Leena Pasanen confirmed as new artistic director of DOK Leipzig
The Finn Leena Pasanen will take over as festival director of DOK Leipzig on 1 January 2015, a decision taken by the Leipzig Municipal Council on Wednesday. The 49-year-old documentary film expert will have a five-year contract as festival director of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film and also serve as managing director of the municipal Leipziger Dok-Filmwochen GmbH (limited company). She succeeds Claas Danielsen, who is leaving the Festival after ten years.
Pasanen was present when the Council made their decision and declared herself pleased at the outcome: “I have known the festival for a long time and have always respected and admired it. It stands out with its history and has a very special atmosphere. What Claas Danielsen has done with DOK Leipzig is a pure success story and I’m truly honored to continue his work. The city of Leipzig has offered me one of its treasures and I promise to take good care of it. And I’m thrilled that I will be calling Leipzig my home soon.”
Leipzig’s Mayor for Cultural Affairs, Michael Faber, welcomed the new festival director of the renowned Film Festival on behalf of the municipal administration: “I’m delighted that the Council approved the appointment of Ms Pasanen. With her extensive experience in documentary film and thanks to her excellent network, Ms Pasanen will be in a position to further consolidate the Festival’s success.”
The Finn is the first foreign festival director in the almost 60-year history of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films. Leena Pasanen currently still directs the Finnagora cultural institute at the Finnish Embassy in Budapest. Previously, she held various management positions at the Finnish television broadcaster YLE. Pasanen was responsible for documentaries on YLE 1, then led the cultural and documentary programming division of the digital special-interest channel YLE Teema and later worked as a programme coordinator. She also spent three years as director of the European Documentary Network in Copenhagen.