is full of dvd films. There used to be a lack of space at the time of vhs, but I threw them all out, except for some crown jewels that I knew would never be available on dvd.

And now I very seldom receive dvd’s. It is much easier to send vimeo links of new films and with the great idfa docs for sale, the east silver library, the new DOKLeipzig online initiative, the formidable DocAlliance, the festival scope, the Filmkontakt Nord online catalogue – I can easily do my job as festival consultant and selector, and reviewer on filmkommentaren.dk, combined with visits to some big cinema screens, when I am present at festivals or go to press screenings in Copenhagen.

So from a practical point of view a fine development – you can get what you want to see quickly and the quality is ok, yet of course it can not compete with the big screen. Back to the dvd’s. A couple of days I received a gift from Lithuanian Giedrė Beinoriūtė, who had managed to have her “Conversations on Serious Topics” published in a fine dvd with the film itself, chaptered so you can choose what you want to see, extras with material (conversations with kids) that did not make it to the final film, “from the shootings”, all very nicely put together in a box that I am happy to have in a room where there are also books and dvd boxes – one with films by Chris Marker, the fine series with films by Jørgen Leth, one with Jon Bang Carlsen films (there should be more), Marcel Lozinski, Kieslowski, Johan van der Keuken… Yes, more dvd boxes please in 2015, more quality presentations of finished films that should stay as  – let’s be a bit French – oeuvres in film history. For documentaries there will definitely be a need for financial to make this digitization happen. An obligation for the film institutes and maybe a project for the Creative Europe of the EU? 

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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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