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Curtains Up! Presenting The Competitions for the Golden Doves 2023

“After quite a lot of films with personal approaches were made during the pandemic, this year the films are again looking more at socially and politically overarching themes. Also to understand what is happening in the present or how we can shape the future differently”, says festival director Christoph Terhechte about this year’s programme.

71 films are competing for the Golden and Silver Doves this year, and a total of 225 films and XR works will screen at the 2023 festival. We are proud and full of anticipation to see the works on the big screen soon! The release of the film schedule also marks the start of online ticket sales for the festival. Find all films and tickets here.

Four competitions with 35 world premieres

The International Competition Documentary Film includes 10 feature-length films and 13 short films. Debut films as well as productions by established filmmakers are part of the programme: Peter Mettler reflects on human existence, while Nikolaus Geyrhalter observes the stasis of life in Vienna during the times of Corona. A young Armenian family embarks on a quest for queer normality, and in Rwanda, young filmmaker Sarah Mallégol documents the impressive strength of the survivors of the genocide 1994.

For the International Competition Animated Film, a total of 27 productions have been selected. A virtual game and dystopian scenario becomes the place where filmmakers interview their protagonists, while in “Sultana's Dream” we travel to the utopian land of women. John Heartfield posthumously politicises a local graphic designer and in China the graduate of a music school is confronted with the professional reality of artists.

The German Competition Documentary Film features 8 short and 9 feature-length documentaries. Grit Lemke portrays the forgotten culture of the Sorbs, “One Hundred Four” documents a rescue at sea in the Mediterranean in real time and “Sick Girls” deals with ADHD from the female perspective. Old Super 8 footage of an idyllic family life uncovers the bitter truth of domestic violence, while three films deal with Germany's colonial past and and its remnants in the present day.

Eight feature-length documentaries have been nominated for the Audience Competition. Many of them have already made a name for themselves at major international film festivals. Some films in the competition tell true crime stories or look behind the scenes of Italian beach holidays. Others follow an 84-year-old female DJ through the night, and in “Bye Bye Tiberias”, actress Hiam Abbass (“Succession,” “Blade Runner 2049”) takes her daughter back to the Palestinian village she once called home.

Strong Artistic Signatures: 5 Films at Camera Lucida - Out of Competition.

In our section Camera Lucida we show five artful films - a must for all cinephile fans! Jim Finn returns to Leipzig with a humorous, psychedelic montage about the work of the apostle Paul, “The Tuba Thieves” explores the meaning of sound and listening, and “Man in Black” traces the cruelties of the communist regime in China with the artist portrait of composer Wang Xilin.

For more info on our competitions, see our press release.