Riga Diary 1

I am writing this in my room on the 8th floor at Hotel Albert (Einstein) in Riga, where the Baltic Sea Forum and the ”Is it Easy to be Different” mini festival starts today. Yesterday I had time to take a walk in this beautiful capital of Latvia and made my way to the park where two filmmakers were killed back in 1991 while filming a follow-up to “Homeland” by Juris Podnieks. The crew came under sniper fire during a Soviet coup in Riga. Andris Slapins and his crew-mate Gvido Zvaigzne got killed. Podnieks himself died in a diving accident in 1992.

The company, however, is still in existence thanks to Antra Cilinska, the editor of Juris Podnieks for masterpieces as ”Homeland” and ”End of Empire”, and now director and producer in the studio. Two years ago she directed ”Us and Them”, a 64 minutes long documentary on – quoted from the catalogue of the National Film Centre of Latvia – ”present day Latvia” and ”the existence of two parallel communities – one Latvian, the other Russian”.


Photo: Andris Slapins.

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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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