Paul Pauwels Stops as EDN Director

After 6 years as director of EDN (European Documentary Network) Paul Pauwels has decided to leave the association that is looking for a new man/woman to lead the membership organisation with around 1000 members, deadline for applications September 7 – much more on that you can find on the website of EDN –

Paul has on the same site given his reasons to resign:

 “I have no doubt that soon I will regret this decision, but once and again one has to let the brain rule over the heart. To quit a demanding but very satisfying job, to say goodbye to a wonderful team and no longer being able to serve the documentary community – that I love so much – is not something that I decided overnight. I could have gone on until retirement but I had to ask myself whether this would have been the best solution for EDN. In all frankness, I don’t think I could give a positive answer to that.

When my contract will end in May 2019, I can look back at six very satisfying years during which – I think and I hope (the members will be the judge of that) – I managed to lead EDN through difficult times and install a new energy in the association. I did not do that on my own; none of it could have happened without the talents of the EDN team. This team is now confronted with a fast changing media environment for which a new path will have to be developed in order to be able to serve the documentary community. Over the past decades, the media have evolved step by step and it was a normal thing that those who had been active in them climbed the ladder and, at a certain moment, offered their experience to their community in a leadership role.

Today, with the media going through a real revolution, that kind of acquired experience doesn’t hold the same value anymore as it once did and there’s a need for an energetic person who has the talents to deal with the future challenges and to support the team in their work. Let it be clear, however, that I have no intention to distance myself from EDN. I hope that there will be a way in which I can still support the association and push it forward to fulfil its mission, even if in a less active role than during the wonderful past years. I look forward to actually paying my membership fee from June 2019 onward and I invite every single documentary filmmaker to do the same. EDN is more needed then ever.”

Knowing Paul and his reputation in the community, I doubt that he will be less active, hoping for him with less travels, but of course he will be called upon as tutor and moderator and when “his” white book on documentary in a new media landscape, after the “Media and Society” slate of conferences, comes out he will be wanted as a speaker and true defender of the documentary.

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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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