Su 24.10.2010 @ 11:00Paul Pauwels

Keisari ilman vaatteita II

Puheenvuoron toisessa osassa Pauwels kuvailee dokumenttien kulta-aikaa ja kuinka vielä kymmenen vuotta sitten toimineet tuotantomallit ovat aikansa eläneet. Tuottajien on ymmärrettävä, että aika on aivan toinen.



Analysing the information I gathered while listening to your colleagues and the commissioning editors at some recent pitching sessions I was reminded of a message that a general of the first world war sent to the french government just before launching one of his most murderous attacks: to the left my army is under heavy attack by forces much stronger than anticipated; the right flank is under extremy pressure and might not be able to hold it’s position, thereby endangering us all, the rear lines are breaking up under constant enemy fire which might expose my army to the enemy’s full force… in brief…these are excellent conditions. I will now attack!
The result was 300.000 dead. The battle was lost, but in the end the war was won.

Let it be clear; I despise generals, I have no admiration for whatever armed conflict, but there might be a lesson to be learned here for us all: when in danger, don’t duck and hide, but be pro-active. Attack!

The old models have died: be inventive or disappear.

To develop my first point I have to take you an a tour down memory lane.

Life was easy life back in the early nineties when production rules where clear and simple. There were not many independent production companies around. Documentaries were very often fully financed but also the full retention of rights by the commissioning broadcaster was quite normal. Knowing the right people at the right position was the most important skill a producer needed to possess.

The proliferation of commercial broadcasting in europe changed that situation. It’s no coincidence that the strongest documentary tradition came from those regions where commercial television was already present in a rather early stage.

The emerging competition forced the broadcasters to improve the quality and the originality of their slots. To achieve that goal they needed independent producers. New companies were created and many of them florished. They produced wonderful and strong documentaries. New subjects were being discovered, new forms of storytelling developped and new audiences found. Factual became popular. Being independent became hot.

The new market situation also stimulated a phenomenon that until then had mainly been reserved for fiction: international coproductions. Clever producers quickly took advantage of this new opportunity and started actively looking for partners abroad.

No longer money would come from one main national source but several investors would be combined to bring together enough money to produce a documentary that in form and content would reflect its international set-up.

I think it’s fair to say that in those days there was a genuine interest in what was going on outside the own borders. This was reflected in many slots on television that were now showing documentaries that were no longer strictly nationally produced. And it worked: the audience loved them.

At the same time many filmfunds started showing a growing interest to support documentary. You would be surprised how limited the possibilities were to get financial public support to produce documentaries in the eighties. In my own country, belgium, it wasn’t until ’92 that documentary projects became eligible for subsidy. This improved support for factual projects would become a major factor in the successful economic development of many a Eropean production company.

I’m not going to spend much time on talking about the Eeuropean support that for the first time was made available through the european commission’s media plan. I know it’s a much debated support scheme that some consider to be complicated and even unfair, but i’ve always been a strong supporter of the whole idea. I believe that many excellent documentaries would never have been made without this support and many production companies that exist today would never have been able to survive without media’s financial input.


I was lucky enough to develop my activities exactly in the period when european coproduction was really developing and money was available; when the broadcasters, the film institutes and the politicians in charge of media and culture budgets started taking documentary serious.

And then… there were the commissioning editors. In those far-away days they were really powerful people who had their own strand and slots to fill and had power. They would be the ones who took the decisions and their word would be good as gold (well, in most cases at least, sometimes promises turned out to be fools gold…). They were also limited in number. If you knew thirty people you more or less covered the entire european broadcasting world involved in international coproductions.

And to complete the picture of those golden days, television was about your only client and a relatively well paying client too. Contracts were simple, two or three pages would do and a child could understand them. Broadcasting waves seemed to stop at the border and the whole tights situation was generaly simple.

Can you see the picture coming together?

Hell, even I could create a production company in such circumstances and turn it into a succes.

Would I be able to achieve the same result today? I very much doubt it. Most of the elements that made life easy 20 years ago recently seem to have been turned into threats, more than into opportunities.

It’s a completely different world out there and I am convinced that if I would try to set up a company today with the same business management background that I had 25 years ago, I would fail miserably. The old model does not function anymore!

La 23.10.2010 @ 22:32Paul Pauwels

Keisari ilman vaatteita I

Paul Pawels piti Leibzigin yhteistuotantotapahtuman osanottajille puheenvuoron, joka julkaistaan kestonsa takia useassa osassa tällä palstalla. Pituuden takia puheenvuoroa on myös editoitu. Puhe on suunnattu ammattilaisille, mutta kertoo paljon kenelle tahansa mediamaailman muutoksesta.


When I was preparing this presentation and trying to decide what I should talk about without driving you all into despair, the analogy with fairytales came to my mind.

Are you familiar with the fairytale about “the emperor without clothes”?

I wonder whether the documentary production community is not living the same kind of lie today? I wonder: should I stand up and shout?

On the other hand, I don’t want to end up as the boy in the “cry wolf” fairytale; the fellow who often spreads panic when there’s no real reason and to whom no one listens anymore when real danger emerges.

So I have to be careful now. How to find the right balance in what I say?... And I don’t want to end up standing on my own when soon my most pessimistic predictions come true and I will need allies to fight the evil.

Well, dear friends, I do shout to all of who you are part of the production game and still feel comfortably covered by the traditional financing systems… open your eyes, before you’ll know it you’ll be standing naked!

To the producers who pretend that the relations with broadcasters have not become a lot tougher over the past years, that budgets did not go down, that the number of slots for creative documentary has not diminished … I say: open your eyes, you’re naked!

To the writers and directors who live in the happy conviction that having a good idea is enough to get money on the table, money handed out by commissioning editors who are longing to work with you, I say: look in the mirror, you’re naked.

To my former colleagues commissioning editors who still do the tour of Europe telling people that nothing has changed, that the old system still functions well, that a world of opportunities is waiting outside the pitching theatre, that they are still in charge, I say… stop fooling the emperor.

This is not really nice to hear, is it now? Actually, i’m really happy that i’m not into production anymore. And quite frankly, I do not have enough energy left in this weakening body to fight tommorow’s challenges.

But this does not mean that you can’t or that you shouldn’t.
I refuse to believe that documentary is dead, like some dare to say. I will fight anyone who claims that independent creative documentary is a thing of the past and has no place anymore on the screens of the future.

To 21.10.2010 @ 13:35Iikka Vehkalahti

Tulossa sielun pelastusta kahdella elokuvalla

Mielenkiintoista, miten usein monta vuotta tehdyt dokumenttielokuvat voivat ulos tullessaan olla hyvin ajankohtaisia. Kaksi marraskuussa elokuvateattereihin tulevaa dokumenttielokuvaa kertoo sielun pelastamisesta.


Toisen, Nokia Missionin perustajasta Markku Koivistosta kertovan, elokuvan nimikin on Sielunpelastajat. Pirjo Honkasalon hienossa ITO-Seitti-Kilvoittelijan päiväkirja elokuvassa keskustellaan buddhalaisen papin johdatuksella elämän perusasioista

Saku Pollarin Sielunpelastajia voi lukea eri tavalla.Minussa se herätti kysymyksen siitä, kuinka paljon ihmisen toiminnan motiivina on pelko: maailmanlopun pelko ja kuoleman pelko. ITO puolestaan on lähes meditatiivinen matka olemisen peruskysymyksiin, aivan kuten Dostojevskin Valkoisessa yössä päähenkilö kuljeskelee pitkin Pietarin katuja, kulkee Pirjon elokuvan päähenkilö Tokion yössä.

Molemmat ovat DPGC elokuvia. ITO on elokuvateattereissa 12.11 ja Sielunpelastajat 26.11. Molemmilla on hienot julisteet:

 no eipä suostu siirtämään ITOn julistekuvaa siten millään, joten katsokaapa esim levittäjän Cinema Mondon sivuilta:







 ja  hyvät trailerit:



Sielun pelastajat


Ke 20.10.2010 @ 12:00Tue Steen Müller

Armadillo ja Onkalo esillä Leibzigissa.

Yhä vahvemmaksi uudelleen kasvanut Leibzigin elokuvafestivaali alkoi sen johtajan Claas Danielsenin tunteikkaalla puheella, jossa hän otti esille mm. elokuvat Onkalo ja Armadillo.



The opening of film festivals is something that veterans like me normally avoid because of boring official speeches and/or a moderator trying to be funny and/or blonds or brunettes in high heels being there for their looks, knowing nothing about what the film festival is there for.

In Leipzig it is different because of the ambition of the festival director to make a long and reflective and personal statement. Last year Claas Danielsen attacked television for their poor programming and funding of the creative/artistic documentary and this year he had chosen a more soft approach asking the audience "to see and hear with the heart" - and act. The emotional speech was given with passion, commitment and point of view. He referred to strong films in the programme and the debate they raise - Danish Armadillo and Into Eternity were the ones mentioned. Names coming up were Sarkozy and Gert Wilders... in connection with the profiling of the festival programme that has a lot of political films as well as films touching upon the xenophobia of today´s Europe.

An opening night that continued in an atmosphere of seriousness and dignity by the showing of Patricio Guzman´s masterpiece Nostalgia for the Light (Like Joris Ivens did in China with his last film, L´Histoire du Vent, where he placed himself in the open land desert, Guzman goes to Atacama desert in his native country to visit the astronomical observatories, to examine the light with the aim to make an essay on the past and on memories. An intelligent reflection, total beauty in camerawork and touching when he meets women, who look for the remains of the dear ones, killed an buried during and by the Pinochet regime. A woman tells how she found the foot of her brother, the foot with the sock, and his teeth forming a smile that she remembered.

to The Eternity ) ja Armadillo. Tue Steen Mülelr kirjoittaa:

Ti 19.10.2010 @ 23:56Tue Steen Müller

Ken Loachin kovat sanat BBC:stä

Yleisradion uudistaesssa organisaatiotaan ja YT keskustelujen alkaessa voi lukaista Ken Loachin madonluvut BBC:stä, jota YLE on monessa asiassa seurannut. Loach on tehnyt paljon töitä BBC:lle. Nyt hän sanoo television tulleen luovuuden viholliseksi.


Ken Loach, no introduction needed, gave a strong speech the other day at the opening of the London Film Festival. According to the Guardian, that brought an excerpt of the speech (Saturday 16 October) the veteran director, who has made several films and tv plays for the BBC, Loach launched a quite tough attack on television and BBC in particular...

"Television has now become the enemy of creativity. Television kills creativity. Work is produced beneath a pyramid of producers, executive producers, commissioning editors, heads of department, assistant heads of department and so on that sit on top of the group of people doing the work and stifle the life out of them...if you´ve got 10 people sitting on your shoulder... you can´t be creative. All you can be is a mess...", Loach said, and continued, "those of us who work in television and film have a role to be critical, to be challenging, to be rude, to be disturbing, not to be part of the establishment. We need to keep our independence. We need to be mischievous. We need to be challenging. We shouldn´t take no for an answer. If we aren´t there as the court jester or as the people with the questions they don´t want to be asked who will be?"


Ti 19.10.2010 @ 08:31Iikka Vehkalahti

Netin mahdollisuuksista

Tuore tutkimus kertoo, että internet on ohittamassa television kotona asukkaiden viihtyvyyden lähteenä. Yhtenä syynä tähän, että netissä käyttäjä on vahvemmin subjekti kuin televisiota katsoessaan.

Samaa asiaa ovat korostaneet myös web-dokumentin uranuurtajat ja rakentajat. Netti-dokumentti on nähty tienä todellisuuden hahmottamiseen tavalla, jossa katsoja luo todellisuutta konkreettisesti eikä vain elokuvan tarjoamissa aivotoiminnan mahdollisuuksissa.

Netti-dokumentti on hyvin eri asia kuin esimerkiksi Dokumenttiprojektin kehittelemät ja, jotka perusluonteeltaan ovat kuitenkin vain jakelualustoja.

Nettidokumentti pyrkii luomaan uudenlaista kerrontaa.
Puolen vuoden aikana on valmistunut kaksi mielenkiintoista teosta. Emmy-palkitun, viime joulukuussa Suomessakin vierailleen Alexandre Barchetin rakentama Prison Valley ja nyt Kat CizekinOut Of MyWindow.

Prison Valley on pääosin Arten rahoittama ja siinä kuljetaan eri tasoilla Kaliforniassa vankilalaaksossa. Outo Of My Vindow on puolestaan NFB:n eli National Film Board of Canada rahoittamat 360 asteen dokumentti. jota on kuvattu 11 eri kerrostalossa eri puolilla maialmaa.

Kannattaa katsoa molempia ja tehdä oma arvio.

Henkiklökohtaisesti minulle less is more ja yksinkertaisuus aivan keskeinen avain webdokumentissa kulkemiseen. Sekä Prison Valleyssa että Out Of My Vindowssa on vielä puhtaaseen, rikkaaseen, ilmeikkääseen, monitasoiseen ja -polviseen sekä samanaikaisesrti yksinkertaiseen web-dokumenttiin matkaa.

Su 17.10.2010 @ 01:32Tue Steen Müller

Nettilehti dokumenteista- Syyriasta.

A new, very interesting, well edited documentary web magazine,, published by Syrian filmmakers and festival organisers of Dox Box has been launched. No.1 includes a lot of interesting articles and comments and reviews and news, that I am looking forward to read further, as it opens to Middle Eastern and Arabic documentary matters, not very well known.



Here is the editorial of the magazine written by director and producer and festival organiser Orwa Nyrabia

It is easy and predictable to romanticize the launch of a magazine for the documentary in a region where circa 350M people live, and make a smaller number of films a year than the 5M living in a small country like Denmark. Some of the world’s richest countries are part of this region, hundreds; if not thousands; of television channels are targeting it, yet, local/regional production is limited to soap operas, and most of the time satisfied enough with dubbing international productions and making regional hits out of them.

TAFASEEL is about trying to understand this odd situation, in details...

... and pushing against such a dim status quo.

In our region today, thoughts of ‘Survival of the fittest’ are the trend, and many cultural bodies and operators are defending the ‘Diplomacy of Culture’ where what is courageous and daring becomes a risk, where a tender and sleek kind of culture is encouraged, all that in a region where ‘capital’ and ‘conservatism’ are growing up together, leaving the ‘non-conservative’ no matter of what kind, out of the financing circles.

Doc-makers, and their subjects, are not the fittest, they are the enemies of diplomacy, they are the ones who cannot be politically-correct, the ones who know that ‘correctness’ is nothing but a tool of oppression and formatting, and they are certainly not conservative. It would be enough to see the ‘documentary’ conservatives are making to know that they come from another reality, with different ethics and remote perceptions.

Documentary Films get made because of an intriguing, and sometimes painful, blend of love and hate, to one’s own life, society, country, world… and for that, it is an art of bravery, even when it seems to be different from that.

TAFASEEL comes today to defend the documentary, as a cultural critical attitude towards the world, as an art, a free form of self expression and also as a possible industry. Defending documentary involves promoting it, but does not involve being diplomatic. It is about development of an art and an industry, a development we believe is crucial to a wider development: that of the human condition.

TAFASEEL will try to keep a ‘different’ style of writing and reporting, which is that of a filmmaker. The articles of TAFASEEL will be written for a filmmaker reader, a director, producer, cinematographer, editor… whether experienced or aspiring.

TAFASEEL will try to present the world of documentary in Arabic, and the documentary in the Arab world in English, and will also build an Arab world filmmaker’s angle towards what is happening in the world of documentary.

TAFASEEL will never be a complete work, it is naturally a continuous work in progress, open to suggestions, to opinions, and to development, with every new issue.

Please be generous with your critique of it, as that is the only way to make it better.


To 14.10.2010 @ 12:00Tue Steen Müller

Laatua Lissabonissa

Doc Lisboa on Tue Steen Müllerin mukaan yksi parhaista dokumenttielokuvatapahtumista maailmassa. Portugalissa aloitetaan tänään.



Doc Lisboa. is one the best progrqmmed festivals in Europe. The 2010 edition goes from October 14-24 and has several interesting film historical highlights parallel to the international and Portuguese sections. The directors who are presented to the local and international audience are Joris Ivens, Marcel Ophuls and Joergen Leth. Which means that films like "Histoire du vent" (Ivens), "Le chagrin et la pitié" (Ophuls) and "66 Scenes from America" (Leth) will be made available. The widow of Ivens, Marceline Loridan, and Leth will attend the festival to give masterclasses. Also to be noticed is a tribute to Swiss documentaries that includes the masterpiece of Peter Mettler, "Gambling, Gods and LSD" (PHOTO).


To 14.10.2010 @ 09:45Iikka Vehkalahti

Taiteilija vai...Greenhouse III

Repliikki 1:” Hänelle tarjottiin 100 000 , mutta hän ei antanut lupaa leikata dokumenttiaan Saksan televisiolle”. Vastaus 1: ”Täydellisen typerää, tuollaista ei pitäisi kertoa nuorille dokumentaristeille”. Pelkistettynä siinä dokumenttimaailman yksi peruskonflikteista.

Keskustelun tapahtumapaikka oli Tochinan pieni kylä Kyproksella. Greenhouse-koulutusohjelman ( ihmisoikeusdokumentteja) vetäjä Sigal Yeahuda kertoi, kuinka Pirjo Honkasalo oli edellisenä vuonna vetänyt masterclassia nuorille, eri puolilta Eurooppaa ja Välimerta oleville dokumentaristeille. Ja kuinka Pirjo oli kieltänyt Saksan televisiota leikkaamasta Tanjuskaa, vaikka siitä oli tarjottu 100 000.

”Todella typerää” reagoi Mette Hoffman Mayer Tanskan televisiosta. ” Jos ihminen haluaa että hänen elokuvansa nähdään, hänen täytyy hyväksyä,e ttä siitä tehdään erilaisia versioita eri televisioyhtiöille.”

Näissä kahdessa mielipiteessä ei ollut kysymys vain siitä, kuka leikkaa eri versioita. Tehdäänkö uusi versio yhteistyössä ohjaajan kanssa tai antaako televisioyhtiö ohjaajalle rahaa ja aikaa tehdä uusi versio vai teurastaako tv-yhtiö dokumentin haluamakseen paljon ohjaajaa kuuntelematta.

Kysymys oli myös perusajattelusta. Nähdäänkö dokumenttielokuva taiteen yhtenä muotona vai tuotantomuotona, joka valmistaa tuotteita kulutukseen, ennenkaikkea televisiolle.

Niiden vuosien aikana, mitä olen ollut Dokumenttiprojektin tuottajana on tuottamis-ajattelu korostunut selkeästi. Kaikin eri tavoin on rakennettu bisnesmalleja tuotantoyhtiöille, jotta ne toimisivat normaalien yritysten tavoin ja televisioyhtiöiden rooli dokumenttien tuottamisessa on korostunut.

Ja henkilökohtaisesti, kyllä : suuri osa dokumenteista on tuotteita, joita ammattitaidolla ja säädyllisyydellä voidaan modifioida eri välineisiin tai eri ohjelmapaikoille ilman, että dokumentti siitä kärsisi.

MUTTA: on ehdottomasti myös dokumenttielokuvia, jotka ovat luonteeltaan ainutlaatuisia taideteoksia. Aivan kuin on bulkkikirjallisuutta, jota tulee ja menee ja mestariteoksia, jotka jäävät historiaan.

Ja tällaisten töiden asema on kuin kirjojen. Siinä vaiheessa , kun kirja tai elokvua julkaistaan ne ovat käyneet lävitse luovan prosessin, jossa luoja/tekijä on ollut keskeinen henkilö. Ei kenellekään tule mieleen, että kustannusyhtiö voisi vapaasti editoida tai kirjoittaa esimerkiksi Sofi Oksasen Puhdistusta. Samoin on myös aivan parhaiden dokumenttielokuvien kohdalla.

( Voi olla, etä Sofi haluaa kirjoittaa teoksensa parin vuoden kuluttua uudestaan tai muuttaa sitä, voi olla että dokumenttiohjaaja haluaa leikata työnsä uudelleen. Kyllä se on mahdollista, mutta silloin se on tekijän päätös).

Niinpä, niin paljon kuin tuenkin esimerkiksi sitä, että Dokumenttiprojektin suomalaisista elokuvista tehdään eri versioita, samanaikaisesti: kaikin voimin on tuettava ajattelua dokumenttielokvuan ainutlaatuisesta luonteesta, tuettava nuorten tekijödien pyrkimystä luoda jotain ainutlaatuista, ehdotonta.

Muuten dokumenttielokuva vajoaa vain teolliseksi tuotannoksi ilman todella suurta sielua.


Ke 13.10.2010 @ 15:00Iikka Vehkalahti

Kuolema keskikoolle, Greenhouse II

Kello on kuusi sunnuntaiaamulla Munchenin lentokentällä ja belgialainen ETMAn vetäjäPaul Pauwels ennustaa synkkää tulevaisuutta dokumenteille. Rahamäärät ovat laskeneet kaikkialla muutamaa poikkeusmaata lukuunottamatta ja erityisesti keskikokoisten tuotantoyhtiöiden tulevaisuus ei ole ruusuinen.

Pauwelsin työhön kuuluu matkustaa ympäri Eurooppaa ja pyörittäessään tulevaisuuden mediabisnes -koulutusta hän kerää tietoja eri maista ja analysoi tulevaisuutta.

Hän kertoo Hollannin tilanteesta ja Yleisradion leikkaukset tuntuvat hyvin pieniltä, kun kyse on todella dramaattisista muutoksista. Saksassa kaksikin tunnnettua dokumenttituotantoyhtiötä tulee tekemään konkurssin seuraavan kuukauden aikana.BBC on kulkenut jo aikaa laadullista alamäkeä, Ranskan tilanne
on aivan toinen kuin ns. kultaisina vuosina.

Eniten tulevat kärsimään 4-6 henkilön tuotantoyhtiöt, jotka tekevät vain dokumentteja. Tulevaisuus on yhtiöiden, jotka pystyvät tekemään myös muuta toimintaa: yrityselokuvia, uutta media, mainoksia jne..
ja toisaalta perinteisillä dokumentaristeilla. Yhden ihmisen tuotantoyksiköillä, jotka ovat luonteeltaan eivät bisnestä vaan taiteellista toimintaa, sanoman levittämistä jne... Pontimena on joku muu kuin raha, ennustaa Pauwles.

Voi olla, että lyhytuninen yö vaikutta, mutta Pauwlesin näkymät saavat Suomen tilanteen tuntumaan aika hienolta. Harvassa maassa dokumentit menestyvät elokuvateatterissa kuten Suomessa. Harvassa maassa Elokuvasäätiön rahat dokumenteille ovat lisääntyneet. Ja harvassa maassa tv-yhtiö ja yleisö arvostaa niin paljon dokumenttielokuvaa kuin Suomessa.




Iikka Vehkalahti, Tue Steen Müller, Erja Dammert, Jari Sedergren ja Timo Korhonen kirjoittavat dokumenttielokuvamaailman tapahtumista Suomessa ja maailmalla

Iikka Vehkalahti Iikka Vehkalahti
on tällä hetkellä vierailijaprofessorina Tampereen yliopistossa.
Tue Steen Müller Tue Steen Müller
"everybody knows him"
Erja Dammert

Erja Dammert on dokumentaristi ja tällä hetkellä docpoint-festivaalin taiteellinen johtaja.

Jari Sedergren on dokkareita diggaava Kansallisen audiovisuaalisen arkiston tutkija.

Timo Korhonen AVEKin