The End of Pitching Sessions/ 2

Lithuanian producer Dagne Vildziunaite writes after the Baltic Sea Forum in Riga – a perfect follow-up to the doc-discussion on this site:

I usually say it was nice to meet you again. But this time I want to say a bit more. During five hours trip home (from Riga to Vilnius, ed.) I got into melancholic mood and realized it is exactly 4 years after the first time I “came on the international documentary stage”. It was also in Riga I was pitching ANTIS by Giedre Z, the project I sometimes thought we would never be able to finish…

All I remember from that time was me shaking in front of Nick Fraser from BBC.

This year I came back with an almost finished film, with two beautiful new projects (“Toys” and “Father”, ed.), with more hopes than fears and with much better understanding what documentary filmmaking means to me. I think I have found the way and I am 100% sure I would never had done it without the support by the wonderful tutors I have. Let me be a bit emotional and confess how happy I was to see your proud faces while us making confident speeches. I felt like delivering final words after getting university diploma and feeling inspiring smiling eyes of my two professors (hmmm, Mikael Opstrup and Tue Steen Müller, ed.). I feel a constant deep need to make you feel proud of us, to feel how worthy your work and support for me and for many others is.

I may sound like a small girl waiting for confirmation that she is nice and good. But the reality is I’m travelling, pitching for quite a long time, still have not received any CEs’ support but every day I wake up with a stronger and stronger believe about what I’m doing.

And even more – this time after the meetings with all the CEs, after talking and looking in their eyes, I really understood they are not simple ” free travellers”.

They are people who do care (no matter if they have money or not)  and I think this is something exceptional that makes our documentary community alive under any conditions. We are like a small country that suffers the most during any crisis but at the same time is the most united and resistant.

We have our strong inside discussions, arguments and disappointments about each other, but we all together are searching for the way how to survive. I guess it is because we all  – filmmakers, funders, CEs –  all are in love with our babies “documentaries” and we simple can not imagine we could live without them. I am sure we’ll meet very soon again!

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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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