54th DOK Leipzig: plenty of European prize-winners and record attendance figures
by Bénédicte Prot
While the Golden Dove at the 54th DOK Leipzig Festival (October 17-23) went to a Mexican title (The Tiniest Place was crowned Best Documentary), Europe didn’t go home empty-handed. Indeed, the Silver Dove went to Wojciech Staron’s Argentinean Lesson (pictured), while Aliona van der Horst’s artistic and woman-centred Dutch documentaryWater Children was awarded a Special Mention.
In the Best German Documentary category, the Golden Dove went to Katharina Pethke for Louisa, which traces the sensory emancipation of a young girl suffering from a handicap. Another German woman director also triumphed: Carmen Losmann nabbed the FIPRESCI Prize, the Ecumenical Jury Prize and the Award for Best Documentary on Work-related Topics for Work Hard – Play Hard [+see also:
The Talent Dove for Best Documentary by a Newcomer was awarded to Israeli title Life in Stills, while Pawel Kloc’s Polish film Phnom Penh Lullaby and Salomé Jashi’s German/Georgian co-production Bakhmaro received Special Mentions. Finally, the Award for Best Documentary of 45 Minutes or less was presented to Scottish talent Julian Schwanitz for Kirkcaldy Man.
Among the animated films, British helmer Will Anderson scooped the Golden Dove for his short film The Making of Longbird, which also won the Audience Award, and Slovakia’s Daniela Krajcová won the Silver Dove for Blue Red. A Special Mention was given to Ülo Pikkov’s Estonian short Body Memory.
This 54th edition of DOK Leipzig was a big success, with a record number of 37,000 viewers and a sustained level of participation on the industry side after last year’s record, with 1,431 accredited visitors representing 58 countries. Festival director Claas Danielsen has confirmed that this edition was the best to date, with the audiences’ enthusiasm matched only by the interest shown by professionals in the activities on offer.
Moreover, Danielsen said he was amazed by the strong demand for documentaries and animated titles from audiences, particularly young people, and explained the festival’s packed theatres by an ever-growing need to try to better understand our world and our era through documentaries.
(Translated from French)
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