Festival Opening 2018
DOK Leipzig opened in style this evening with the screening of Meeting Gorbachev, the new documentary by Werner Herzog and André Singer, before an audience of around 700 people, presented by the director Werner Herzog himself at CineStar Leipzig.
Simultaneously, the film was screened at the Osthalle of the Central Station, where a several hundred film fans joined the public screening. After the film, Werner Herzog also welcomed the audience at the Central Station.
Alongside festival director Leena Pasanen, State Secretary at the Ministry for Science and Art Uwe Gaul and Mayor of Leipzig and Culture Deputy Dr. Skadi Jennicke were on hand to welcome the guests at CineStar and open the 61st edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film.
As already last year, the participation of female directors was a central question of the opening this year. Since coming to office, festival director Leena Pasanen has also given her support to equal opportunities in the film industry. Having announced to introduce a quota of 40 percent for female directors in the German Competition together with programmer Ralph Eue, the expectations of the quota have been surpassed in the end: Six of the nine films in the German Competition are made by female directors.
Socially relevant and controversial themes are also depicted in the Special Programmes: the motto of the 2018 edition of DOK Leipzig is Demand the Impossible! and the festival revolves around films that seek to bring about change or depict processes of transformation.
Following the opening ceremony, director Werner Herzog himself presented the film Meeting Gorbachev to the audience. "For both the festival and the city of Leipzig, it’s a great asset to have Werner Herzog and André Singer here with us to show their film. What setting could be more suitable for the film than the biggest and oldest film festival in eastern Germany?", commented festival director Leena Pasanen.
DOK Leipzig will show a total of 306 works from 50 countries until Sunday, 4 November. The Golden Doves will be handed out on Saturday evening, 3 November at the award ceremony.