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 – http://edn.network/news/news-story/article/edn-is-hiring-a-new-director/?tx_ttnews%5BbackPid%5D=111&cHash=e2121e1f089ed874a75254a72cbd48ee
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.