A wide area or street at dusk: four children move towards the camera. Two are running, two are riding their bicycles. Above them flies a kite, which the child on the far left holds by the string.

Ukraine’s Docudays UA festival at DOK Leipzig

The Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival could not be held in Kyiv this past March due to the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, in a show of solidarity, DOK Leipzig will be providing a venue for the 19th edition of that festival.

A programme called Spotlight on: Docudays UA 2022 will present the four films selected for the DOCU/UKRAINE national competition along with the opening film “Boney Piles” (image above). These works paint a nuanced portrait of the country, telling of property disputes in Kyiv and flea markets in Odesa, of first responders amid the pandemic in rural Transcarpathia, and also of the consequences of the war that has been going on in eastern Ukraine since 2014.

Many films from central and eastern Europe in this year’s edition

DOK Leipzig’s new Panorama section will open a window on the world of central and eastern European film, which is closely linked to the history of the festival. The works screened in this section will range from the socialist past through the period of upheaval to the present day. They’ll include works by established filmmakers, such as Latvian-born animation artist Signe Baumane, as well as by talented up-and-coming documentary filmmakers, such as as Otilia Babara from Moldova.

Many more films from central and eastern Europe will be showcased in the Doc Alliance Award selection, a competition held by the network of seven European documentary festivals, as well as in the new short film event 5x5 Shorts from the East. In cooperation with film institution from the region, the short film programme will present 25 documentary and animated films at the Polish Institute on 22 October –free of charge for the public and to be seen on a “hop on, hop off” basis.

The already established Camera Lucida section will again be screening, out of competition, seven exceptional works by renowned documentary filmmakers, such as Heinz Emigholz, Narimane Mari and Éric Baudelaire.