Forum Projects

Coutry of origin Title of the project Producer /Director / Company Synopsis
ESTONIA The Call of Silence Prod. Ivo Felt, Dir. Madli Lääne


The Call of Silence lets the viewers enter the world of the deaf as equals and uncover the mysterious and darker side of a small society. The documentary explores an unusual phenomenon in which the deaf have found a career opportunity in heralding God’s Word. By doing so, they have been elevated to the status of equal to God by their own community.
ESTONIA Jesus of Siberia Prod. Margus Õunapuu, Dir. Jaak Kilmi

Film Tower Kuubis

Paulius is young, successful dentist in Kaunas, Lithuania. At first sight Paulius’ life seems all set – solid work and income, a wife and small son, an apartment downtown. But after meeting the charismatic spiritual leader Vissarion, he decides to break with his earthly life and move his family to Siberia, where amidst the taiga is an isolated commune of Vissarionites.
ESTONIA The Kaplinski System Prod. Pille Rünk, Dir. Raphael Gianelli- Meriano (France)


Through a portrait of the Nobel Prize of Literature nominee, Estonian poet Jaan Kaplinski, the film questions the place of artists, thinkers and poets of the ex-Soviet Union and present day Estonia. The film is an encounter between two generations, the director’s and Kaplinski’s, and of two worlds – of words and images.
ESTONIA Mother Ksenya Prod. Ülo Pikkov, Dir. Heilika Pikkov


A personal and intimate story about the Mount of Olives convent and the extraordinary fate of a nun who will soon become an angel.
FINLAND Piter Close-Ups Prod. Pertti Veijalainen, Venla Helstedt, Dir. Mikhail Zheleznikov (Russia)

Illume Ltd,

18 seemingly ordinary people live and work in the modern Russian city – everyday heroes and heroines, who reflect the diverse and unseen life of St Petersburg. These short stories pay homage to the socialist realism cinema of the director’s youth in the Soviet Union.
FRANCE Gulag – imprisoned memories Prod. Jean Miche, Rodrigo, Dir. Stephane Fernandez, Prod. Assist. Achille Coenegracht

Mecanos Productions

Magadan is swept by the icy winds in far-eastern Siberia. Here, just steps from the Gulag concentration camps, live a handful of survivors. They’ve spent a life of suffering, but now they want to testify so that no one can kill them a second time, by deleting them from our memories.
GEORGIA Auto Tour Prod.Tinatin Kajrishvili, Dir. Mindia Esadze

Producing Center Gemini LTD

A film about a very special car journey from Georgia to Germany and back, with one very specific goal – to buy cars cheaply in Germany, and then sell them in Georgia.
ICELAND Those, Who Dare Prod., Dir. Ólafur Rögnvaldsson, Script Kolfinna Baldvinsdóttir

Ax ehf, Estonia/Latvia

The Baltic nations were the first to restore their independence when the Soviet Union came crumbling down in 1991. Facing military aggression and with no support from the major powers of the West, help came from an unexpected direction: Iceland. Those Who Dare is about the solidarity of small nations against the hegemony of the major powers.
LATVIA Born in Riga Prod. Līga Gaisa, Dir. Dāvis Sīmanis

Mistrus Media

A creative documentary about the relationship between genius and place based on the lives of two Riga-born 20th century geniuses – the British philosopher Sir Isaiah Berlin, and the Russian film director Sergei Eisenstein. The film seeks to discover whether moving away from a place and changing perspective of vision as well as thought, can transform ordinary people into the most influential ideological figures.
LATVIA Capitalism at Crossroad Street Prod. Baiba Urbāne, Sanita Grīna, Dir. Ivars Seleckis, Tālivaldis Margēvičs

European Documentary Film Symposiums

Following two successful films by the same authors, this is the third instalment featuring tiny Crossroad Street on the outskirts of Riga. Though enclosed by a bustling city, Crossroad Street has a rural charm, and its peculiar inhabitants always end up in the most unexpected situations that only life could invent.
LATVIA Eliyahu Rips. The Burning Bush Prod. Elīna Rode, Kaspars Rolšteins, Dir. Jānis Putniņš

Film Angels Studio

Eliyahu Rips. He was a child prodigy. Born in Riga, Soviet Latvia. At the age of 17 he tried to set fire to himself in protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia, but did not succeed in his attempt. He was incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital but eventually freed. He later turned to the study of sacred writings and worked as a professor of mathematics. His best known field of study is the Torah. Rips thinks that this book was written by some higher forces, and with the help of mathematics he tries to decipher the codes programmed into the book over two thousand years ago. His research became the basis for Michael Drosnin’s controversial book The Bible Code.
LATVIA Girls Don’t Cry Prod. Marta Bite, Dir. Andis Mizišs

Ego Media

An attractive story about the changing role of women in society after the collapse of the Soviet Union. In comparing the images of women on magazine covers from the Soviet times to today, we see two different worlds. How and why the images have changed and how these changes have affected women – these are the main questions the film will raise.
LITHUANIA 7 Conversations on Serious Topics Prod. Jurga Gluskiniene, Dir. Giedre Beinoriute, Dev. Migle Levickieme


A documentary based on conversations with 6 -14 year-old children who have gone through exceptional experiences. The kids are either gifted with special talents, or have experienced trauma such as divorce, loss, illness, or else they’ve committed crimes etc. The idea of the film is to reveal the view of the adult world that they live in by asking serious questions on life, loneliness and death.
LITHUANIA Luckus Prod. Dagnė Vildžiūnaitė, Dir. Giedrė Žickytė

Just a moment

Lithuanian photographer Vitas Luckus tragically passed away in 1987. But the legend of the rebellious artist still impassions and leads to a journey questioning why are afraid of those who are really free? Answers are searched for in various places as witnesses of his story are now scattered around the world.
LITHUANIA The Book Smugglers Prod. Rasa Miskinyte, Dir. Jeremiah Cullinane

Era Film

In 1863 Tsar Alexander II decreed an outright ban on all usage of the Lithuanian language that covered education, the press, and publishing. Simple possession of literature in Lithuanian became a crime. A new type of linguistic resistance fighter emerged: the knygnešys, or book smuggler, who would smuggle books from East Prussia and distribute them, risking being shot.
NORWAY The Class Photography – 10 Years Wiser Prod., Dir. Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen

Bivrost film & TV as

The lives of five of the director’s former classmates – five Latvians’ stories in a historical perspective – were portrayed ten years ago in a film about patriotism and independence. Now they are adults, living and working independently, and keeping their spirits up in a state heading for bankruptcy.
POLAND Lenin & Feng Shui Prod. Jan Kaczmarski, Dir. Wladyslaw Jurkow

Arkadia Film Sp. z o.o.

A humorous look at contemporary Russia divided by the debate over Lenin’s mummified body. What to do with the embalmed corpse of Lenin still lying in the Red Square Mausoleum? A confrontation of the Soviet cult of Lenin with the reality of a new capitalist Russia.
RUSSIA Something About Women Prod. Anastasia Lobanova, Dir. Alina Rudnitskaya, Script Mila Kudryashova,

St.Petersburg Doc. Film Studio

“Bitchology” is a new social disease affecting young women and elderly ladies. Most women seek financial and personal independence by positioning themselves as bitches. That is why so-called Bitch Schools are flourishing. Women are eager to learn how to be strong, modern, self-confident, successful, and to be proud of who they are, by being bitches. These schools have very few vacant places. But what happens after they finish School?
SWEDEN Daina Prod. Per Lapins, Dir. Maud Nycander, Inta Ruka

Maud Nycander Photo

Daina, 62, lives alone with her cow and six goats in the poorest part of Latvia. The roof of the house is nearly collapsed, there is no water, no electricity, and the closest road is three kilometres away. Through interviews and with photos starting from the Soviet era, we follow a woman, born behind the Iron Curtain, living a hard life in an EU member state in 2010.
UKRAINE Poet on the Run Dir. Roman Bondarchuk, Script Dar’ya Averchenko

SOUTH, Co-prod. VFS (Latvia)

A film about the relativity of success and the price of creativity. Igor lives between three cities, leading different lifestyles among different people. In Moscow he lives a truly bohemian life, while in Kyiv, he is a caring father to his adolescent daughter. But his heart belongs to Kherson.
UKRAINE Positive Prod. Svetlana Zinovyeva, Dir. Polina Kelm, Script Marina Lyapina

Inspiration Films

Positive is a film about Ukrainian film splicers, whose world harmoniously combines the opposites. Film splicers want to make such movies as Avatar, but are afraid of computers. They still keep cooking dumplings the old way, but also dream of receiving an Oscar.




In 1992 Arūnas Matelis established a production company called Nominum. Films produced by Nominum were broadcast in major Europe countries, Japan, South Korea, Israel and others. Studio NOMINUM focuses its attention on film production and distribution along with other film related activities such as festivals, cinema education and interactive mass media.
In 2006 among the best film directors awarded by the Directors’ guild of America were M. Scorsese for the Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Feature Film (for the movie Departed) and Arūnas Matelis the for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Documentary (for the film Before Flying Back To The Earth). He is the first director from Eastern and Central Europe receiving this prestigious award in cinema industry. Before Flying Back to the Earth received more than 10 international awards within one year. Among them for the first time – “Silver Wolf” at the International Documentary Festival in Amsterdam and the “Golden Dove” at the International Leipzig Festival went to the same film.
Also the first short film by Arūnas Matelis Ten Minutes Before the Flight of Icarus (1991) received numerous awards. Film critics called it the “manifest of new generation”. Fifteen years later in 2005, the International Critics’ Week at Cannes Film Festival selected and screened the film as one of the 6 most expressive films in Eastern and Central Europe made in the last 15 years.
Arūnas Matelis is a member of the European Film Academy, a Chairman of the Documentary Guild and a board member of the Lithuanian Film Academy.



In 1985 graduated from the Institute of Culture, St.Petersburg; qualifying as Manager of Film & Photo Studio. Continued his studies in St. Petersburg and in the Institute of Theatre, Music and Cinematography receiving qualification in Film & TV Theory and History. From 1999 to 2004 was the Managing Director of the National film Centre of Latvia. As of 2004 is active on the other side of the fence – set up his own production company Studija Centrums and is actively working as a producer of films and interactive works.



Karsten Kiilerich is a co-founder of A Film. With a life long career in animation, direction, scriptwriting and concept development, Karsten has also won a large number of international film prizes. He was nominated for an Academy Award in 1999.



With a background consisting of a Masters Degree in Film and Mass Communication (studies at the University of Copenhagen and University of California, Berkeley) and professional experience from the MEDIA 1 project DOCUMENTARY as well as experience from promoting shorts and documentaries with Filmkontakt Nord, Cecilia Lidin joined the EDN team in 1998. Cecilia Lidin is course director for a number of the workshops and seminars organised by EDN, and she functions as a tutor and moderator of film discussions, and conducts courses about documentary filmmaking in Europe. Cecilia is a moderator of pitching sessions at different events amongst others Docs Barcelona, Lisbon Docs, Propitch France, Docu regio, and Nordisk Forum. Cecilia contributes to DOX magazine reporting from different film-events and reviewing films, and on a daily basis consults EDN members in questions of project development, financing and distribution. Cecilia Lidin has served on numerous juries at film festivals around Europe. 2006-2009 also worked as artistic director of Odense International Film Festival.



Mikael has been a dedicated documentary filmmaker since he made his first documentary, in 1977, now hidden for the public in his cellar. Most of the 80’s Mikael worked with distribution and theatrical release of documentaries.
In 1988 he attended script writing at the Danish Film School. Worked as a freelance production manager up through the 90’s and organized the film festival ‘Films from the South’ from 1995 – 1998. Made a desk-cross-over from 1998-2002, where Mikael worked as production adviser at The Danish Film Institute. Mikael started his exclusive career as tutor at EDN workshops in the same period. Attended EAVE 1998/99. 2002-2009 was a co-owner and producer at Final Cut Productions in Copenhagen. Has produced a number of international documentaries, among them The German Secret screened at IDFA 2005. An EDN Board Member since 2005, and Chairman of the EDN Executive Committee 2008-2009.



Rada Šešić, born in Croatia, worked as a film critic and director of several short and documentary films in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.Today Rada lives in The Netherlands where she guest lectures on cinema at University of Amsterdam and for The Dutch Institute for the film education. She is one of selectors for IDFA and a committee member of Jan Vrijman Fund. Šešić also works also as a programme advisor for IFFR Rotterdam and is in a committee of Hubert Bals Fund.
Šešić is also a head of the Competition Documentary section at Sarajevo Film Festival, a Program advisor on South Asian and Eastern European cinema for DOK Leipzig. She pecializes in Indian cinema and is one of programmers at Kerala IFFK. Served at the several juries (a.o.Joris Ivens Jury at IDFA, Moscow, Crakow, Bombay, Geneve, Prizren, Zagreb Dox, Sarajevo,Bornholm, Arhuis,Neuwebrandenburg, Strumica, Rhodos, New Delhi, Warsawa, Prague, ZagrebFF, Motovun, SarajevoFF).
Guest lecturer at the Universities- Anadolu in Eshisehir, in Geneve Ecole superieure des Beaux-arts and at Nederlandse Film Academy, at Srishti Institut in Bangalore, India.
As a scriptwiter and director, made four films in the Netherlands: Room Without a View, 1997, Soske ,2001 and In Whitest Solitude, 2002, Way to School (2007).Her films were exhibited, among numerous other festivals, at MOMA –New York, IDFA, IFFR. As a tutor, works regularly at documentary workshops by EDN, Dragon Forum, Ex Oriente, Balkan Documentary Center and Indian SRFTI.
Šešić writes for Skrien (The Netherlands), Dox (Denmark), Film Guide Variety (UK), Documentary Encyclopaedia (USA), Film Annual (Croatia), Sineast (Bosnia and Herzegovina), collaborated on the books: 24 Frames by Dina Iordanova and on Bhimal Roy by Rinky Battacharya. Together with friends Rada started two films festivals and works as the head of selection at Doku Art in Bjelovar/Croatia and Eastern Neighbours in Utrecht/The Nertherlands.



Sylvie was born in France where she trained as a visual artist. In 1989 she moved to the UK where she established herself as a producer and maker of animation films. She jointly wrote, directed and produced the short documentary animation Silence, which won the Golden Hugo in 1998. In 2002, Sylvie was awarded an Animate! commission for which she made Room Service which won Best Experimental Film at Imaginaria in 2005. During her producing years Sylvie started an ongoing creative relationship with directors Robert Morgan (The Cat With Hands) and Liana Dognini (Bye Bye).
She set up Animus Films Ltd in 2002, where she produced award winning shorts – The Separation (Cymru BAFTA winner, 2003) and Monsters (Silver Melies, 2005) by Robert Morgan, His Passionate Bride (BAFTA nominated in 2004) by Monika Forsberg.
Sylvie currently teaches at the Royal College of Art and University of Westminster in London, and is developing a research project on African animation practice and documentary animation.



Tim Sparke is Chief Executive of MercuryMedia, a traditional factual distribution company, and a broadband VOD documentary portal, supported by the EU Media Fund. A graduate of Sussex University and London Business School, Tim has worked at Walt Disney/ABC, enjoyed stints at BBC Worldwide, ITEL and Thames TV before a 10 year engagement with WTN. In 2000 Tim set up MercuryMedia initially to represent WTN and AP programmes and to develop outside production and distribution opportunities. 9 years later Mercury is now a leading documentary distributor representing high profile festival winning titles. Mercury’s current successes include the 2009 Oscar shortlisted doc IOUSA, the IDFA festival hit Sea Point Days and Bilal, winner of numerous awards. The company released 6 documentaries theatrically in the UK in 2008, and in 2009 launched world-wide with 150 titles including Oscar and Emmy award winners.



Born 1947. Worked with short and documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board – as press secretary, head of distribution and information and as a commissioning editor. Articles for national and international newspapers and magazines. Co-founder of Balticum Film- and TV-Festival, Filmkontakt Nord and Documentary of the EU. Travelled to European short and documentary festivals often to be seated as a jury member. Has given documentary courses and seminars in more than 30 countries. In 2004 awarded the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. In 2005 awarded a prize at the DOCLisboa for his contribution to the international development and promotion of Portuguese documentaries. Since 1996 when it started, director of EDN (European Documentary Network). Given the EDN Life Achievement Award 2005. From 2006 free lance consultant and teacher in Danish and European documentary matters. Consultant for Parallel40, Barcelona and Head of Pitching Forum of DOCSBarcelona. Selector and consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DoxBox in Damascus and DOKLeipzig. Teacher at the documentary film school Zelig in Bolzano, Italy. Head of Studies at the European training programme Storydoc.Tutor at other training programmes like Archidoc, DocuRegio, Documentary Campus and Bridging the Gap in Edinburgh. Writes at

Decision Makers



Born in the city of Mozart, Andrea studied Marketing & Sales in Vienna, London and Paris.
She worked in several marketing agencies in Austria and in Public Relations at the Cultural Secretary in Oaxaca / Mexico, before joining the Autlook team as a Festival Manager.
Since 2009 Andrea is in charge of worldwide TV Sales at Autlook, together with her colleague Salma Abdalla. She’s a EURODOC graduate.



Latvian Television is the national broadcasting company receiving part of the assets from the state. It broadcasts on two channels – LTV1 and LTV7.
The priority of LTV1 being being documentaries produced in Latvia or films reflecting a subject related to Latvia’s society, history, politics, etc. LTV7 has several 52 min documentary slots (weekdays at 20:00) for programmes dealing with current affairs, lifestyle, wildlife and civilisation. LTV 7 has also a Sunday daytime 26 min slot for travel diaries.



DR International Sales is a part of DR, the Danish Broadcasting Corp., and is Scandinavia’s largest distributor of high quality programming. We distribute documentaries, fiction and children’s programming produced in-house by DR as well as by independent producers and production companies to broadcasters worldwide.
We are looking for strong international documentaries for distribution, preferably 1 hour but also feature-length and series. Topics should be of interest to an international audience and can range from powerful social and political themes, over investigative journalistic films to arts and culture. Generally unique stories and strong narratives.

Christina Müller has been with DR International Sales since February 2010. Prior to that for ten years Christina worked at BBC Worldwide which is the commercial arm of the BBC. BBCW has top brands such as Strictly Come Dancing, Teletubbies, Planet Earth & Top Gear. Christina worked in distribution on various territories amongst others Scandinavia, Central and Eastern Europe, was in charge of co-productions with Germany and worked on the UK secondary market which included airlines, VOD and Pan European deals.



[ITVS] International promotes programming that transcends stereotypes and headline news to provide international television audiences with new insight into the cultures and people that comprise our global community. We work with independent producers to create and present documentaries that take creative risks, advance issues and represent points of view not usually seen on public or commercial television. ITVS International commissions and acquires programs, and we offer an annual open submission process – International Call – for independent producers from countries outside the U.S. to apply for financial support, production and distribution services.
[ITVS] International is funded by the International Media Development Fund made possible by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the Ford Foundation, and the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
In January 2007, Cynthia Kane moved cross-continent to work as Programming Manager for ITVS International overseeing the initiative and the International Call for funding. ITVS International promotes an international exchange of documentary films made by independent producers, bringing international voices to U.S. audiences and stories from the U.S. to audiences abroad. ITVS International has co-produced 81 international documentaries since its inception in 2005, including the multi-award winning Waltz With Bashir. Prior she’s had many incarnations from actor to writer to producer. She co-created DOCday on Sundance Channel during her 10-year tenure there.



Arte is a European public-service culture television channel. Its originality lies in the fact that it targets audiences of different linguistic backgrounds, specially French and German. It is composed of three entities: The Head office in Strasbourg; and the two members (responsible for programme production and delivery), ARTE France in Paris and ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH in Baden-Baden.
ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH, the German member of ARTE, reflects the federal structure of public broadcasting in Germany. The ARD and ZDF, both state broadcasting stations, are shareholders in ARTE Deutschland TV GmbH. They produce or acquire the programmes which constitute the German contribution to ARTE telecasts. While the ZDF accounts for 50% of the German share and supplies all genres, including cinema features, TV dramas, documentaries and theme evenings, theatre and opera productions, ARD has established an arrangement whereby its individual stations focus on different specialities.
Arte is financed, in France and Germany, through the television licence fee.
Reinhart Lohmann after studying History of Art in Münich and Cologne, he became a film author, journalist and editor for ARD. From 1982 on he filmed political, cultural and economic subjects in many European countries as well as in the USA and Ireland. From 1987 to 1991 he was editor for ARD live talkshow with international guests from politics and culture. In 1991 he joined ZDF and from the beginning participated in the creation of ARTE. He was specially involved in political theme evenings, documentaries, features and the culture magazine Metropolis. In 2007 he became head of ARTE’s political weekly magazine Zoome Europe at ZDF.


Proinsias Ní Ghráinne

TG4, or TnaG as it was then called, was established as a broadcaster/ publisher by the Irish government in 1994 to provide an Irish language television service broadcasting throughout the nation. Broadcasting commenced at Halloween 1996 and from an initial limited base has grown to the position where it is currently broadcasting 19 hours per day to an average audience of 3.5% of the population. The Irish language core schedule, which is financed from a government grant of just over 28 million EUR per year, broadcasts 5-6 hours per day while the remainder of the schedule is made up of acquired programmes in English and other languages which are financed from advertising and sponsorship. TG4, which had been established as a subsidiary of RTÉ, was established as an independent entity on 1 April 2007.
TG4 commissions an average of 350 hours of programming in all genres from the independent sector.
Proinsias Ní Ghráinne began with TG4 in 1996 and over the years has been responsible for commissioning programming across all genres. Currently concentrating on documentaries, (stand alone and series), drama, cultural programming, schedule events and promoting co–productions to fulfill the TG4 remit.



Lithuanian National Radio and Television – LRT is Public broadcaster. LRT operates 2 national TV channels, 1 satellite channel and 3 Radio channels.
The TV first – has few slots, which consist of wild-life and travel type of docs.
The LTV2 is a culture channel with 52 min. slots for docs.
The LTV World is channel for Lithuanians in United States with 52 min. slots for docs about Lithuania.
Number of co-productions per year, average budget
LRT, its Film Studio department is making approx. 8-10 films/year. 6-7 of them are national or international co-productions. LRT’s input mostly is technical equipment, and technical assistance. The financial input is not available.
Special demands and new initiatives: The preferences in international co-productions are given to projects related to historical, cultural, political, social issues, with stories related to Lithuania.



Rada Šešić, born in Croatia, worked as a film critic and director of several short and documentary films in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina.Today Rada lives in The Netherlands where she guest lectures on cinema at University of Amsterdam and for The Dutch Institute for the film education. She is one of selectors for IDFA and a committee member of Jan Vrijman Fund. Šešić also works also as a programme advisor for IFFR Rotterdam and is in a committee of Hubert Bals Fund.
Šešić is also a head of the Competition Documentary section at Sarajevo Film Festival, a Program advisor on South Asian and Eastern European cinema for DOK Leipzig. She pecializes in Indian cinema and is one of programmers at Kerala IFFK. Served at the several juries (a.o.Joris Ivens Jury at IDFA, Moscow, Crakow, Bombay, Geneve, Prizren, Zagreb Dox, Sarajevo,Bornholm, Arhuis,Neuwebrandenburg, Strumica, Rhodos, New Delhi, Warsawa, Prague, ZagrebFF, Motovun, SarajevoFF).
Guest lecturer at the Universities- Anadolu in Eshisehir, in Geneve Ecole superieure des Beaux-arts and at Nederlandse Film Academy, at Srishti Institut in Bangalore, India.
As a scriptwiter and director, made four films in the Netherlands: Room Without a View, 1997, Soske ,2001 and In Whitest Solitude, 2002, Way to School (2007).Her films were exhibited, among numerous other festivals, at MOMA –New York, IDFA, IFFR. As a tutor, works regularly at documentary workshops by EDN, Dragon Forum, Ex Oriente, Balkan Documentary Center and Indian SRFTI.
Šešić writes for Skrien (The Netherlands), Dox (Denmark), Film Guide Variety (UK), Documentary Encyclopaedia (USA), Film Annual (Croatia), Sineast (Bosnia and Herzegovina), collaborated on the books: 24 Frames by Dina Iordanova and on Bhimal Roy by Rinky Battacharya. Together with friends Rada started two films festivals and works as the head of selection at Doku Art in Bjelovar/Croatia and Eastern Neighbours in Utrecht/The Nertherlands.



The aim of Het Vrije Woord is creating informative programmes on topical matters from a humanist point of view. Above all, we attempt to approach our television viewers as frank adults, and special attention is given to situations where openness is being limited. The themes treated are analysed from an ethical, and not from a political or party-political standpoint.



ARTE is a European culture channel. ARTE was the first public broadcaster to give viewers a preview of picture-perfect HDTV. Our programmes are also available on Web, either as streams, podcasts or video on demand.
The Current Affairs, Social Issues and Geopolitical Department is in charge of several programmes such as collections, series and special Theme Evenings.
Collections of documentaries: Biographie, 43 min, L’Art et la Manière, 26 min, Philosophie, 26 min
Daily magazine: Globag mag, 26 min
Weekly Magazines: Le Blogueur, 43 min, Metropolis, 43 min
Theme Evening (105’): Theme on Tuesday is focusing and investigating on the contemporary world, proposing keys and regards to analyse changes and disruptions on a social and geopolitical level (2 x 52’, 75’ +30’).

For two years now, we invest in a new way to write documentaries by producing web-documentaries such as Gaza-Sderot, Life in Spite of Everything, Havana Miami… a two minutes web-documentary on line everyday during more than two months and then becoming a broadcasted 52 min documentary. Also Citizen Maria: Génération 700, a web-magazine focused on the Greek crisis. We have also invested in project: 15 Young by Young (Avantis, Latvia, pitched at BSF 2009) for the 20th anniversary of the collapse of the Soviet Union, focusing on young generation, stories and talents.

Véronique Rabuteau for 15 years produced magazines and documentaries. She worked with several French and international broadcasters (France Télévision, TF1, Canal+, CBC, Discovery, WDR, SVT, Radio Canada). Véronique collaborated with independent production companies for which she has produced films mainly focusing on society, history, science, politics, art. She is also deeply interested in Internet and Web usage. She joined ARTE in 2010 as a commissioning editor for Current Affairs, Social Issues and Geopolitical Department headed by Alex Szalat.

YLE, Finland


YLE, is the national public service broadcasting company in Finland with duties laid down by law. YLE operates 4 national television channels, 6 national radio channels and a growing internet service. YLE ranks first in television viewing in the country. YLE is the main purveyor and producer of domestic culture, and 46% of its television programs are made in Finland. YLE is a limited company mainly owned by the Finnish state and principally financed through television fee revenues. YLE is a media company free from commercial and political affiliations, and its programs carry no advertising. YLE was established in 1926 and joined EBU, the European Broadcasting Union at the very beginning in 1950.

Jenny Westergard is a graduated journalist from Helsinki University and has been working for YLE since 1985. She is currently working as Commissioning Editor for documentaries in the YLE Co-production department. She is mainly commissioning for YLE FST5, the Swedish language channel on YLE. YLE FST5 offers full service 7 days a week and all programs are subtitled to Finnish. At the moment YLE FST5 has two weekly slots for documentaries; focusing on contemporary, human interest stories with strong storylines and good characters in a social, political context.


Director Fredrik Gertten, WG Film/ Sweden, 2009, 88’


Huan Accidente Dominguez, a lawyer of Cuban origin in America, is working on the most meaningful case of his career, representing banana plantation workers from Nicaragua. They’re accusing the Dole Food Company of using banned toxic pesticides on their banana plantations in Latin America, causing infertility in the workers. Can a small law firm take on a multi-billion dollar corporation?

The trial is still in process. The last official news on June 23rd of this year was that the court has allowed Dole Food to postpone their defence speech for a second time.

Director Claudia Lisboa, Hysteria Film AB/ Sweden, 2009, 58’

Beauty Refugee

Brazilian Claudia Lisboa was forced to flee from her plastic surgery-obsessed relatives and look for other ways to prove herself in Sweden. All her family members have gone under her brother Serho’s knife to fix noses, to get rid of wrinkles and for liposuction. The family’s only topic of conversation is their daily debate on Botox injections and exchanges on further ways of fixing their looks – even the four month-old baby’s bedtime story is about breast enlargement. After being away for several years, Claudia returns to visit her relatives.

The Miss Plastic Surgery 2009 contest took place in Hungary last year for women 19 – 38 years of age with at least one surgery. The Miss Plastic Body title was won by a woman with breast implants, a face-lift and rhinoplasty. The winner received a sparkly crown and an apartment in downtown Budapest. This contest will take place every year from now on.

Director Michael Schaap, Submarine/ The Netherlands, 2009, 52’

The Erectionman

Film director Michael Schaap is over forty and it’s high time he try the magic blue pill – Viagra. After a two-week long stretch of lots of sex, he has to think about the side-effects – the psychological addiction for which there was no warning in the medicine description. Equipped with a healthy humour, Schaap reaches out to others for their experiences with Viagra, and heads to the manufacturer to express his displeasure. The film explores masculinity, fears and our modern-day reliance on artificial stimulants.

Viagra began selling its product on March 27, 1998, first to heart and artery patients, but thanks to the side-effects the blue pills became the first ever drug for treating erectile dysfunction. Already in the first year a million prescriptions for Viagra were handed out for a total value of more than a billion dollars. Even the Vatican has given its blessing to this drug, stressing its benefit in serving to better family relations.

Director Folke Rydén, Folke Rydén & Mattias Klum Production/ Sweden, 2009, 52’

For Cod's Sake - photo by Lo Persson

Everything in nature has its role – while cod must perpetuate a natural marine microflora, the fisherman is there to keep the cod from over-multiplying. A short while ago Baltic Sea cod was endangered with depletion. New EU regulations have improved the situation, but for how long? Ironically, the EU regulations also state that fishermen must throw part of their daily catch back in the sea. The film focuses on the un-resolvable conflict between the human need for fish on the menu and the attempts to preserve the sea’s bounty for future generations.

Urine in sea water aids algae growth resulting in decreased oxygen which endangers fish. 30 years must pass in order for the water in the Baltic Sea to regenerate. The Baltic Sea is one of the most polluted seas in the world.

Director William Gazecki, OpenEdge Pictures/ USA, 2006, 58’


Many view Jacque Fresco as the modern-day Leonardo da Vinci. The 94 year-old inventor is a futurist who began outlining his ideas at the age of 8, and has discussed the natural order of things with Albert Einstein and Richard Buckminster Fuller. Using innovative technology, Jacque Fresco created new products in medicine, aviation, the automotive industry, architecture and other areas. He is the holder of patents for airplane wings, cars that automatically avoid collision, and a screen for viewing 3D without special glasses. In Jacque’s future world every action is geared towards reaching a dynamic balance between people and nature, in contrast to the ruling militarism and commercialization of the present. His motto: don’t talk of what humans lack, create an alternative!

We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them. /A. Einstein/

Director Michael Madsen, Magic Hour Films, Film i Väst, Global HDTV / Denmark, 2010, 75’

Into Eternity. Still from the film. Director & match

What’s hidden in the bowels of the earth? The film follows the construction of the Onkalo nuclear waste repository in Finland, where radioactive waste will be stored in a tunnel in the bedrock. When the repository is full, it will be sealed off for eternity. Is it really as safe as official statements profess? And how can we warn our descendants of the dangers buried underground if the waste materials harmful effects will last 100 000 years.

The amount of Finnish radioactive waste scheduled to be buried in the Onkalo bedrock is only 1% of the world’s nuclear waste. In Latvia all of the radioactive waste is buried in the nuclear waste repository Radons in Baldone since 1962. The most popular waste disposal spots in the world are: the Atlantic Ocean (26 sites), the Pacific Ocean (21 sites) and the Arctic (6 sites). There have been discussions on sending waste to the Sun or other parts of the universe.

Director Mads Brügger, Zentropa Productions/ Denmark, 2009, 87’

Det røde kapel. Simon & Jacob infront of monument.

Several Danish actors of Korean origin have formed a comedy group they call Red Chapel, and travel to guest performances in North Korea together with the film’s director. That is how their journey is officially presented to the authorities of the closed totalitarian nation. In reality, their goal isn’t that innocent: they want to wake up the senses of the Korean audiences with their incendiary and satirical shows, pointing at the country’s despotic politics and human rights abuses.

23 million North Koreans are ruled by their „Dear Leader” General Kim Jong-il’s iron fist. The nation has experienced famine, human rights abuses, and the malicious exploitation and murder of invalids. The film’s title, The Red Chapel, relates to the Communist spy organization, Rote Kapelle, which operated in Nazi Germany. The film received the World Cinema Jury Prize: Documentary at the Sundance Film Festival 2010.

Directors Olga Konskaya, Andrei Nekrasov, Dreamscanner, Microstudia Group, Piraya Film / Russia, Norway, Georgia, 2009, 110’


During the Georgian War of August, 2008, film directors Olga Konskaya and Andrei Nekrasov approach the conflict zone from their own angles. The filmed material allows for a comparison between the actual events in Georgia and the media coverage. The directors portray an image of a cynical Russian superpower consolidating authority by artificially inciting conflict between nations. Ethnic conflicts in the Caucasus region have flared up not only in South Ossetia, which led to the war in 2008, but also in Abkhazia. Civilians, whose fates become tragic, suffer in each political and military conflict.

On July 28, 2010, Georgian President Mikheil Saakashvili announces that the nation’s foremost military goal is de-occupation. He points out that up until now the military has been geared towards peace-keeping operations, but will henceforth focus more on defending each village, each street, each region.

Director Ari Folman, Bridgit Folman Film Gang, Les films d’ici, Razor Film/ Israel, France, Germany, 2008, 90’

Waltz with Bashir

One night in a bar, director Ari Folman’s friend admits he has a reoccurring nightmare where he’s being chased by 26 ferocious dogs. They conclude that the dream somehow relates to the Israeli army’s mission in the first Lebanon War in the early 1980s, when they were both still young soldiers. Folman is surprised that those terrible events have faded from his own memory. To solve the mystery, he visits his old friends and comrades. Delving deeper and deeper into the decades-long past, his memories, like surreal images, float up from his subconscious, revealing the horrors of that time.

As one of the most innovative films in world cinema in the last years, it utilizes animation techniques in a documentary film structure, achieving a precise narrative and blending of formal elements. The film received the Golden Globe award in 2009 for best foreign film.