DOK Leipzig 29. Oktober – 4. November 2018
61. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 29 October – 4 November 2018
61st International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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DOK Leipzig improves accessibility with technological innovation

Festival launches new cooperation: German subtitles via app for the first time, enhanced subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing (SDH) for the first time

DOK Leipzig has launched a partnership with the app developer Greta & Starks to provide audiences with German subtitles on films that are likely to be a big draw. As usual, all the festival films will be shown with English subtitles but this new cooperation is an extra feature.


All the German subtitles for this year’s festival will be provided by the Starks app, a technical innovation that allows viewers in all the cinemas to generate subtitles via their own smartphone or tablet. DOK Leipzig is the first festival to work with Greta & Starks on this scale and the first to make available to all viewers the subtitling app, which was originally developed for viewers who are hard of hearing.


Audiences in Leipzig will not only be provided with simple German subtitles of the dialogue but also with enhanced subtitles that describe non-dialogue audio sound effects and music. Thus, the app is aimed not only at viewers who are deaf or hard of hearing but also at those who prefer German subtitles.


The festival will no longer be providing live translation of films (heard via headphone) as was previously the case in certain CineStar screenings. Since the Starks subtitles synchronise with a film's soundtrack, they can be used in all screenings of a film and in any cinema.


“We are very pleased about this new partnership,” said festival director Leena Pasanen. “And we are proud of supporting the innovative work of this Berlin start-up. It is important to us to present a contemporary subtitling system that meets all the needs of our audience members. We now have a pioneering subtitling program that can be used again and again irrespective of the cinema or screening time.”


For her part, Greta & Starks Apps CEO Seneit Debese, said: “For us, the film experience is like a window onto the world which we want our apps to allow as many people as possible to partake in. Originally, we wanted to make our subtitles accessible to deaf audience members but then we realised that there are a whole number of reasons why people might want subtitles so we extended our range. That’s what’s so exciting, that inclusion can also mean innovation.”


This year, DOK Leipzig will provide simple German subtitles for 27 films and German SDH for eight films. The selection of films to be subtitled was made by the festival’s Selection Committee that chose films which are most likely to attract audiences.


Interpreters will translate Q&As with directors into German Sign Language at screenings of films with subtitles for the deaf and hard of hearing.


People who do not have smartphones will be able to borrow smartphones from the festival at the festival counter in the CineStar cinema.


All films for which there are subtitles will be indicated   or   respectively in the festival’s publications.



Please click here for more detailed information about DOK Leipzig’s accessibility, such as induction loops and facilities for wheelchair users.

Please click here for more information about the Official Selection.

Please click here for logos, images and festival impressions.