The Mole, The Mayor and the Sheriffs

I am at EDP – East Doc(umentary) Platform – in Prague, that provides ”training and networking for projects, workshops, promotion, financing and awards”. It takes place at the Cervantes Institute and runs parallel to and in collaboration with the One World Festival. Lots of people are here, those with projects and those, like me, to give feedback on the projects. A fine chance to have a week in Prague and to meet friends, those who built all this, like Miriam Ryndová, Veronika Liskova, Ivana Pauerová Milosevicova, Masa Markovic, Filip Remunda and Andrea Prenghyova, the latter now responsible for the DokInkubator program.

Like on many occasions with people from Czech Republic, those of us who have children to take care of, quickly get to talk about the Krtek (the mole) series of animation films for children. What is your favourite, the film consultant from Denmark asked. ”The Mole and the Eagle”, Ivana said, we join her in that, but it could also be ”The Mole and the Rocket” as said Myriam, or ”The Mole and the City”, mentioned by Veronika, ”but it is very sad”, right she is, Zdenek Miler, the master behind these films, was a true ecologist before that word was invented.

Yesterday was the big day for the team behind the film ”Ukranian Sheriffs”, Roman Bondarchuk, Darya Averchenko and Uldis Cekulis. They had organised that the sheriffs and the mayor came to Prague to watch, for the first time, the film where they are the protagonists. It became a memorable evening with a full house in the cinema of Institut Francais, flowers to the Ukrainians on the stage, questions to them about how it was to be filmed, whether they thought that what they saw was giving a credible picture of their lives, the situation now in Ukraine, where the war of course also affects the life in the village. Reinhart Lohmann from ZDF Arte, one of the financiers, was there, and there was Czech beer and becherovka after the screening. ”Yes, this is how it is”, said one of the sheriffs, ”there is no acting in that film”.

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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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