Record number of films submitted to DOK Leipzig< >
Film festival receives submissions from 133 countries
DOK Leipzig has viewed around 3,300 films for this year's festival. In the past months the Selection Committee and scouts have been travelling to film festivals the world over. Just under 2,900 productions from 133 countries were officially submitted. With 300 more films than last year being entered, the number of submissions reached a new record. Among the works viewed, interactive works also featured for the second time, alongside documentary films, animated films and animated documentary films. The highest number of submissions came from Germany, the USA and France, closely followed by Great Britain, Canada and Switzerland. But films from Nepal, Libya and Haiti also reached the Leipzig festival.
Around 160 films will ultimately make it into the Official Selection and can be seen in Leipzig during the festival, which runs for a week from 31 October to 6 November.
This year, for the first time, the selection process involved two stages. Films that were completed and submitted by May 2016 could expect to receive a response from DOK Leipzig as early as the end of June. "We are pleased with the steadily increasing number of submissions", said festival director Leena Pasanen. "Being able to get a quick response from us enables filmmakers to better plan their attendance at other festivals – and DOK Leipzig can secure films that are in demand early", she added.
With around 2,400 productions submitted, documentary films account for the majority of the submissions, alongside the 450 animated films and 80 animated documentary films that reached the Leipzig Selection Committee. As of last year DOK Leipzig has screened documentary and animated films in joint programmes. This year, for the first time, there was also a joint selection committee for documentary and animated films. Grit Lemke, Head of the Film Programme says: "The new process allows us to perceive the submissions differently while viewing and selecting them: not in terms of genre categories but simply as films, which opens up new curating possibilities. Everyone involved found it exciting and stimulating to move into uncharted territory – which will hopefully be conveyed to audiences."
DOK Neuland has also enjoyed an increased intake of productions after its success with audiences last year. About 80 interactive works from 25 countries were viewed for selection. The interactive exhibition was held on Leipzig's Market Square for the first time in 2015 and this year too will show virtual reality works, installations, web documentaries and apps.
Alongside films from the Official Selection, DOK Leipzig will be screening 125 films in various Special Programmes. In total around 300 films are due to be shown during the festival.
DOK Leipzig is one of the leading international documentary film festivals and the oldest in the world. Last year, under new director Leena Pasanen, the festival had a record number of visitors, with 48,000 spectators filling the festival venues.
You can find logos, festival impressions and this year's festival motif here.