Yes, it is a tradition to pay tribute to the festival in Pärnu Estonia that runs now and until July 19th – and let me repeat the introductory text from last year:

”the Pärnu International Documentary and Anthropology Film Festival (is) initiated and run by film director, visual artist, politician and showman, Mark Soosaar, whose mark is still very strong on a festival with a huge number of films, competitions, out-of-competition screenings, from all over the world…”

Including the Estonian People’s Award where 6 films that are broadcast by Estonian Television are competing for the viewers vote. Among them are this year titles like ”Happily Ever After” by Croatian Tatjana Bozic, Hanna Polak’s ”Something Better to Come” and ”Waiting for August” by Romanian Teodora Ana Mihai from Belgium.

For Mark Soosaar there is a reason to make cultural events including a film festival like this. Here is a long quote from his foreword to the catalogue that you can download for free from the website:

Although the same car brands are racing on highways and the same jets flying in the skies, millions of people are feeling annoyed, terrorised and … anguished. Is the peace of several generations really coming to an end and bound to be replaced by a bloodshed?

What makes me ponder most of all is the fuss of certain groups (not to say political forces) preaching hatred against the different fellows to make space for their own clan only. Haven ́t they really learned from history or given it any thought where would their hate lead us to?

Two links related to Mark Soosaar, one about a visit to his island last year, another (in Danish) a review of a film made by Soosaa: visit to his island  review 

It is not in vain that there are lots of docs on this summer ́s Festival program which could easily be drawn under one roof writing the word TOLERANCE on it. Tolerance and a helping hand for those who have had to flee for life from their homeland, just like our ancestors in the last years of World War II. As well as tolerance of the family models of the 21st century formed by love.

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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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