Watch Docs Festival 2023

Tomorrow, December 1st, the Watch Docs festival, 23rd edition, opens in Warsaw with an impressive program including competitive sections, Main Competition and Green Doc Competition, plus “I want to see” (human rights focus), New Polish Films with among others “In the Rearview” by Maciek Hamela, the director of the film and the driver of the van that takes Ukrainians from an unsafe place to a less unsafe in a country of war, “Big Docs” including films by Agnès Varda and Claude Lanzmann, an online section with films by Marc Isaacs (“The Filmmaker´s House”) and Danish Phie Ambro (“70/30”), short films and many more, with intros and Q&A’s. The festival continues until the 10th of December.

And there is an award to be given to “master of cinematic aesthetics” Austrian Nikolaus Geyerhalter with this motivation:

Nikolaus Gerhalter is one of the most recognisable contemporary documentary filmmakers. His films are characterised by extraordinary formal sensitivity.The Austrian master composes images with unprecedented care, whose hallmarks are perfectly chosen frames and long, hypnotic takes. These films must be seen on the big screen. But contrary to appearances, Geyrhalter does not escape reality in them. This year’s winner of the Marek Nowicki Award for special achievements in portraying human rights in film has always been interested in topics that cannot be considered secondary. And he has consistently tried to show them from a non-obvious side. The retrospective of his work, which will be presented during the upcoming edition of WATCH DOCS, will consist of four titles selected from the filmmaker’s extensive oeuvre: Pripyat, Our Daily Bread, Matter Out of Place (PHOTO), and his newest The Standstill.

The name of the award comes from: Since 2003, the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights has been awarding filmmakers with the festival prize for excellent achievement in showing human rights in film.
In 2006 the Board of the Helsinki Foundation for Human Rights decided to name this prize with the name of Marek Nowicki (1947 – 2003), cofounder and for many years the President of the Foundation, cofunder of the Helsinki Committee in Poland.

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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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