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
Inhalt Navigation "Barrierefreie Angebote" switch to english language Umschalten auf deutsche Sprache get more informations about our accessibility offer


Special Programme films: What comes after the fear?

The selection of around 17 films includes works by Agnès Varda, Rithy Panh and Milo Rau | A short by Jay Rosenblatt about Trump's US

The films of this year's DOK Leipzig Special Programmes, which make up the festival alongside the Official Selection, have been set. The theme Nach der Angst (Post-Angst) runs through all six. In its 60th anniversary edition, DOK Leipzig is exploring the extent to which the art of film can open up new prospects for the future in view of current political events and the erosion of democratic values. Sixty years into its own existence and 100 years after the October Revolution, the festival is also asking what happens after fear and what creative potential the phenomenon holds.


The Animated Film Special Programme illustrates that the exploration of angst does not always have to be serious. The Retrospective focuses on the visual language of communism and draws parallels with the situation today in the post-communist world. It also looks at the current state of affairs in the US. The Country Focus on Georgia explores the situation in the post-Soviet state and the country's artistically and historically motivated quest for new images of itself. The Homage takes apart the theme of angst from a psychological and experimental perspective. The Youth Programme shows how the attempt to escape reality gives rise to certain risks but also freedom.


Some 170 films made between 1928 and 2017 will be running as part of the Special Programmes. Many filmmakers will be present during the festival from 30 October to 5 November.


The Retrospective's title is Commanders Chairmen General Secretaries. Communist Rule in the Visual Languages of Cinema. One hundred years after the October Revolution, the festival is presenting films of very different geographical origins - some of which were made during the communist era and others more recently, some deeply rooted in ideology, others looking at it from a distance - thus providing a multi-faceted insight into communism. It will include works by Santiago Álvarez, Rithy Panh, Agnès Varda and Milo Rau. The Retrospective is also examining the notion that history repeats itself - first as tragedy, then as farce. In his latest film, which will enjoy its international premiere at DOK Leipzig, the US filmmaker Jay Rosenblatt explores his fears since the election of Donald Trump. The Retrospective is supported by means of the Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany. The programme will be complemented by a DEFA matinee and a matinee in cooperation with the Saxony state archives.


The Country Focus on Georgia sheds light on a region which has struggled to find its place between the East and the West since the end of communist rule. During this time, a flourishing film scene has developed around aspiring filmmakers who are experimenting courageously with a variety of contemporary trends and exploring their own identity both self-reflectively and playfully. In so doing, they are also taking a critical stance towards the traditions of Soviet documentary filmmaking. Some of the Country Focus films are works by internationally famous directors such as Salomé Jashi and Nino Kirtadze, while others are by talented new directors such as Rati Oneli and Tamta Gabrichidze. The programme was developed in cooperation with the Heinrich Böll Foundation.


The festival's Homage programme, which is dedicated to the master of archive material Jay Rosenblatt, is also about a change in perspective. By taking film sequences out of their original context, the filmmaker enables new meanings to emerge. His approach is psychological. In his elaborate film collages, he confronts both himself and his viewers with his and their own feelings. The programme unites his arguably most famous films "Human Remains" and "The Smell of Burning Ants" with more contemporary works such as "The Kodachrome Elegies". Some of his works are part of MoMA New York's permanent collection.


The Animated Film Special Programme looks at different aspects of fear. Terrifying scenarios are explored through comedy, confrontation and also visualisation of survival and the overcoming of fear. Some films deal with the subject of angst with humour, while others are bleak and border on horror. They include works by Signe Baumane, Mariola Brillowska and Jan Švankmajer.


The Escaping Realities Youth Programme brings together films that explore different ways of escaping reality, such as the use of costumes or role play or even making the choice to live on the streets. The programme also looks at how the boundaries between reality and fiction are fixed in a way that is both critical and tongue-in-cheek.


Thanks to the KIDS DOK programme, children aged three and above can also get an insight into the variety of animated and documentary film. All of the protagonists of the films shown are children whom the directors treat as equals.

Ralph Eue, Marcel Maïga, Zaza Rusadze, Franziska Bruckner, Kim Busch, Lina Dinkla and Leena Pasanen are responsible for the Special Programmes.


Please click here for detailed information about all the Special Programmes, including film lists:


Please contact us if you need film stills.

You can find logos, festival impressions and other visuals here:


The films of the Official Selection will be announced on 10 October.