For the first time, DOK Leipzig will have its own competition for feature-length animated films. A three-member jury will decide during the festival who will be awarded the Golden Dove. “In recent years, there have been excellent, artistic animated films that are suited to DOK Leipzig and that have the potential to find an enthusiastic audience here,” explains Christoph Terhechte, who assumed the position of managing and artistic director of DOK Leipzig in January 2020. In order to establish the festival as a platform for feature-length animated films, the programme team will be scouting out and inviting to Leipzig more and more feature-length animations in addition to short animated films.

The prestigious International Competition Long Film will, in the meantime, be expanded. The jury will also be enlarged from 3 to 5 persons. In addition to the Golden Dove, the jury members will award a Silver Dove for a feature-length documentary by an up-and-coming director. As part of this move, the Next Masters Competitions that have been held until now will be combined with the international competitions for feature-length and short films. “Promoting young talent is one of DOK Leipzig’s main priorities. Up-and-coming filmmakers as well as established directors should each be given their place in our international competitions,” says Terhechte.

The elaborate International Programme and the Late Harvest section will in future be combined and provided with new audience awards for short and feature-length films. Moreover, the section will be streamlined significantly.

The changes to the programme have the goal of creating a clear programme structure and avoiding overlaps between sections. “DOK Leipzig has developed rapidly in recent years, yet has always remained a laid-back place for watching films, discussing them and expanding one’s professional networks,” Terhechte states. “Following the steady growth of the festival programme in recent years, we will not least be focusing on consolidating in 2020.”

In this vein, this year’s programme of films will include some 200 works — compared to the more than 300 that were shown during each of the previous editions of the festival. Attendance at individual showings is expected to remain the same due to more repeat showings of the festival films. The special programmes, such as retrospectives and homages, will remain integral components of the festival, and collaborations with regional and national initiatives such as the DEFA Foundation and the Saxon State Archives are to continue. DOK Neuland, the exhibition of interactive and immersive works, will also continue.

“We wish to maintain the festival’s high standards of quality, seek out new forms of cinema at all times and offer a bountiful programme to audiences at DOK Leipzig. At the same time, we are working on not overburdening our audiences with the abundance of offers, but rather on presenting clearly defined programmes from which audiences can select,” the new festival director expounds.

DOK Leipzig will be held from 26 October to 1 November this year. Since 3 March, documentary and animated films of any length as well as interactive works can be submitted to the 63rd edition of DOK Leipzig.


Here’s an overview of the six competitions at DOK Leipzig 2020:

  • International Competition Long Documentary Film (long documentary films from 41 min)

The five-member international jury for this competition awards a Golden Dove for a long documentary, and a Silver Dove for a long documentary by an up-and-coming director (with up to three directorial works after completing their education).

  • International Competition Long Animated Film (long animated films from 41 min) 

The three-member international jury for this competition awards a Golden Dove for a long animated film.

  • International Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film (short documentary and animated films up to 40 min) 

The three-member international jury for this competition awards one Golden Dove each for a short documentary and a short animated film.

  • German Competition Long Documentary Film (long documentary films from 41 min)
  • German Competition Short Documentary and Animation Film (Short documentary and animated films up to 40 min)

The three-member jury of these two competitions awards a Golden Dove for a German long documentary film and a Silver Dove for a German short documentary or animated film.

  • Audience Competition Long and Short Documentary and Animated Film for the Leipzig Audience Award (documentary and animated films of all lengths) 

The prizes for long and short documentaries or animated films will be determined by audience vote following public screenings during the festival.