St. Petersburg Diary/ 1

It took 90 minutes to fly from Copenhagen to St. Petersburg and another 90 minutes to reach the hotel from the airport. Moskva Prospekt is veery long but I had good company in Viktor Skubey, producer and together with Ludmila Nazaruk organiser of the DoxPro Conference in Hotel Vedensky, where these lines are written. The two of them showed me the new venue of the Message to Man festival, the Velican Centre, which is, as Skubey put it – a new building in old style. The Centre has three cinema halls and is situated in a park, where you also find a miniature exposition of the city with its landmarks like the Winter Palace, Peter and Paul Fortress, the Isaac Cathedral etc. At the side a sculpture of the (Italian) architects who built St. Petersburg.

Wednesday I held a class at the University. 200 film students were present. I wanted them to experience the state of the (documentary) art and showed a clip from Michael Glawogger’s ”Megacities” (photo), the sequence from New York called ”The Hustler”, followed by Timo Novotny’s New York remix in ”Life in Loops”. Both clips are word-filled so to make the students remember the importance of the image, next clip was from Wojtiech Staron’s ”Argentinian Lesson” where no words are said in the first 6 minutes but where images tell it all in terms of information and emotion of the boy.

Finally the first 10 minutes of ”Act of Killing”, director’s cut – (also) as a promotion for the film that runs in the competitive section of Message to Man. This morning the start of the Conference:

“The organiser is DoxPro, the International Program for Documentary Professionals based in St. Petersburg Russia. DoxPro works “to facilitate economic and cultural cooperation between Russian and European documentary professionals, to create a wholesome environment for development of documentary as a creative industry in Russia.”

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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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