Sundance Documentary Film Program

OSI stands for Open Society Institute, that was founded by George Soros and has – among many other things – been very important for the documentary sector all over the world. In the mid 90’es and up till 2002 a lot of documentaries from the Eastern part of Europe received a support that enabled the producers to make their films in the hard transition period after the fall of the empire USSR. In 2002 American Diane Weyermann who was the clever administrator of the funding for the documentaries succeeded in getting the fund (accompanied by 4.6mio.$ from Soros) transferred to the Sundance Institute, and now the good news is that OSI has granted $5 million grant for its Documentary Film Program to continue its mission and to help raise awareness on human rights through support for documentaries.

”As a dollar-for-dollar matching grant, Sundance Institute aims to raise $10 million over the next five years to support documentaries on significant, contemporary issues. This critical funding at a very fragile time is a significant commitment to supporting the belief that documentary storytelling has a meaningful role in the international work toward justice and equity across a range of issues,” says Cara Mertes, Director of the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program.

Since its inception in 1996, the OSI and the Sundance Institute Documentary Fund has awarded grants to more than 450 films in 54 countries, from the former Soviet Union, the Middle East, China, India, Africa, North America and elsewhere. Photo: Turkish documentary On the Way to School, supported by Sundance.

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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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