StoryDoc – Storytelling

Film is an emotional stream, Niels Pagh Andersen said, Danish editor, living in Finland, and working with films from many different countries. TV documentaries, feature duration docs for cinemas. Andersen has a long and strong cv. And he delivered an inspiring lecture. He started saying that we all want to bring order in chaos, don’t we? At least this is the job of an editor. Simplify, he said again and again, and referred to some drawings of Picasso, where he (Picasso) found the essence of a bull. The essence, find that, you get much deeper, the simpler you put things. If you want to teach something particular, write a book!

Give a minimum of information, Andersen emphasized, get to the emotions. Look for the inner development of the characters and hold back information, don’t tell everything up front. Create expectations, let the audience work, communicate that ”something is going to happen”. And remember the aspect of identification.

He showed two clips – one from the ”Cities on Speed” series, ”Mumbai Disconnected” (2009) by Camilla Nielsson and one from ”Prostitution Behind the Veil” (2004) by Swedish Nahid Persson. For the last one, Andersen stressed how important it is to build up a sympathy for the characters, he used the word love, in this case two mothers, and prostitutes, who you get to know later in the films from a more dark side in their relation to their children. 

The link below will take you to a longer interview with Niels Pagh Andersen.

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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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