Riga Diary…tv and Artistic Docs 2

I (Tue) wrote from Riga about the theme in the headline after a pitch at the Baltic Sea Forum. I made Iikka Vehkalahti comment on it and now there is a contribution from Marje Jurtshenko at Estonian Television, who was present and argued against the use of the expression “too artistic”:

I see that I have raised a hot topic! I really got pissed of talking about “too artistic for tv” – especially when I didn’t see anything that artistic in the trailer. Anyway, here is a short comment to Iikka:

I agree with many things what Iikka says about television and the way filmmakers sometimes try to hide weak stories behind the shaping but I also think that film is the combination of good story AND the visual, so if the content asks for the creative visual thinking I think we should encourage that. Tv has changed, of course, now it is mainly a fast food place but to be honest I know that there are also lot of people out there, who would like to have some gourmet dishes once in awhile. Even if those are more difficult to digest, even if it takes more money and time to prepare it.

I think that lot of the commissioning editors (not only) underestimate their audience as well. Of course if your slot has to make rating then you have to go for fast food but if people have chance to show creative docs, I think they should make effort also to support this kind of filmmaking (or thinking in general). Because if those people say that films are too creative and nobody will need those, of course soon this kind of filmmaking will disappear. And then I will better turn on the radio. Marje Jurtshenko.

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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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