Roberts Rubins: How are you doing Rudolf Ming?

Good news it is that this Latvian documentary, produced by the studio that carries the name of documentary legend Juris Podnieks, has made it to the Hot Docs festival (see below) and will have three screenings in Toronto in the coming week. It is one of those stories that at first glance seems simple, but actually is multi-layered and leaves you a bit puzzled. There is much more than you see in the straight forward narration about Rudolf Ming and his obsessive talent for making films, or rather drawing films on parchment paper and let it pass through a projector. There is more in Rudolf, anger maybe, a dark side, unwillingness to adapt to normality, even if he seems to be surrounded by a nice family, he is an outsider and the drawing and the piano playing is his escape to the phantasy world. Why is there so much blood in your (horror) film, is the comment of the kind priest, who has discovered Rudolf’s talent and asks him to make a (religious motive) film to be screened in the church. The conversations between priest and Rudolf are the red thread of the film. At one point Rudolf says, I hate films about love… one day that will be a theme for him, of course it will, if he continues to make films. Now he is presented in Canada, a country with a tradition for drawn films, Norman McLaren in memoriam. Not bad, not bad at all!

Latvia, 60 mins., 2010

Festival contacts: National Film Centre of Latvia,:

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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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