Grand opening of DOK Leipzig< >
Festival director Leena Pasanen was pleased about the increased number of world premieres/ Saxony's Minister for Culture Dr. Eva-Maria Stange announced the patronage of a new award to promote female directors
DOK Leipzig opened with grand pomp on Monday (31 Oct.) in the presence of some 700 guests at Leipzig's CineStar cinema. Apart from the festival director Leena Pasanen, Saxony's State Minister for Science and the Arts Dr. Eva-Maria Stange and Leipzig's mayor and councilor for culture Dr. Skadi Jennicke also made speeches.
Dr. Eva-Maria Stange announced the patronage of a new DOK Leipzig co-production prize to be awarded in conjunction with the European Women's Audiovisual Network (EWA) to the best film project directed by a woman. Leena Pasanen was visibly pleased: "This underlines the relevance of the prize and is a sign that it is an important step towards equal opportunities."
In her speech, Minister for Culture Stange also pointed out that "the festival – on top of its international competence and significance – is moving once more towards the local audience. Translations of films that are of particular interest to Leipzig viewers will be available at all times, in all the cinemas and even after the festival. This is sustainable film culture. Moreover, it's a big step towards inclusion because versions for people who are hard of hearing have also been created. The festival will also be present in the city's public spaces thanks to the interactive DOK Neuland exhibition and free screenings at the central station ¬– radiating across the region."
The festival has expanded its cooperation with the central station's Promenaden Hauptbahnhof shopping centre this year. There will be free screenings of a total of 11 films with audience appeal from Monday to Saturday in the station's east hall.
Leipzig's mayor for culture Dr. Skadi Jennicke praised the festival's programme: "I thank DOK Leipzig with all my heart for speaking up with its films and, in a world that is increasingly unclear, teaching people to look more closely and precisely and thus enabling understanding and opening up new spaces for manoeuvre and freedoms. I wish you all a successful festival week!"
With 100 world and international premieres in the programme, 34 more than last year, DOK Leipzig has broken a new record. Festival Director Leena Pasanen expressed her pride: "The fact that we have more world premieres than ever before shows that directors trust us with their films. They know that Leipzig is the right place for presenting their works to the world. At DOK Leipzig, they receive the appropriate attention from the press as well as from the many professionals here and they can be sure that their films will meet an enthusiastic and inquisitive audience."
The ceremony closed with a video message by Swiss director Claude Barras before the screening of his animation film "My Life as a Courgette". It was the first time the festival had shown a feature-length animation at the opening. Animated features have only been allowed in the Official Selection since last year.
Like last year, the film was screened at the same time in the east hall of Leipzig central station.
DOK Leipzig will screen 309 works from 49 countries until Sunday (6 Nov.) The Golden and Silver Doves will be awarded on Saturday evening at the Award Ceremony in the CineStar cinema.