Orwa Nyrabia at Getting Real Conference 2018

… where he made a keynote speech introduced by the IDA’s Claire Aguilar in this way: Orwa is the Artistic Director of IDFA Amsterdam.  But unfortunately he is not here in person. He is skyping in from Amsterdam. As a Syrian national, he was not allowed into the US!! IDFA is the largest doc fest in world. Last year he was appointed art director. This Nov will be his first edition. He is a filmmaker/activist/programmer/actor.

Here is a small quote from the speech, I warmly recommend you to join the D-Word that has covered the conference extensely and where the whole speech can be found:

I spent much of my childhood with Troy and Achilles, and fight with Hannibal, and take elephant over mts. And Yemeni magical flying beast. I was a kid. My father, a political prisoner. Mother, sleepless. Expected to be imprisoned too. My experience is parallel to others. I was so afraid of reality as a kid. So I lived in mythology and then to be an actor. But I decided I didn’t want that. Documentary film felt like a outlet for my anger and my terrible reality. In the sense that in documentary film, the great works showed me that even when we make a film about the self, it can be ruthless truth and sincere and meaningful for all.

In my life conferences like this became expected, not a surprise. 15 yrs ago I was asking Jeeve where are you guys, and then I’d found d-word. It’s the best form of community I could have. Travel is difficult. We were lonelier than today but distance is different today. Today if we look at the reality of international doc filmmakers — are tortured, exiled, and killed. More than ever. Not everywhere. There is a normalization of what happens in Russia – 130 day hunger strike. But it will affect all of us, filmmakers being persecuted. Everyday in world, filmmakers face a lobbying campaign against them.

In Europe, it’s a special moment with the rise of right wing, and budgets are aggressively cut back, as the social democracy and public welfare state is being challenged. Denmark right wing voted to cut budget of public TV, and so documentaries are harmed. Denmark recently also now has a question of content. Prefer production in Danish language. A closing of the borders of country. ..


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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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