Saint Petersburg Film School Conference

I was at the opening of The PiterKiT International Student Film Festival in Piter – Saint Petersburg. On Wednesday. Huge celebration, three hours with music, clips from films and speeches, maaany speeches due to the celebration of 100 years of the film school, St. Petersburg Institute of Film and Television. Even if the festival carries the name “international” all words were in Russian! I was lucky to have Polish Krzysztof Kopczyński next to me, who whispered translation of some important words. Some names were understandable and I was happy to see Sokurov on stage being honoured.

Several “old boys” were on stage and Kopczyński whispered that they were addressing the audience of students saying that they should make films about “good people”!

As moderator of the conference “How to Educate Students to Meet the Cinema and TV Audience – art and/or craft” at the film school I picked up on this point of view, when the Dean of the faculty of screen arts and Head of the Producer’s Department, the sympathetic, open-minded Pavel Danilov was on stage explaining to us how the school functions as a state institution according to a film law with standards to follow, as the equivalent VGIK in Moscow. Is this what you tell your students, that they should make films about good people, I asked the Dean. Well, he said, there are too much negativity in films right now, we have to remember that cinema is an educational tool – words to that effect from the Dean, who also said that the school suffers from far too much bureaucracy. And there are too many F… words in films, he said, which made the representative from Perm, Pavel Pechenkin – who earlier spoke passionately about the media education projects they run in his city – remind us all that we are in the city of Dostojevski! “Crime and Punishment”! No polished words.

The conference took place in a small room, the interpreters were excellent, the technique functioned and the invited speakers were prepared and inspiring: Kopczynski, Pechenkin, Danilov, Ruth Olshan, Riho Västrik, Ivan Zolotukhin, Andrijana Stojkovic, Elena Khoroshkina. You can find more on the conference here:

and in a couple of months a Russian and an English version will be available on Youtube.

The speakers and the audience, primarily teachers from the school, there were from 25 to 7 listeners – the teachers had to go back to their classes – agreed that a continuation of the conference would be of great value. It lies in the hands of the organizer Viktor Skubey.

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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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