Plenty of praise from the audience as DOK Leipzig anniversary edition closes<
Pre-festival anniversary programme was a success
The 60th edition of DOK Leipzig has come to a close. The festival was a great success, with some 45,000 visitors attending film screenings and events over the week.
Six evenings of screenings in the Osthalle of Leipzig’s main train station, which were coordinated in conjunction with Promenaden Hauptbahnhof and - for the first time - the Deutsche Bahn, drew about 4,000 visitors.
Despite its re-location to the Messehof Passagen, DOK Neuland attracted just as many visitors as last year. Some 3,000 visitors found their way to the new venue to discover this year’s interactive works. “Because the space was bigger and more comfortable, visitors were able to take more time to really experience the 360° films, web documentaries and transmedia projects. The response this year was particularly positive,” said festival director Leena Pasanen. Once again, ARTE supported DOK Neuland this year.
“I was particularly impressed by the many talented emerging filmmakers that we discovered this year,” said Pasanen. “The winner in the German Competition for long documentary and animated films shows how productive central Germany is in the media landscape.” The Golden Dove went to the Israeli-German coproduction “Muhi - Generally Temporary”, about a boy from Gaza who is imperturbable in his optimism. The Leipzig-based company Neue Celluloid Fabrik co-produced the film.
A total of five out of seven Golden Dove winners were made by female filmmakers. A sixth winning film was co-directed by a woman. The Golden Dove in the International Competition for long documentary and animated films went to the Romanian-born Ana Dumitrescu for “Licu, a Romanian Story”, a tranquil portrait of a 92-year-old man who shares his memories of war, expulsions and post-communism.
This year’s DOK Leipzig was made more accessible to visually-impaired film fans thanks to the GRETA app, which provided 13 films with audio descriptions. One audience member wrote to the programming department after watching many of them: “I can say after spending a day at the cinema yesterday that I would always watch a festival film that has audio descriptions again.”
The films nominated for the Leipziger Ring Film Prize (granted by the Stiftung Friedliche Revolution) also attracted many viewers. This year, for the first time, audience members were able to vote for their favourite after the screenings. A majority selected the French-Swiss coproduction “Silent War” by Manon Loizeau.
DOK Industry attracted some 1,800 film professionals. Some 900 meetings took place during the DOK Co-Pro Market. About 75 specialists participated in the one-day DOK Exchange conference. DOK Previews presented 13 film projects, many of which have already found distributors and buyers. Ten projects for short films were pitched at DOK Short’n’Sweet. Panelists have already expressed their interest and potential support for some of them.
“The atmosphere at our industry events was great and we got very good feedback from our guests this year,” said Brigid O’Shea, the head of DOK Industry.
There was also a great deal of interest in the masterclasses given by Sergei Loznitsa (Golden Dove for “Austerlitz” in 2016) and Jay Rosenblatt (“Human Remains” and “Filmmakers Unite”). Participants were glad of the possibility to learn from the two veteran filmmakers.
The three-day pre-festival anniversary programme was a big success. Some 1000 visitors attended events at UT Connewitz, at the Institut für Zukunft and at the Grassi Museum. Additionally, Jürgen Kuttner’s evening of video extracts at UT Connewitz last Wednesday was packed out.
“I thank all our sponsors, supporters and partners for this successful DOK Leipzig 2017!”, concludes Leena Pasanen.
You can find stills from the opening film as well as logos, impressions of the festival and this year's motif here: http://www.dok-leipzig.de/en/dok/presse/download