2019 Will Be the Last Edition of DOK Leipzig with Leena Pasanen
Upon completion of her agreed five-year tenure as festival director, Leena Pasanen will be bidding farewell to the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film following the 2019 edition of the festival. Since taking the helm at DOK Leipzig in 2015, the cinephile Finn has cemented the position of the tradition-rich festival on the international scene and further expanded its appeal as an audience festival. Roughly 47,000 visitors now attend the festival and its events every year.
Over the years, Pasanen has led the festival into new terrain with the introduction of numerous innovative measures: Free film screenings in the East Hall of the city’s central train station, the integration of DOK Neuland as an interactive exhibition, her move to intertwine the genres of documentary and animated film more tightly with one another or the development of the trade platform DOK Industry, in close collaboration with the programme’s director. Leena Pasanen has been committed to achieving gender equality since her very first days at DOK Leipzig. One of the most significant of her initiatives in this regard was the succesfull introduction of a quota for female directors in the German Competition.
Leena Pasanen’s contract with the festival will continue through 31 December 2019, as originally planned. The festival director is eager to tackle her final festival season at DOK Leipzig: “With Werner Herzog’s guest appearance this year, we managed to bring an international filmmaking legend to Leipzig. That was a smashing success and a true joy. We’ve already set our sights very high for the coming festival edition. I can promise that we will once again transport the
festival even further into the future in 2019, with a host of creative innovations and fresh ideas. I’m looking forward to the upcoming year – and for now I just want to focus all of my attention on these exciting months ahead of us.”
From 2020, Leena Pasanen will become the new head of the film festival in the Italian city of Bologna: “I have very deep connections to Italy, both professionally and in my private life. I am delighted to have this opportunity now to direct the Biografilm Festival in Bologna. But it is bittersweet indeed, as I will really miss Leipzig too, of course. The wonderful team here and the creative spirit present at DOK Leipzig have inspired and motivated me time and again over the past years – in these politically troubled times no less – to think further, to continue to develop the festival and to make it what it is today: an international platform for filmmakers from all across the world on the one hand and a sustained audience attractor in the heart of the city of Leipzig on the other.”