“Disobedience” is the
leitmotif for this year’s festival
Motto a recurring theme in Special Programmes / André Eckardt new curator for animated film
This year’s edition of DOK Leipzig, which runs from 31 October to 6 November, stands under the motto “Disobedience”. The term acts as an integral aspect throughout the Special Programmes. For instance, the Retrospective explores the styleshaping and courageous Polish documentary, which has ensured heated discussion at DOK Leipzig time and again due to its proximity to feature films. In addition, Special Programmes involving works from countries such as Poland, Russia or Turkey cast light on the kinds of artistic strategies filmmakers develop in a restrictive environment. This year a personnel change is taking place in the festival’s animated film sector. Animated film expert André Eckardt is replacing Annegret Richter as curator for animated film and as member of the Selection Committee. Annegret Richter has headed the main office of AG Animationsfilm, a German association for animated films, since 2015 and shall continue to coordinate special events for DOK Leipzig such as film nights or panel discussions.
“With André Eckardt we have gained an extremely active expert,” says festival director Leena Pasanen. “His efforts equally take in the sectors of animated and experimental film work, and he is a distinguished film historian.” André Eckardt most recently functioned as managing director of the German Institute for Animated Film (DIAF) in Dresden. He is currently coordinating the project “The Saxon Audiovisal Legacy” for Filmverband Sachsen, a leading film association in Saxony.
“DOK Leipzig is a fantastic combination of two artistically very different approaches,” says Eckardt regarding the film festival. “Where documentary film is immediate and reality-oriented, animated film can and must manipulate quite openly. Animated film creates distance due to its artificiality and is able to get closer to subjects in a completely different way. Together with the audience and team here, I look forward to setting off on a road to discovery precisely at this interface where the two perspectives meet in a creative/provocative manner.”
The films in the Special Programmes are equally provocative. Comic illustrators break with taboos and bring suppressed fantasies to the surface in the films of the series entitled “Disobedient Images”. A work by artist Bill Morrison portrays how existing film material is decomposed in the course of chemical processes.
The Retrospective, “Seven Sins According to Polish Documentary”, uses cinematic history to take a critical and humorous look at such topics as nation, censorship, women or vodka. The Hommage is a tribute to the idiosyncratic Russian filmmaker Marina Razbezhkina. Her artistically creative oeuvre is distinguished by direct and politically bold works in which fictional and non-fictional film are closely interlinked. Razbezhkina will also be appraising the winning film in the Next Masters Competition in her own capacity as “Master”.
The Country Focus on Turkey examines current political and social developments within the country in an artistically highly diversified fashion. The works deal with themes such as freedom of opinion, urbanisation and protest movements. Since last year there has also been a programme agenda targeted towards a young audience. This year the focal point of the films and interactive projects is being placed on hip-hop.
As was the case in the programme at DOK Leipzig 2015, where the strict partitioning between documentary and animated film was lifted, the genres are increasingly merging at DOK Industry, too. The one-day conference “DOK Exchange” strengthens the networking of professionals from the interactive, animated and documentary areas.
Once again a total of around 350 films from all over the world are going to be screened in the Official Selection and Special Programmes during the festival week running from the 31st of October to the 6th of November.