The DOX Comeback!

It took some thinking before I came to this positive conclusion. In the 20th year of the existence of EDN (European Documentary Network) you will from now on be able to study one of the organization’s main contributions in the past two decades: The publishing of more than 100 issues of the DOX Magazine – contributions to the development of the documentary during these years. As an art form and part of the visual landscape in Europe and beyond. Thanks to Norwegian Truls Lie, former editor of DOX, who is launching his with the subtitle ”The European Documentary Magazine” – as was DOX called before it was stopped by the current management of EDN. With around 400 articles and reviews from DOX going back to the late 90’es as the fundament for new articles written by Truls and his staff. So far around 100. A Comeback for DOX.

This is what Truls did, quote from a mail he sent me: ”I am writing

to you now, Tue, because I just bought the rights to the Dox archive, and would put the articles out in the coming doc web magazine Mostly documentary critiques, interviews and political-ethical essays/commentaries. Since nothing is on the web, so would it be ok by you, that we put your articles out there with the others? They will all be referenced as printed in DOX by EDN…”

I said yes and asked Truls how many articles he bought, he answered 350-400. Wow! Indeed a DOX Comeback to celebrate in a year, where celebrations of the 20 years of EDN have been limited, almost non-existing, because of financial problems in the organization. Some celebration might happen at the upcoming IDFA?

Having written this I am happy now to go online to re-read articles and reviews by clever people as Emma Davie, Anette Olsen and (written with tears in my eyes) Ulla Jacobsen, the best editor DOX ever had. Ulla died in 2013. And many many others. Texts put on the site in a nice layout. Check it for yourself. Link below.

In terms of rights for the articles and the whole procedure, Truls has told me that his contract with Paul Pauwels (PP) of EDN is non-exclusive and that all contributors have to agree in beforehand, when approached by Truls.

I am sorry but some thoughts come up:

Is it ethically correct that EDN gets an income for selling articles that the writers have written for free for DOX?

And is it basically correct that PP is “selling off the family jewels”? I know that EDN can still – as right holders – publish them as Truls has bought non-exclusive rights. That will probably not happen. But would it not have been right to inform the members about this action? To open a debate? Who is the next buyer?

And would it not have been right to promote the fact that a core activity of EDN during the 20 years of existence is now having its Comeback as part of a documentary magazine, edited by a previous editor of DOX.

There is still time to do so – promote – on the EDN website and through the weekly newsletter. You could for instance pick one article, ask permission from the writer and put it every week on the website?

As for our site, the one you are reading right now, we consider “modern times” as a colleague and might pick some of the texts we have written (Allan has written a fine review of Audrius Stonys “Uku Ukai” and there are 51 texts by me). Let’s see if we can establish a collaboration one way or the other. It’s also interesting to compare the reviews that the two of us make. Modern Times will be launched at IDFA after Jihlava and Leipzig. Good luck!




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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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