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 sets record for premieres

Official Selection 2016: Big names, promising talent, and a greater number of female directors

This year 100 films are celebrating their world and international premieres at DOK Leipzig. With 34 more than last year, the number has risen to set a new record. A total of 179 films and 6 interactive projects have made it into the Official Selection at the festival in Leipzig, which takes place from 31 October to 6 November.


One segment of this year’s Official Selection are works by internationally renowned directors such as Vitaly Mansky, Sergei Loznitsa, Heidi Specogna, Miroslav Janek and Serhiy Bukovsky, whose films are regularly represented at DOK Leipzig. And this year several acclaimed filmmakers are showing their work for the first time in Leipzig, for example Valeria Bruni Tedeschi. Yet the film programme has numerous new discoveries ready and waiting, too. The Next Masters Competition has established itself as a stepping stone on an international scale: all of the films nominated are celebrating their world or international premieres while hoping for a Golden Dove when the festival comes to a close. This year a conspicuous number of feature-length films in the Official Selection have come from female directors. Particularly in the case of the German and Next Masters Competitions, at least half of the entries were directed by women, and in the International Competition five of the twelve films chosen involve female directors.


“We are very glad about the increased number of female directors in the competitions for feature-length films,” says festival director Leena Pasanen. “Our team is making efforts to strengthen women in the film industry and we wish that more women are in a position to realise their film projects successfully. As one example, that’s why we have introduced a new prize this year for the best female-driven film project.”


This year’s Official Selection is interlaced with films displaying a political impact, for instance by casting light on the fates of three Yazidi Kurdish girls in a refugee camp on the Syrian-Turkish border, or by accompanying women in the Central African Republic between war and taking flight. Several works approach people with physical impairments or psychological illnesses, sometimes in the form of intimate observations, and discover that being different can have social potential, too. Other entries in the Official Selection shift the focus on ageing as a chance for further personal development and the long-awaited fulfilment of dreams. 


“During the selection it was impressive to experience the force with which certain themes thrust themselves into social discourse and change one’s own point of view,” notes Grit Lemke, head of the film programme. “We were delighted to see how the films speak to one another in the course of the curating process and how documentary film, in particular, is reinventing itself via a new generation and through female voices that can now be clearly heard.” 


The Official Selection at DOK Leipzig involves a total of 6 competitions in which 108 documentary films, 55 animated films and 16 animated documentary films are shown. At the very least, all of the films in the competitions are celebrating their premiere in Germany at DOK Leipzig. The Official Selection is complemented by the International Programme along with Kids DOK, DOK local and DOK Neuland, the interactive exhibition on the Marktplatz square in Leipzig.


For the first time, this year’s festival opens on 31 October with a long animated film. “My Life as a Courgette” by Swiss director Claude Barras is also the first animated feature film in the International Competition at DOK Leipzig. Feature-length animated films have been admitted to the Official Selection at DOK Leipzig since last year.


Besides a total of 185 films and interactive works in the Official Selection, DOK Leipzig is also showing films within the scope of diverse Special Programmes. All in all, a total of 309 works will be screened during the festival week.


DOK Leipzig is one of the leading international festivals for documentary films and the oldest in the world. Under the direction of Leena Pasanen, the festival set a new attendance record last year with an audience of 48,000.


You can find more information about the Official Selection at:


You can find our Filmfinder here:


You can find logos, impressions of the festival and this year’s festival motif here: