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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Anniversary Programme: DOK Leipzig is turning 60!

Three pre-festival events | During the festival itself a performance by Jürgen Kuttner and films made by festival co-founder Karl Gass

To celebrate its 60th edition, DOK Leipzig has compiled a three-day pre-festival anniversary programme. There will also be several other anniversary events during the festival itself from 30 October to 5 November. In an evening performance (Wednesday, 1.11. at UT Connewitz), the solo theatre performer and entertainer Jürgen Kuttner will present extracts from films and television programmes and provide a sharp-tongued commentary reflecting his unique sense of observation. With words and images, he will delve into six decades of history - that of politics, of culture and of the festival.


This year's DEFA matinee also goes back into time and focuses on the works of the filmmaker Karl Gass, one of the festival's co-founders.


"We want to show what the situation was like 60 years ago and compare it with today's situation. History follows certain patterns and these patterns repeat themselves," says festival director Leena Pasanen. "DOK Leipzig is the oldest festival for documentary and animated film, but we're constantly opening up in new directions."


Films that have been important in the festival's past will be shown at three evening events taking place in the immediate run-up to the festival in a programme called Now and Then Then and Now. Each will be devoted to a particular theme - Politics and history, Young Eyes and Active Art. "These three themes have been a constant thread through the festival's history," says programmer Ralph Eue. "The journeys back and forth through time will be accompanied by conversations in a salon atmosphere." Each time, there will be two hosts, both closely linked with the festival but from different generations. "The anniversary programme celebrates essential works from the festival's past, such as films by Jürgen Böttcher and Volker Koepp, but also by Heddy Honigmann and Inès Rabadán," says Eue. The events will all be at different venues not usually associated with the festival: at UT Connewitz (Friday, 27.10.), at the Institut für Zukunft (Saturday, 28.10.) and at the Grassi Museum (Sunday, 29.10.).


The name Now and Then Then and Now was inspired by two films in the Politics and history programme. The first is "Now", an agitprop documentary by the Cuban director Santiago Álvarez about racism in the US that won the Golden Dove in 1965. While the second is Nina Wiesnagrotzki's "Comparing Now and Then", which refers directly to the first. In her 2012 film, the director uses a split screen to present Álvarez's historical material alongside contemporary news footage of demonstrations in the wake of the banking and euro crisis or of squatters in Hamburg, so as to explore the parallels and differences.


The pre-festival evening screenings are free. DOK Leipzig would appreciate donations to renovate the former "Kino der Jugend" in Leipzig's Eisenbahnstraße. Please donate to Fortuna-Kino der Jugend e.V. which campaigns for the use of the building as a cultural centre.


After the award ceremony (Saturday, 4.11.) there will be a party where everybody is invited to dance with the winners. It will take place at Leipzig Westbad from 10pm onwards.


Finally, the historian and journalist Andreas Kötzing has written a text that condenses his immense knowledge of the festival. You can find his essay "Leipzig im Herbst" (Leipzig in the autumn) on our homepage.


Click here for more information about the anniversary programme or to read Andreas Kötzing's text:


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