Rudolf Ming about Himself

Zanda Dudina from the National Film Centre in Latvia read my text about the film on Rudolf Ming, see below. She tells me that Rudolf – 13 at the time of the film, 16 today – now have a real camera and continues to make films. He also has a website where works of him can be watched. From publicity material for the HotDocs screenings, here is an edited text by filmmaking talent Rudolf himself:

Parallel to my regular studies I also attend music and art school, a folk dancing group and choir rehearsals, and train for the biathlon.

It all started when I went to see a movie “by myself” for the first time. By myself. I guess it was the right film at the right moment – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King. This film really spoke to me, and after I watched it I firmly decided that I too will be part of the film world.

The first challenge I needed to solve was how to shape my ideas into a form that others would be able to watch. Because (small problem) – I didn’t have one bit of technology that I could use to make a real film. After thinking about it for a long time I came up with the idea to make paper films – drawing my film plots on strips of paper that I then put into an old projector that my Mother had used to show us Russian folk stories. I was around 11 years-old at the time.  The pseudonym Rūdolf Ming came from the paper film period when I

wanted everything to be like in American cinema. I couldn’t figure out how to write my name. I didn’t know English so I made-up a special language because it seemed to me that everything in real film should be written in a foreign language.

As someone who makes films I of course have the overpowering desire to some day work in my own studio. When this plan came about it was clear that the name is very important. I had these small plastic letters meant for little kids to make play stamps. Of course most of them were lost, and the only reasonable word I could come up with was Muris 89.

How do I make films? In the classic American manner, of course. For example: Universal Studios, Warner Bros., New Line Cinema, Icon Productions, Imagine Entertainment etc. Each film has a title, poster and advertising, also created on paper strips. I used this technique until the moment I understood that what I’m lacking is a large editing studio and real American actors. Around that time I received a digital camera and started making films in video format. The first of these is about some pathetic drug-user, played by my little brother. …I’m not as into watching films anymore. I’ve become interested in European films. American films are all the same! I watch the trailers online. Even the credits are the same. All the same! Even animation. That’s how they hope to get audiences interested …

My whole class came to the premiere of Kā Tev klājas, Rūdolf Ming? in Riga. I was abnormally nervous, almost shaking. So many people have come, and they’re going to be watching me … But the film was well received.

I am 16 years old now and everything is bloody simple. The main principle for me is that each film has to be better than the previous one. For example, the name of my first film is Legend of the Forest Witch, but my latest – All or Nothing. Get it? Exactly!

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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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