Valentina Pedicini 1978-2020

Obituary for a 42 year old filmmaker. So sad. The last time I saw Valentina was at DocsBarcelona, where she won the main award for her “Faith”. The moderator of the ceremony had a short conversation with her, online, before he revealed that the jury found that her film was the best. She jumped from her chair out of joy, so happy for this recognition. One year back I had the chance to meet her at IDFA, where I attended the premiere of the film – full house, I was sitting next to the principal of the Zelig Film School, Heidi Gronauer, and we were proud of Valentina and her work. Valentina graduated from the film school in 2010, I was one of the teachers and had many fine discussions with the director-to-be. As a true artist she was always in doubt of what she did was good enough. I wrote this after the IDFA screening last year:

“To watch the film of a former Zelig student, Valentina Pedicini, “Faith”, a film that actually was already in preparation, when she was in the school in Bolzano. She made a short film at that time, 11 years ago. “I was young at that time, 11 years later I felt mature enough to go deeper, stay longer at the place-“ And she did together with cameraperson Bastian Esser and his assistent Lucia Alessi – both of them also Zelig students.

The equally 11 year older teacher, who still remembers Valentina as the obvious documentary talent during the school time, has at a distance followed the carreer of the filmmaker, who has made a couple of fiction films and the documentary “Dal Profondo” in 2013. This one, “Faith”, shows that she can go close to people, who trust her. “Were there any ethical questions during the shooting”, the moderator asked Valentina Pedicini. “Every day”, was the answer from the very dedicated director, who with the amazing camerawork by Bastian Esser depicts both the violent training scenes with the master and his pupils and the quiet sensible scenes with couples in bed. You can’t avoid to feel claustrophobia watching the film, luckily you as a viewer are let out in the light once in a while… but seldom.

Valentina, RIP.

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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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