Submissions FAQ

Submissions FAQ

Voller Kinosaal im CineStar
© Susann Jehnichen
How can I submit my film to DOK Leipzig? What are the submission criteria for a film? What happens once I have submitted my film? We have put together answers to the most important questions on the submission process.

What kind of films can I submit?

You can submit animated and documentary films of any length.

Are there any guidelines regarding content or themes for the submission?

We do not have any guidelines for films in terms of content or subject matter.

What are the exclusion criteria for a submission?

It is important that the production year of your film is either 2019 or 2020.

In addition, your film should not have been shown publicly before October 2019.

If your film has been released in Germany on television, internet or with a regular cinema release by the festival edition DOK Leipzig 2020 (26/10/-1/11/2020), it will not be able to qualify.

When, where and how can I submit my film?

You can submit your film on our website from 3/3/2020 onwards. Just log in to our myDOK account and off you go. You don't have a myDOK account yet? Register here for myDOK, you only need an email address. 

How can I submit my film to DOK Film Market?

When you submit your film, you are automatically submitting also for the DOK Film Market. If your film is selected for the festival competitions, you can choose to include your film in the video library. The video library is accessible to all accredited international TV buyers and commissioning editors, festival programmers, curators, cultural institutes, funding institutions, distributors and sales agents looking for the best new films for their slots, festival programme or distribution slate.

If your film isn’t selected, DOK Film Market also selects more titles with international appeal from the festival submissions. Please indicate in the submission form if you would like to be considered also for this selection. We charge fees to participate in this selection. Please refer to our DOK Film Market page for more information.

If you don’t want to submit your film to the festival selection process but only to the DOK Film Market please contact the DOK Film Market team.

When are the submission deadlines?

We have two submission deadlines. If your film was completed before 1/5/2020, please submit your film to us by 5/5/2020. The advantage of this submission deadline is that all films that have reached us by 5/5/2020 will receive feedback in June as to whether they have been selected or not.

Our second submission deadline is 7/7/2020. After this date, submissions are unfortunately no longer possible. The re-registration for films submitted by this deadline will take place between the end of August and the beginning of September.

Is there a submission fee and when, where and how do I have to pay it?

Yes, there is an entry fee and it is divided into two phases:

For submissions from 3/3/2020 to 1/7/2020 a fee of 40€ (incl. VAT) will be charged.

For submissions from 1/7/2020 to 7/7/2020 a fee of 50€ (incl. VAT) will be charged.

You can conveniently pay the submission fee at the end of the submission process via PayPal, credit card or Apple Pay. With the payment of the fee you complete the submission - without the payment of the fee the submission can unfortunately not be processed by our team.

Why is there a submission fee?

We are very happy about every submission and about the fact that there have been more and more in the past years. Unfortunately, more submissions also mean more administrative work on our side. Therefore a submission fee has become indispensable. This is how we ensure that each film is carefully screened and evaluated.

Can I be exempted from the submission fee?

If your film was made as part of your education or studies, it can be exempted from the submission fee. Simply have your education or study certificate ready when you fill out the submission form in our myDOK section.

Films from the following production countries are exempt from the submission fee – the exemption happens automatically in the submission form:

Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Congo, Congo Dem. Rep., Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Eswatini, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Sao Tome & Principe, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

Can I get a refund of the entry fee?

Unfortunately we cannot refund the entry fee. Please make sure that your film complies with our regulations.

Sometimes it happens that a film is submitted by more than one film team member. Please check with your distributor, production, director or film school to see if your film has already been submitted.

Can I get a waiver code?

Waiver codes to reduce or waive the submission fee are issued at the discretion of the Programme Department for recommended films. We cannot grant every request for a waiver code.

Does my film need a premiere to be submitted?

To be considered for the competition sections, your film needs at least a German premiere – world premieres or international premieres are preferred. 

If your film has already had its German premiere, it will unfortunately no longer be considered for the festival competitions. Films without a German premiere can be submitted to our Kids DOK programme and to the New German Animation section.

What do I do if I get an invitation to another festival?

If the premiere status of your film changes after submission, because you have been invited to another festival or because a release date is coming up, please contact our programme team. In exceptional cases, we can speed up the decision-making process for a film so that you can weigh up our decision against the other options for your film.

What is the difference between world premieres, international, European and German premieres?

World premiere means that your film has never been shown publicly. Excluded are private screenings of the film or team premieres, where only the narrow circle of participants is present.

International premiere means that your film has already been shown publicly in its country(ies) of production but not yet in another country. For example, if your film is from Malaysia and has already been shown there but nowhere else, its screening in Germany would be an international premiere.

European Premiere means that your film has already been shown to the public outside Europe but not yet in Europe. For example, if your film has already been shown in India and Argentina but nowhere else, its screening in Germany would be a European premiere.

German premiere means that your film has never been shown publicly in Germany but has been shown outside of Germany and outside of its country(ies) of production. For example, if your film is from Greece and has already been shown there and additionally in Sweden and Canada, but not yet in Germany, its screening in Germany would be a German premiere.

No premiere means that the film has already been shown to the public in Germany.

Can I submit my film for a particular competition?

You can feel completely free in your submission: you simply submit for the competitions in general and not for specific sections. The assignment to the sections will be made by our selection team.

What are the competitions?

The festival programme of DOK Leipzig 2020 comprises five competitions, endowed with our main awards, the Golden and Silver Doves, and an audience award. Further prizes are offered by our partners. You can find more details about the six competitions in our submission regulations.

Who decides about my film?

Every year, we put together a team of experienced film experts for the viewing and selection of films. Read more about the members of this year's selection team.

What kind of preview file should I submit?

In our submission form you have the possibility to insert a screening link. A password-protected vimeo link, for example, is a good idea.

Which language version must my submitted film have?

In general, of course, we are happy to view and evaluate films in all languages. However, films whose original language is not German or English need subtitles in German or English in order for us to understand them.

If your film is selected, it will need English subtitles in any case.

Can I submit rough cuts?

Yes, we are happy to be entrusted with your rough cut. You should bear in mind that we rarely have enough time to view films in different versions several times. Therefore, we recommend that you should feel confident that the rough or fine cut version you want to send us is the version that best represents your vision. In the submission form, you can inform us of any changes that need to be made until the final version is ready.

Can I submit additional material?

You are welcome to provide us with additional material such as EPKs (Electronic Press Kit), links to trailers, stills, dialogue lists, biographies and filmographies of the directors. In the submission form you have the possibility to upload the documents.

What happens after I have submitted the submission?

After you have submitted and paid the entry, the submitted data will be checked by our programme team. If anything is missing or unclear, we will contact you immediately. So if you do not hear from us, your submission is complete and ready for review.

Our selection team will review your film and discuss it and all other submitted films over a period of several weeks.

As soon as the selection is completed in June or August, our programme team will contact you and inform you of the selection decision.

When and how will I know if my film has been selected?

If you have submitted your film in full by 5/5/2020, you will be notified about the decision of our selection team in June.

If you have submitted your film by 7/7/2020, you will be notified about the decision of our selection team at the end of August.

The decision letter will be sent by e-mail to the person who was specified as the submitter in the submission form.

Who can I contact if something changes in my submission?

If your submission has changed or if an error has crept in, you can always contact our programme team. We will be happy to adjust the data record of your film.

Can I submit a series?

So far we do not have a separate section for series formats, but this does not mean that we generally reject series. Feel free to contact our programme team – together we will certainly find a good solution.

Can I submit a hybrid film?

Absolutely and with pleasure! Films that combine documentary narration and animation have always been a natural part of our selection. We are also happy to receive films that combine fictional and documentary elements. And of course we are also happy to consider fictional animated films.

How many films are selected?

For DOK Leipzig 2020 we will invite about 120 films for the competitions.

What screening format will my film need once it has been selected?

For the screening of your film we need a DCP or a HD video file, which we can convert into a DCP. You do not need to have a screening format ready when you submit your film – this will only become relevant once your film has been selected.

If my film was rejected last year, can I resubmit it?

We can only accept resubmissions of films that have already been rejected in exceptional cases. Usually it can work out if the first submission of your film was a raw version where significant things have changed in the meantime. Please contact our programme team before resubmitting your film.

What happens to my film if it is rejected?

If your film is rejected, the basic film information will remain in our database for archival and research purposes. Film files and viewing links will be deleted.

You have further questions concerning the submissions?

Please contact our programme team by e-mail or phone.

Programme Team

Kim Busch, Lina Dinkla

programm [at] dok-leipzig [dot] de 
+49 (0)341 30864-1020