Warscape Winner Work-in Progress

At Docudays 2017 the winner of the Warscape competition was a film project with Valeriya Treshchova as the director. A film about herself living in Kiev with her father and mother living in Donetsk. In other words, in the war zone. When she pitched the project, she had very little material, first and foremost some skype conversations with her father, who suffered from amnesia. I am writing this in the past as her father passed away a couple of months ago. This is how the director presented the film a year ago:

“This film is a “message about hopelessness”. Hopelessness of war will be shown through the story of my father, whom I knew totally different before this war. Now I learn to show my feelings and to forgive, because ‘tomorrow’ can never occur. The war reminds us about it every second. My dad is trying to regain his life, being trapped into double isolation between his lost memory and new uneasy reality of his hometown”.

I was invited to attend a rough cut screening at the festival the other day together with representatives from the Red Cross, who has supported the film as has the festival, and the teacher of young Treshchova, acclaimed Ukrainian director Sergey Bukovsky. The screening was hosted by Darya Bassel from the festival.

What we saw was very promising. The film, right now with the working title ”Double Trap”, portrays the father in a beautiful way, a charismatic smiling man with a daughter, who goes back home to mum and dad, to a place, where there is reason to be scared. The father enjoys his music, Jethro Tull, John Mayall etc., takes his daughter to his childhood’s school, does the dishes in the kitchen, sits there and gets his pills from his wife, remembers back in time but has no comments to the war going on, which could be the reason for his amnesia. Bukovsky told us about the family archive that could be part of the film as well, bringing back a time where reality was quite different. The ambition is to make a feature documentary.

Look out for this film, representatives for autumn doc festivals.

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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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