Leipzig’s Golden Dove flies to France
by Birgit Heidsiek
- There was a documentary boom at the 57th edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
With a record number of 42,000 cinemagoers in attendance at the 57th edition of DOK Leipzig, outgoing festival director Claas Danielsen saw a real run on the films this year. “In Leipzig, we have experienced a true documentary film boom; the number of entries has increased every year,” said Danielsen, who has modernised the old documentary gathering from scratch over the past decade. “We have now reached our capacity: almost 80 screenings were sold out.”
Laura Poitras’ documentary Citizenfour [+see also:
film profile], which centres on whistleblower Edward Snowden, received a great deal of attention and won the “Leipziger Ring” Film Prize of the Peaceful Revolution Foundation. Worth €5,000, this award is given out for courage in the face of resistance and restrictions on freedom of opinion and press.
The Golden Dove in the International Competition Documentary Film, which comes with €10,000, was awarded to Les règles du jeu [+see also:
film profile] by French directors Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnard, while the Golden Dove in the German Competition Documentary Film went to Domino Effect [+see also:
film profile] by Germany-based Polish directors Elwira Niewiera and Piotr Rosołowski.
Swedish filmmaker Åsa Sandzén received the Golden Dove for Best Animated Film for Still Born, which earned the director €5,000. Another Golden Dove went to Chilean filmmaker Roberto Collío for Muerte blanca (White Death), a hybrid animated-documentary film. Meanwhile, the MDR Film Prize for an Outstanding East European Documentary was awarded to All Things Ablaze by Ukrainian directors Oleksandr Techynskyi, Aleksey Solodunov and Dmitry Stoykov.
Altogether, DOK Leipzig gave out 17 prizes worth a total of €66,500. The biggest German documentary film festival, which this year ran from 27 October to 2 November, presented a programme boasting 368 international documentary and animated titles. On 1 January, Finnish-born Leena Pasanen will take over as director of the gathering. “Claas Danielsen did a wonderful job at Leipzig,” Pasanen summed up at the awards night. “It’s a very personal and warm-hearted festival, and I’m very much looking forward to my new job.”