Film Submissions FAQ

Film Submissions FAQ

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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.
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Zwei Kinobesucher*innen bei DOK Leipzig sitzen in einer Sitzreihe und beugen sich gemeinsam über das Timetable im Programmheft. Beide lächeln.
© Viktoria Conzelmann
Calls and Deadlines for DOK Leipzig 2022
Mark your calendars!
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Call for Films and XR Works
First Entry Deadline for Films
Call for Projects for the Co-Pro Market
Early Dove Accreditation
Final Entry Deadline for Films and XR Works
regular Accreditation
Entry Deadline for the Co-Pro Market
Call for Submissions for Short n’ Sweet
Submission Deadline for Short n’ Sweet
Last Minute Accreditation (+ extra fee)
65th DOK Leipzig Festival
Darstellung
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What kind of films can I submit?

You can submit animated and documentary films of any length.

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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.

However, we look for films with a creative approach produced for cinematic release.

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What are the exclusion criteria for a submission?

It is important that the production year of your film is either 2021 or 2022.

In addition, your film should not have been shown publicly before October 2021.

If your film has been released in Germany on television, internet or with a regular cinema release by the festival edition DOK Leipzig 2022 (17.10.–23.10.2022), it will unfortunately not be able to qualify.

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When, where and how can I submit my film?

You can submit your film on our website from 1.3.2022 onwards. Just log in to our myDOK account where you find the entry form and off you go.

Go to myDOK

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How can I submit my film to the DOK Film Market?

When submitting your film for the DOK Leipzig festival selection, you can indicate in the entry form if you want your film to be considered as well for the DOK Film Market selection. There is no need to separately submit your film to the DOK Film Market.

If your film is officially selected for the DOK Leipzig festival programme, you can choose to include your film in the DOK Film Market video library free of charge. For films that are selected for DOK Film Market without being part of the festival programme a registration fee applies. The fee is charged only once you have accepted the invitation and agreed to register your film in the video library.

The DOK Film Market video library is accessible to 300 accredited international TV buyers and commissioning editors, festival programmers, curators, representatives of cultural institutes, funding institutions, distributors and sales agents looking for the best new films for their slots, festival programme or distribution slate.

If you don’t want to submit your film to the festival selection process but only to the DOK Film Market please write to film-market [at] dok-leipzig [dot] de.

For more information, please visit our Film Market page.

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When are the submission deadlines?

We have two submission deadlines.

If your film was completed before 1.5.2022, please submit your film by 1.5.2022. All films reaching us by 1.5.2022 will receive feedback in June as to whether they have been selected or not.

Our second submission deadline is 1.7.2022. After this date, submissions are unfortunately no longer possible. The selection process for films submitted by this deadline will take place between the end of August and the beginning of September.

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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 1.3.2022 to 14.6.2022 a fee of 40 € (incl. VAT) will be charged.

For submissions from 15.6.2022 to 1.7.2022 a fee of 50 € (incl. VAT) will be charged.

ou can conveniently pay the entry fee at the end of the submission process via PayPal or credit card. With the payment of the fee you complete the submission – without payment the submission can unfortunately not be processed by our team.

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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.

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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 entry fee. Simply have your education or study certificate ready when you fill in the submission form in our myDOK section.

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

Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, North Korea, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé & Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe

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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. So please check with your distributor, production, director or film school to see if your film has already been submitted.

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Can I get a waiver code?

Waiver codes to reduce or waive the entry fee are issued at the discretion of the programme team for recommended films. Unfortunately, we cannot grant every request for a waiver code.

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Does my film need a premiere to be submitted?

For the competitions, world premieres, international or European premieres are preferred. A German premiere is a condition for all competitions as well as for the Camera Lucida section.

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

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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.

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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.

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Can I submit my film for a particular competition?

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

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What are the competitions?

The festival programme of DOK Leipzig 2022 consists of six competitions – endowed with our main awards, the Golden and Silver Doves – and one out of competition section. You can find more details about the competitions in our submission regulations soon.

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Who decides about my film?

Every year, we put together a team of experienced film experts for the viewing and selection of films.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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What happens after I have submitted the submission?

After you have submitted and paid your 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 (see deadlines), our programme team will contact you and inform you of the selection decision.

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

If you have submitted your film in full by 1.5.2022, you will be notified about the decision of our selection team in June.

If you have submitted your film by 1.7.2022, 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 entry form.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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How many films are selected?

For DOK Leipzig 2022 we will invite about 150 films to the festival programme, among them about 80 for the competitions and the Camera Lucida section.

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How will the festival take place in 2022?

In 2021, DOK Leipzig took place as an in-person event in selected cinemas in Leipzig, after which the majority of the competition films were available online as video-on-demand for a fortnight throughout Germany.

We are looking forward to the 65th edition of DOK Leipzig this year from 17 to 23 October 2022. What this festival will look like — whether it will be on-site or a hybrid event — will likely be announced in early summer, depending on the ongoing pandemic.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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You have further questions on how to submit?
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