M2M Message to Man Fest Awards

Written 22-09-2018 17:57:02 by Tue Steen Mller

M2M  Message to Man Fest Awards

The festival in St. Petersburg is over and awards were announced yesterday after a grandiose (experienced through photos on Facebook) closing evening that had Viktor Kossakovsky's "Aquarela" on the program, of course, this is his home town!

Grand Prix and the Student Jury prize went to Hungarian "A Woman Captured" by Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, it must be one of (if not THE) most winning documentaries of the last year. If you want to read what I wrote on this site about the film:

There were 3 awards for the Russian documentary "White Mama" by Evgenia Ostanina and Zosya Rodkevich - Best full length documentary, TV Kultura and Fipresci. Here is the synopsis of the film: "Alina and her family have been put under severe strain. The woman, who has six black-skinned children born out of her relationship with an Ethiopian man, decides to adopt a white boy with mental health problems. Will the characters have enough good will and sufficient child-raising skills to tame – and love – the little tyrant? A film for those who have nerves of steel as it takes viewers to the very centre of the family hell."

The festival has not yet published the whole list of winners, check it on the website or on FB.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Hjertelandet

Written 18-09-2018 14:29:30 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Hjertelandet

Stedet introduceres i smukt fotografi, Lars Skree og Henrik Bohn Ipsen er fotograferne. Der er myndighed over disse billeder. Et jysk landskab, som er meget, meget mere end et vindblæst hjørne af Danmark. Det er en egn og en befolkning med en særegen livsstil og en stor værdighed og en bevaret integritet, bekræfter fotografiet for mit blik, som er dannet tilbage i romantikken. Og kvinden, det til en begyndelse handler om, introduceres tilsvarende smukt og sikkert. Hun er egentlig fremmed her, men er så integreret, som det har været mulig at blive her, når man ser anderledes ud og er fra den anden side af Jorden…

Sådan skrev jeg i 2008, da jeg havde set de første afsnit af dette store filmværk. Og sådan ser jeg også det afsnit som nu har premiere på onsdag den 19. september, ti år senere, Hjertelandet. For netop sådan begynder denne nye dokumentarfilm, den anvender så smukt og berettiget de første to dele til i en ny sikker klipning at fortælle dette vigtige tilbageblik, præcis som jeg selv forinden havde været nødt til at se filmene fra dengang og finde frem, hvad jeg skrev om dem. Og det fortsætter jeg så med her.

For her, fra dokumentarværkets begyndelse i del 1, Fra Thailand til Thy begynder fortællingen, og det er som det skal være, jeg er tryg. Og jeg skal bestemt nok blive ved den fortælling fra første begyndelse, det mærkede jeg dengang og det mærker jeg nu. For der er jo i den fortælling en ægte historie, en kærlighedshistorie, som fortsætter i del 2, Fra Thy til Thailand og den historie finder nu sin foreløbige afslutning i en del 3, som er den aktuelle film Hjertelandet.

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Categories: Cinema, TV, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK

DOK Leipzig Enthusiasm

Written 13-09-2018 21:46:07 by Tue Steen Mller

DOK Leipzig Enthusiasm

To meet the audience with a positive attitude is of course the best festival invitation you can make. I thought about it this morning, when receiving a newsletter from Leipzig: They have a good press office in DOK Leipzig that in tone is able to convey what the programmers want to achieve:

We finally have the first film titles for our DOK Leipzig edition 2018. Our Special

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Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Kusturica & Kossakovsky

Written 12-09-2018 17:23:47 by Tue Steen Mller

Kusturica & Kossakovsky

”El Pepe, a Supreme Life” is a new documentary by Emir Kusturica about the former Uruguayen president José “Pepe” Mujica, loved by his nation, being President 2010-2015 after having spent 13 years in captivity. (Photo of the two in Venice).

In an interview with Cineuropa, in connection with the Venice festival, Kusturica says “Many years ago, I was in France, and someone told me there was a president who drove a tractor. I saw the pictures and said: “This is my next movie.” He is probably the only one in the whole world who is not corrupt. He gives his salary away to lower the poverty line. In the film, he says that when you are chosen by the majority, you have to live like the majority – not the elite. He accepts all that’s needed to improve society…

Throughout his life, “Pepe” was a former guerrilla: he was kidnapping people, robbing banks, fighting fascists, and then he studied in prison, ultimately becoming the Minister of Agriculture…

Also Victor Kossakovsky was at the festival with his new film “Aquarela” and talked to Cineuropa, a quote, the question was why water:

… If you are a fiction film director, you search for an actor and hope to find one with a great range of faces who can portray many emotions – who can be evil one moment and good in the next. For example, Meryl Streep - she can be everything. I thought: “If I’m a documentary filmmaker, what would be a good subject, showing this same variety of emotions?” And I realised that water is perfect - the sea can be peaceful one moment and kill you in the next.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Wonderful Losers Win in South Korea

Written 12-09-2018 12:11:00 by Tue Steen Mller

Wonderful Losers Win in South Korea

At the third edition of a mountain film festival in South Korea, Lithuanian Arunas Matelis received the award for the best adventure and exploration film. Here are some words about the festival, followed by the clever jury motivation for the award: 

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Heartbound

Written 10-09-2018 19:16:13 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech: Heartbound

International release: 10th of September 2018 – TO-DAY – at the Toronto International Film Festival / Domestic release: 20th of September 2018.

Janus Metz og Sine Plambech’s films about this tale are Love on Delivery, 2007, Ticket to Paradise, 2008 and Heartbound, 2018.


The films take us to a windblown corner of North Jutland, where 575 Thai women live with their Danish husbands. Fifteen years ago there was only Sommai, a former sex worker from Pattaya. Opening with Sommai, the two films describe a network of strong, resolute Thai women who, through their marriages in Denmark, provide for themselves and an entire village in Thailand. Underlying Janus Metz’ documentaries, "Love on Delivery" and "Ticket to Paradise" is a focus on globalisation, poverty, prostitution and the universal need for security and love. Allan Berg Nielsen’s reflects on these two works, selected for IDFA 2008.

The location is introduced in beautiful photography by cinematographers Lars Skree and Henrik Bohn Ipsen. There is authority to these shots. A Jutlandic landscape that’s much, much more than a windswept corner of the country. A region and a people with a singular way of life, great dignity and their integrity intact. The photography conforms to my vision of the place that was shaped sometime back in the Romantic Age. Sommai is introduced with similar beauty and sureness. At first, it’s all about her. Once a stranger to these parts, she is now so integrated as anyone can be who looks different and comes from the other side of the globe. Then the story begins. All is well and good. I feel in good hands, from the beginning of the first documentary, Love on Delivery. I know I’ll stick with it. I sense that right away, because there’s a real story here, a love story that continues and concludes in part two, "Ticket to Paradise.”


Sommai has been asked to arrange a marriage. She has done so before, found women in her home village and partnered them with men in Denmark. These women stick together, and we get to know two of them. As usual, Sommai has three months to get the job done, the duration of a tourist visa. The person we now turn our attention to, her sister’s daughter, arrives and is uneasily plunged right into things: classified ad, replies, choosing, meeting the man. Kjeld is his name, a nice, shy guy. Her helpers leave. Despondent, she stands in the doorway of the man’s house, the first truly gripping scene. What will become of her, this young woman, Kae?

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Categories: Cinema, Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Sea Forum Public Pitching

Written 10-09-2018 11:18:04 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum  Public Pitching

24 projects were presented in Riga at the big hall of the Ministry of Agriculture (!) Saturday and Sunday. To a panel of 9 women and 5 men representing television or sales companies. Mikael Opstrup and I moderated the sessions that were planned efficiently and with warmth by Zanda Dudina-Spoge and her team from the National Film Centre of Latvia.

Time will show what will come out of it, but good advice, constructive criticism, contacts, “I am interested, let’s talk more” were expressed to the pitching teams that had been trained

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Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /10

Written 08-09-2018 11:24:59 by Allan Berg Nielsen

Ingmar Bergman 100 r /10


Radioprogram i tre dele som genudsendtes 1. september på DR P2. Kan fortsat høres som podcast på

Her kommer derfor og stadigvæk med anbefaling af dette fornemme radioværk flere af mine notater fra min lytten til udsendelserne:


Det er radioseriens anden del. Peter Schepelern mener at solocellostykkerne af Johan Sebastian Bach er menneskehedens stemme. Tina Rømer er på færgen. Hun tænker på Bergmans røde jeep som har været der et utal af gange. Jeg burde citere hendes små synopser i afsnittenes begyndelse, så enkle og naturlige. Skrive dem ned. Det når jeg ikke, men husker dem som en glad forventning. Bløndal Bengtsson spiller Bach. Hun fortæller at Som i et spejl fra 1960 er indspillet på Fårö, det var sådan han kom til det sted. Indspillede et kammerspil som var det kammermusik, i et sommerhus bygget til filmen, i det indre af et skibsvrag på stranden og så med celloens søgende, tragiske stemme, menneskelig.

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Categories: Film History, Artikler/anmeldelser DANSK, Poetics

Nordic Documentary Films

Written 07-09-2018 22:36:50 by Tue Steen Mller

Nordic Documentary Films

Diversity is the word to characterize this selection of Nordic documentaries. Veterans and young talents, classical documentary language as well as so-called hybrid storytelling including fiction and animation in the documentary narrative.

The selection shows that the documentary environment in Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Denmark is based on tradition; there is an audience, there is good funding through film institutions. To put it a bit solemn and maybe elitist: In the Nordic countries documentaries are considered as a tool for debate, information and an artistic expression in democratic societies.

Ah, fuck off, legendary Jörn Donner would say to these lines, a true provocateur, who 85 year old makes a follow-up to his Finland-film from 1971, “Fuck Off 2” is the title, where he sends a sometimes sarcastic love declaration to his country, a journey he calls this personal essay, with songs written by another legendary Finn, the composer M.A. Numminen.

Where the visual side of Donner’s film is straight forward documentary mixed with reportage, the Icelandic “Innsaei” (“The Power of Intuition”) is a personal essay including animation, a film full of original visual solutions, that demonstrates how rich the documentary language is today. No limits from the side of Hrund Gunnsteinsdóttir and Kristin Ólafsdóttir.

The Norwegian “69 Minutes of 86 Days” by Egil Håskjold Larsen combines emotion and information in its journey with a 3 year old child’s from Greece to Uppsala in Sweden. The girl is wonderful in her way of dealing with her refugee situation and the classical approach to documentary filmmaking works here: Don’t ask your characters to do anything, don’t put any questions, be there, be with them, observe…

As it is beautiful to follow the mayor in the small Swedish Ydre, when he goes with a small gift to couples, who have added a new citizen to the depopulated community. With a baby. The documentary, full of humour, gives the information and interpretation of the universal problems of Ydre, but has also a side where myths about the existence of Giants and trolls are visually brought to life in the beautiful nature of the small gem in Sweden. Malla Grapengiesser, Alexander Rynéus and Per Bifrost have made the film together, Grapengiesser also being the producer and the two males doing the camera work. Title: Giants and the Morning After.

Finally the Danish contribution, “Bad Circumstances” by Max Kestner, experienced director, like all film directors in this series a true auteur with his own “handwriting”, takes to the detective genre to carry the story together with an essayistic touch, still with an observational camera style and a fascinating main character, the amateur historian, who wants to find out, what happened to the Danish adventurers and scientists, who died in Greenland in the beginning of the 20th century.

Categories: Festival, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

Baltic Sea Forum Bridges of Time

Written 07-09-2018 08:01:19 by Tue Steen Mller

Baltic Sea Forum  Bridges of Time

The national premiere of “Bridges of Time” by Audrius Stonys and Kristine Briede took place Wednesday night in several cinemas in Latvia. I was in the art house cinema K-Suns in Riga, where the film was screened with English subtitles, whereas the bigger Splendid Palace cinema was for the Latvian version. Kristine Briede was there, Stonys sent a video message from Bangla Desh, three of the masters who are in the film – Ivars Seleckis, Mark Soosaar and Andres Sööt – were on stage together with producers Uldis Cekulis and Riho Västrik from  Latvia and Estonia – and it was wonderful to meet again Herz Frank and Uldis Brauns, to mention two of the legendary characters from the film, who are alive on screen. I hope that this film will travel to give inspiration to new generations of filmmakers: poetry and documentaries can go together.

During two days of training 24 film projects have been presented to a group of tutors, this morning a rehearsal will take place in the new room for pitching, a hall at the Ministry of Agriculture!

The quality level of projects is high and the pitch teams, who are preparing for tomorrow and Sunday, have been working full time to make the verbal and visual presentation go well together. There is so much talent in this part of the world.

I can only say thank you for being part of this.

Photo: Agnese Zeltiņa, the superb Forum photographer.

Categories: Festival, Film History, Articles/Reviews ENGLISH

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