62. Internationales Leipziger Festival für Dokumentar- und Animationsfilm
DOK Leipzig 28 October – 3 November 2019
62nd International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
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Festival News


Films from the Reel

Films from the Reel An impressive 18,000 metres of film will roll across spools during the festival week!

An impressive 18,000 metres of film will roll across spools during the festival week! While the majority of the film programme is stored digitally on hard disks, in every DOK Leipzig edition there are still a few films made with analogue film reel. This year there are 24 films in 16mm and 35mm format. Most of them will be shown as part of the Retrospective, the Brothers Quay oeuvre, or the DEFA Matinee on Eduard Schreiber. The analogue technology required to screen these films is still available in the CineStar Kino 5, along with the Astoria and Wintergarten cinemas in the Passage Kino.


Of course, it’s important that impressions of this analogue film material appear online and in our catalogue. But if no digital excerpts from the film exist, as was the case with the 59-year-old film … MOVING US ALL from the Retrospective, then an image must be digitised in a more roundabout fashion.


The 35mm roll is loaded on a classic flatbed editor in our office and unwound until the selected film image appears. Then a digital camera on a tripod in front of the table photographs the analogue projection. The resulting images can be viewed in our Filmfinder.


Analogue material requires a different treatment than the films stored on hard disks. Our technical department subjects each film to a thorough inspection before and after screening. All film reels are played through once and checked for scratches, cracks and integrity. Special attention is paid to technical details like black screens and the credits. Once everything has been checked again after the screening, the film reels are returned to the archives or sent off for their next festival.


Wolfgang Samlowski, the technical coordinator of DOK Leipzig, enjoys the analogue optics in the cinema: "For audiences that are no longer familiar with old film, it probably seems messy and jarring at first. But film makes a different impression and has a very tactile quality. It's a product, just as a photo in a photo album is different from the photo file on a computer. And that's the beauty of film — it’s more alive.”


Whether you want to investigate the qualities of this format for yourself or simply indulge in nostalgia, you can find screening times for the 24 analogue films at DOK Leipzig here.

All the films can also be found on our FilmFinder.


Have fun at the cinema!

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