For the second time DOK Leipzig is awarding a Golden Dove for the best German short film, with prize money of 5,000€. Nearly all of the entries in competition are world premieres. As was the case last year, the high number of women in contention is striking: eight of the ten films were directed by women. Among them are students as well as prize-winning filmmakers. It has also become clear that Germany is now attracting artists from all over the world.
Patriotic Lesson (2016); Director: Filip Jacobson
Changing her language from Mandarin to German marked a break in the biography of director Jie Jie Ng. In the personal and poetic “Foreign Worlds, Foreign Words“ (“Fremde Welten, Fremde Worte”) she shows us clearly how language forms identity and consciousness. The German-Polish co-production "Patriotic Lessons", by Filip Jacobson, allows us to see the way in which the fear of losing one's identity is transformed into ideology. He takes a close look at a singing competition for patriotic songs in a Polish primary school and how it brings the children into line.
Silke Schissler accompanies a cleaning lady in “Fifteen Rooms” ("Fünfzehn Zimmer") as she goes about her working day in a hospice – in which seemingly minor issues and cigarettes play the most important roles. The twilight years of nuns also prove to be full of surprises – they include working in an abattoir and Qigong exercises. Sabine Theresa Ehrl captures it all in "Day After Day" (“TAGein TAGaus“) in beautiful panoramic images.
Head First (2016); Director: Daniel Thomaser
Moving on in life in the wake of drastic change is a notable theme in the short documentary films. The now paralysed director Daniel Thomaser has to bear the consequences of a carefree dive into shallow water in his animated documentary film “Head First” ("Kopfüber"). This hopeful film traces his search for inner balance. At their age, “Mr. and Mrs. Mueller” ("Herr und Frau Müller") are already long accustomed to the fact that Herr Müller can only make himself understood by winking – and that includes declarations of love. Dominique Klein pulls off this empathetic short portrait of an unusual couple.
Evening (2016); Regie: Izabela Plucińska
The theme of love is also at the top of the agenda in the animated films. While French filmmaker Pauline Flory sketches a wistful woman having a tête-à-tête with a glass of red wine (painted on glass) in "Between Bar", experienced set designer Adrienne Zeidler uses a variety of techniques to breathe life into a sultry summer fantasy in “The Woman and the Countryside“ ("Die Frau und die Landschaft"). The claymation "Evening" (“Abend”) is a trenchant comedy that shows how sparks fly after a long marriage. Berlin-based Pole Izabela Plucińska (Silver Dove 2005) hereby concludes her trilogy about the entanglements of relationships (after "Breakfast" and "Afternoon"). In "Mishka" Hungarian filmmaker Eszter Jánka leaves the earthly vale of tears and sets two loving animals in constant metamorphosis before a bright canopy of stars.