Riga Diary… tv and Artistic Docs

Iikka Vehkalahti, YLE Finland had this comment to Riga Diary 5:

“Dear Tue. I have to admit, that we (YLE TV 2 Documentaries) have a slogan: ” don´t look at tv, look at TV 2 Documentaries”. It´s implement is actually the fact, that the nature of the television has changed. In the minds and in the decisionmaking. Because of several reasons of course. Starting from the competition of viewers, the slot programming, the new entertainment programmes, the nature of societies and cultural atmosphere etc.. etc.. etc..

The fact is that for a demanding, complex, creative, different documentary film there is not very much of space in television. And commisioning editors, they know that. But another thing is of course if they have given up, if they don´t fight for the best films with all possible tools starting from festival awards and ending at the marketing tools from YouTube to blogs and like art museums, the circle of friends.

Ok, we can say, that  in mainstream television art fight is doomed, that only special channels like.. documentary channels… but.. at the same time I have to copy my own words that I planned to write into Steps by Steps book, but left out (because it can be misunderstood). Good to read also I think: TO BE IN BETWEEN

Too often directors consider themselves more fascinating, than the stories they tell. And that means they place themselves between the audience and the story – usually in the name of Art. And sure it’s great if the director really is an artist and is able to create new dimensions and interpretations of a story.

But if the director is just trying to make a weak story more interesting by decorating it – the only audience that’ll be satisfied are the lousy juries at little tinhorn film festivals.”

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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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