Peter Liechti 1951-2014

Today I got this emotional FB message from Sevara Pan, who has written many reviews for filmkommentaren, including one on “In My Father’s Garden”, an absolute highlight in modern documentary: Dearest Tue, I hope my email finds you well. I just wanted to let you know that today I’ve read the Swiss/Austrian news about Peter Liechti. I couldn’t find any news in English about what happened. But maybe you can google translate this article. I couldn’t believe it to be honest. I had an interview with him for DOX back in October. What a loss. It seems like his last film “Father’s Garden” was his final to find peace before he passed away…

No google translation but an obituary from Swiss Films in English:

The Swiss director, author and cinematographer Peter Liechti died on Friday, 4 April 2014 in Zurich at the age of 63 after suffering from a serious illness. With Peter Liechti, Swiss cinema loses one of its most exceptional filmmakers with a remarkable international career.

With his documentaries and essays, Peter Liechti leaves behind a comprehensive and independent-minded opus, which has been shown at renowned film festivals worldwide and honoured with numerous retrospectives in New York, Rotterdam, Buenos Aires, Vienna, Leipzig and Berlin. He won the European Film Award in 2009 for “The Sound Of Insects – Record Of A Mummy”. In Switzerland, Peter Liechti won the Zurich Art Award and the Grand St. Gallen Cultural Award in 2010. His last film, “Father’s Garden – The Love Of My Parents” was shown in the Forum competition section at the Berlin Film Festival in 2013 and was honoured with the Swiss Film Awards for Best Documentary Film and Best Editing in March 2014.

Peter Liechti was born in 1951 in St. Gallen and initially studied painting and worked as an arts teacher, before turning to filmmaking. His interest in music and writing have always influenced and enriched his approach to cinema. His aphorisms appeared in “Lauftext – ab 1985” and in “Klartext” he published the conversations and thoughts that motivated his film “Father’s Garden: The Love of My Parents” (Vexer Verlag). As script consultant and producer he was committed to younger generations. Numerous filmmakers found their own cinematic voice thanks to his sharp mind and critique. As a cinematographer, he left visual marks in the works of other filmmakers.

Zurich, april 7, 2014

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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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