DOK Leipzig introduces the Golden Dove award for a feature-length animated film
by Vlad Marina
- In addition to the new prize, worth up to €3,000, the festival is restructuring its competition sections
DOK Leipzig has announced that it is introducing a new award starting from its 66th edition, taking place this year from 8-15 October. The Golden Dove for a feature-length animated film will include at least €3,000 in prize money, depending on the sponsor, who will be announced at a later date.
Behind it is, as festival director Christoph Terhechte explains, a desire to let animation tread its own path: “Every year, we’ve been seeing feature-length animated films of very high artistic quality. In recent years, these animated titles have been competing alongside documentaries for the Golden and Silver Doves. We now intend to change that and award a Golden Dove for a feature-length international documentary as well as a separate one for a feature-length animated film – as we’ve been doing with the short films.”
The addition of the Golden Dove for a feature-length animated film comes with important changes in DOK Leipzig’s programming structure. The International Competitions are being split into the International Competition Documentary Film and the International Competition Animated Film. The former German Competitions will, in turn, be replaced by a single German Competition Documentary Film. This means that German animated pictures will be screened together with their international peers. Finally, the Audience Award Competitions are being merged into the Audience Competition, resulting in an overall programme scheme of four, denser, competitive sections.
While DOK Leipzig’s engagement with animation film is a well-established tradition – the dedicated international competition dates as far back as 1995 – it is worth noting that it was only in 2015 that animated features also became eligible for awards. Now, with the festival’s latest revamp, the distinction between shorts and features itself is being partially discarded: except for the Audience Competition, the competitions will be open to films of any length. The awards are, however, to remain separate, bearing in mind the usual DOK Leipzig 40-minute threshold. The Golden Dove for a short animated film and the two Golden Doves in the International Competition Documentary Film remain the most relevant from an industry perspective, as their winners qualify for a nomination for the Academy Awards.
Outside the competitions, DOK Leipzig will keep its habitual Camera Lucida and Panorama sections, home to a selection of contemporary documentaries and animated films. Although not in the race for the major festival prizes, the works screened here may still be nominated for partnership awards.
This year, DOK Leipzig takes place from 8-15 October. The main call for submissions opens on 15 February, and XR works can be submitted from March onwards.
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