62. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd 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


The Motto for DOK Leipzig 2018 is 'Demand the Impossible!'

Special Programmes: Retrospective on 1968, Homage to Ruth Beckermann

Demand the Impossible! is the motto of this year’s edition of DOK Leipzig. In 2018, the festival’s Special Programmes will revolve around films that seek to bring about changes or depict processes of transformation, with the focus firmly on the emancipatory power of art. “We see the festival motto as a compass that helped us create our Special Programmes. The phrase Demand the Impossible! served as an inspiration to us when working on the conception of this year’s edition”, explained programmer Ralph Eue.


The motto is also a reference to this year’s Retrospective, which is dedicated to the years surrounding 1968. 50 years on, the Special Programme traces out that era’s virulent urge for aesthetic and social renewal and gathers together films from half a century that centre on 1968. “1968” is to be understood here as a symbol of pioneering events whose effect is still felt today. The Retrospective doesn’t approach these radical changes in society and aesthetics from the focal point of the protests themselves, but rather from the margins, with the idea being to consider the brittleness of existing orders in many different places at the time that eventually carried social upheaval into everyday life. This year’s Homage honours filmmaker Ruth Beckermann (“The Dreamed Ones”), who is regarded as one of the founding members of Austria’s independent film scene and received the Documentary Award at the Berlinale a few weeks ago for her film “The Waldheim Waltz”. Her formally diverse oeuvre takes in both road movies and biographical films as well as far-reaching film essays. While the focus of her attention is on the Jewish history of Austria on the one hand, the sheer breath of her political and artistic interests extends far beyond her country’s borders at the same time.


To coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Baltic republics, the Country Focus of this year’s DOK Leipzig turns its attention to Lithuania and examines the cinema of a country which defied Soviet dogma at an early stage. Frequently by drawing on subtle cinematic devices or playful approaches, Lithuanian film redefined the concept of political cinema, revealing the poetic and emancipatory power of images and questioning the political system in the process. As in previous years, DOK Leipzig also presents an Animated Film Special Programme linked to the festival motto, which shows that animation is able to make things never seen before visible and create entire new realities.


The DEFA Matinee section presents a part of the cinematography of the former East Germany that is largely unknown: early student films from the HFF “Konrad Wolf” (today the Filmuniversität Babelsberg “Konrad Wolf”), which includes early works by such renowned directors as Thomas Heise or Helke Misselwitz. One year after its big anniversary, the festival’s 61st edition is also creating a new series, whereby films previously shown at the festival provide an opportunity to look back at the history of DOK Leipzig.


This year’s DOK Leipzig takes place from 29 October to 4 November. Over 300 films from across the world will once again be showing in the Official Selection and Special Programmes during the week-long festival. As in previous years, the choice of films for the Official Selection takes place independently of the festival motto. Films can be submitted for the Official Selection until 7 July.

DOK Leipzig would like to thank all those who have provided funding and support for its Special Programmes: Federal Foundation for the Study of Communist Dictatorship in East Germany, Leibniz Institute for the History and Culture of Eastern Europe (Retrospective), DEFA Foundation, Film University Babelsberg „Konrad Wolf“ (DEFA Matinee), Lithuanian Film Center (Country Focus).


The films in the Special Programmes will be announced in September.


Logos and festival impressions can be found at: