World Documentary 2008

I am not going to nominate the 10 Best, even if I like these kind of games. If you browse through filmkommentaren.dk, click ”Articles/Reviews ENGLISH”, you will find the priorities of mine. When I again and again have written ”East Beats West”, it is not only a publicity stunt to make festival organisers and tv buyers aware of the gold there is to find if you go East, it is certainly because originality and vision and non-mainstream (= non-tv-format) is to be found there, very often made on small budgets but by filmmakers, who have something important to say in a personal film language.

Slovak ”Blind Loves” (Juraj Lehojty) is for me the most wonderful revelation to be released in French cinemas in the new year. Serbian ”The Caviar Connection” (Jovana and Dragan Nikolic) is a very special tragic comedy. Polish ”52 Percent” (Rafal Skalska) demonstrates the Polish non-verbal excellence in storytelling. Just to mention 3 of the outstanding Eastern European documentaries that came out. (All written about on filmkommentaren.dk).

To be noticed is of course also the comeback of British documentary, very much welcomed and long time awaited: Kim Longinotto and Molly Dineen had new masterpieces, back came Terence Davies with his Liverpool film, and then came pure poetry through ”Sleep furiously” by Gideon Koppel, ”The English Surgeon” and ”All White in Barking”.

Favourite… maybe today, on the tragic background of the massacre going on in Gaza: Z32 by Avi Mograbi, Israeli filmmaker.

Still: Z32

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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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