DOK Leipzig announces full programme
by Vladan Petkovic
- Werner Herzog's Meeting Gorbachev will open one of Europe's biggest documentary festivals, which will feature 306 films and focus on female directors
The 61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, also known as DOK Leipzig, which will run from 29 October-4 November this year, has revealed its full programme. Out of the total of 306 films from 50 countries, 160 will screen in the Official Selection, which is composed of six competitions and the International Programme, as well as a new section dubbed Late Harvest.
In the International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film, 12 films will vie for the prizes, including the main Golden Dove Award, worth €10,000, and all but one are European. Five of them will enjoy their world premieres at Leipzig, from Swiss filmmaker Christoph Schaub's Architecture of Infinity, to On the Water by Croatia's Goran Dević, to Charleroi, The Land of 60 Mountains by Belgium's Guy-Marc Hianant, The Days and the Year by Austria's Othmar Schmiderer and I Had a Dream by Italy's Claudia Tosi. For the full list, click here.
Female directors account for a full 50% of the films in the Official Selection, while in the German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film, for which a 40:60 female-to-male directorial quota has been introduced for the first time this year (based on previous submission ratios), six of the nine films featured were made by women.
“We’re aiming to spark change with our quota,” explained Ralph Eue, programmer at DOK Leipzig and head of the selection committee. “So we are really delighted that we were able to surpass it right away on the first try. The guideline didn’t play that large a role in the initial stages of the selection process, though; it was just one of many factors taken into consideration. We hope that this represents a first step – and that in the future, we may not need a quota at all any more, as it will increasingly happen of its own accord.”
Women's voices are also prevalent in the prestigious Next Masters competition, where out of the 12 films, seven are European and four are European minority co-productions. The former include <3 by Spain's María Antón Cabot, Animus Animalis by Lithuania's Aistė Žegulytė, Denisa, A Story of a Friend by Slovakia's Mária Brnušáková, the Lithuanian-Italian co-production Nijolė by Sandro Bozzolo, the French-Iranian co-production Tan by Elika Hedayat, Symphony of the Ursus Factory by Poland's Jaśmina Wójcik, the German-US co-production Stress by Florian Baron, and The Sleeping Land by Spain's José Bautista and Alfons Rodríguez. For the full list, click here.
The festival will open with the world premiere of Werner Herzog's Meeting Gorbachev, and the German maestro will enjoy a tribute and hold a talk on "Ecstatic Truths". Numerous other lectures, retrospectives and talks can be found here, along with the full DOK Leipzig programme.
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