Talking Documentaries

It was a person in the audience, who appealed to the panel: We are world famous for our writers – Joyce, Beckett etc. – now it must be time to become known for our films. He, and around 100 other filmmakers and film students attended the Talking Documentary two-day seminar that ended yesterday in Galway. Organised by the MEDIA Antenna and the Galway Film Center the two days had a programme with money and slot and strand and distribution and profile and policy issues on the first day AND content and style and ethics on the second. I chaired the first day sessions with Christina Mueller from DR/TV Denmark, Gitte Hansen from First Hand Films in Switzerland and Sari Volanen from YLE – in the morning – and with the whole range of documentary broadcasters and funding mechanisms in the afternoon. The morning was quiet and full of great clips from films like “Armadillo“, “Burma vj” and “Steam of Life“, whereas there was a nice atmosphere of opposition to the panel in the afternoon, where especially the representatives from the public broadcaster RTE was met with demands for more flexibility in the scheduling and in the fact that whenever the broadcaster enters into coproduction, there HAS to be an Irish angle. The RTE is not positive towards feature duration documentaries, even if this seems to be the current success in Ireland, very much because of the policy of the Irish Film Board. The film that is on the international agenda right now is “The Pipe” (PHOTO), that was premiered in Toronto and is in the new competition at idfa in Amsterdam, the “Green competition”. I will write more about the film later.

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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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