This year the competition involves nine world and two international premieres and offers more than ever the opportunity to discover names to remember. Eleven films – of which seven were directed by women! – from 13 different countries are vying with each other for the Golden Dove, sponsored by the Media Foundation of Sparkasse Leipzig, and with prize money of 10,000€. Renowned Russian director and producer Marina Razbezhkina, to whom DOK Leipzig is dedicating this year’s homage, will decide who the prize goes to. Once again we are dealing with bold aesthetic projects that challenge the genre as well as the audience and reveal the filmmaker's talent and signature style as early as the first or second film. Wild hybrids, sensitive insider views, biographical and poetic essays cover a wide range of what is possible in documentary film.
Co-produced in Germany and made by Israeli directors Sagi Bornstein and Udi Nir, the film "#uploading_holocaust" is entirely composed of YouTube videos and shows how new media can be used innovatively in film and lead a young audience to a difficult historical subject. By showing the personal testimonials of young Israelis visiting various concentration camps, it reveals the ritual ‘trip to Poland’ to be an initiation rite that is full of expectations, disappointments and constraints. An accompanying interactive project led by YouTuber Jakob Gentsch, in which young people can explore history by means of smartphones, will be presented for the first time at one of the festival’s panels.
The Third Shore (2016); Director: Fabian Remy
Social change and political conflicts are extrapolated from the insider view. In "Behind the Stone Wall" Magali Roucaut takes a silent look behind the walls of a factory that produces carefully manufactured cardboard in the middle of Paris and discovers a relic of a long-standing working culture shortly before it has to yield to gentrification. In "Convictions" Tatyana Chistova accompanies Russian conscientious objectors to their trials, and depicts pacifists, homosexuals and political activists caught in the machinery of a merciless system – but also the courage of conviction. Meanwhile in "The Third Shore" Fabian Remy portrays the identity conflict of modern Brazil by retracing the life of a settler boy who grew up in an indigenous tribe in the Amazon region. The Finnish-Colombian entry "Land Within" by Jenni Kivistö also reflects on home and identity and lays bare an unexpected spiritual kinship between South American deserts and the far north of Europe with elegiac, dreamlike images.
Sacred Water (2016); Director: Olivier Jourdain
Set in Rwanda, the Belgian film "Sacred Water" considers the female orgasm to be a traditional cultural technique that must be defended against colonial discourses – with director Olivier Jourdain providing a refreshingly different picture of the country to the one we usually see.
The Swiss film "Looking like my Mother" is a very personal journey through time that has surreal moments and a hybrid form. As reflected in the life story of her depressive mother, Dominique Margot faces up to the impossibility of escaping a family legacy. Using impressionistic imagery, Niina Brandt approaches the living environment and wishes of a young autistic man in "My Secret Forest" (Finland). Two more films take on questions about perception and the senses, exploring the world of the deaf in completely different ways. While in "Seeing Voices" (Austria) Dariusz Kowalski visually conveys the way in which the deaf experience the world and asks how inclusive Europe really is, in "Listen to the Silence", by Mariam Chachia, little Luka dances his way into the hearts of the audience like a deaf Georgian "Billy Elliot".
Listen to the Silence (2016); Director: Mariam Chachia
Finally, Andrea Culková explores the inner driving force of art and the art market in a particularly provocative way in "H*ART ON", a film full of experimental fury and Czech humour.