ZagrebDox – Želimir Žilnik

Tonight the award ceremony will take place at the 15th edition of the ZagrebDox. I have been in the International Competition jury together with Nebojša Slijepčević and elimir ilnik. The results will be announced on this site tonight or tomorrow.

It is always a pleasure to be in a jury. It gives you the chance to have good film talks with your juror colleagues, in this case with two fine filmmakers. Slijepčević, whose ”Srbenka” is on my ”best of 2018” – – and Serbian ilnik, whose name was of course familiar to me but I had never really had the chance to see his works and understand the important role he has played in Yugoslav film history.

Thanks to ZagrebDox for closing (a bit of) this gap: ilnik had a masterclass, where he showed “Among the People: Life and Acting”, a 83 minutes long film that demonstrates, what he himself called “my Methodology”. The film is full of clips from his films (documentaries and fiction) mixed with conversations with some of the people, who were in his early works. They talk about, what it meant to them to be invited to be in a film and it shows wonderfully ilnik in action as the director, who gives lines to the non-professional actors. You get very easily the feeling of a true documentarian, who knows how to approach and get the best out of the “protagonists” as he puts it. And does so with humour and respect.

It’s the social and political aspects of a society that interests ilnik, whose works are full of critical comments. Among the many quotes  from his films there is one where the director has invited a handful of homeless people to come and stay in his house – going out in the streets of Novi Sad asking people, what they thought about homeless people and what could be done for them. There is indeed not a lot of understanding and compassion! On the photo another example, a woman looking at a photo from, when she was young and was filmed by ilnik.

Around 20 of his films will be screened at Centre Pompidou in Paris in April.

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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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