What is a Documentary?

Life People Reality Subjectivity Perspective Rhythm Observation Truth Poetic World Imagination Discovery Unfiltered Raw Story Real Unique Relationship Experiences History Time Communication Values Changes Memory Passion Revelation Era Generation Commitment Achievement Care Psychology Environment Makedox

What are the three words that come to your mind when I say documentary? Was the question I put to the participants of the development workshop in Skopje, arranged by the brilliant team of Makedox led by Petra Seliskar.

Greek producer Mina Dreki put together a small essay from these words, that came out as a kind of a manifest – a gift to the festival from its participants:

“Documentary filmmaking is not about the truth, it is a poetic commitment and creation, unfiltered or not. Through our subjectivity and perspective, we observe, we experience, we communicate our reality. Through our imagination and passion, we discover the connection between time and changes, people and relationships, experiences, and history. We act as a bridge between raw stories and revelations, our job is to add rhythm and share it with the audience and our era, as if we share our own values. Our world, all generations need unique stories. Documentary filmmaking cares about life, people, and us.”

From, tutoring together with Ieva Ubele, producer from Latvia and head of the Beldocs Industry.

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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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