DOK Leipzig’s programme for 2020 is complete

International competitions and Camera Lucida section with world premieres by Ada Ushpiz, Shelly Silver, Boris Gerrets and Thunska Pansittivorakul | Live film talks on all full-length films in the International Competition

The films in the International Competitions have been finalised. The same goes for the new Camera Lucida section with unconventional films that are not in competition. This completes the programme of DOK Leipzig.

This year the festival will show a total of 150 films and XR works, including 43 world premieres, 11 international, 7 European and 36 German premieres.

A number of renowned filmmakers have entries in the International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film, such as American artist Shelly Silver with the world premiere of her new work, “Girls/Museum”. Filmed at Leipzig’s fine arts museum, the Museum der bildenden Künste (MdbK), young girls aged seven to nineteen engage with works of art, most of which were produced by men. DOK Leipzig is also celebrating the world premiere of “Children” by Israeli director Ada Ushpiz. Her film asks why Palestinian minors participate in the Intifada against Israel. Ushpiz follows children and their families and witnesses tremendous pressure. Congolese director Dieudo Hamadi is represented with “Downstream to Kinshasa”. His film starts off in Kisangani and tells the story of people disabled by war who are struggling to receive compensation. Young directors are participating in the competitions with productions from Argentina, Russia and Lithuania.

The United States is one thematic focus of the films, which use various approaches to provide cinematic commentary on the state of the country. The subject of abortion is also dealt with in a controversial and expressive way in the Argentinian film “Vicenta”, which has its world premiere at DOK Leipzig.

“The international competitions of DOK Leipzig focus on the fruitful encounter between young people who are eager to experiment and those who have remained true to the curiosity and creativity they started out with,” says festival director Christoph Terhechte. “For the first time, therefore, the international jury in the competition for long films will award not only a Golden Dove, but also a Silver Dove, which is explicitly intended for the best film by an up-and-coming director.”

In the International Competition Short Film, the film “E14” offers an idiosyncratic examination of the lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. “William Jefferson Wilderness” is another US film, one that deals with the legacy of former President Bill Clinton in an original way.

The newly established Camera Lucida section will present five unconventional films not in competition. The multiple award-winning Dutch director Boris Gerrets, who passed away in spring 2020, created the work “Lamentations of Judas”, which will have its world premiere at DOK Leipzig. For this cinematic essay, he travelled to South Africa, to an abandoned asbestos mining town on the edge of the Kalahari Desert. In his latest film, “Avalon”, Thunska Pansittivorakul, whose films have been shown at the Berlinale, in Rotterdam and elsewhere, assembles explicitly sexual film footage of himself and his lover, who is twenty years his junior, into a narrative about desire and passion.

“Our new Camera Lucida programme brings together captivating documentaries that challenge the conventions of cinema and confront reality in a particularly lucid way,” explains Christoph Terhechte.

The films in the International Competition Long Film will have their premiere in a live stream in addition to cinema screenings. Live film talks will also be held in cinemas and online. From the day after the premiere, the films will be available online for 14 days.

The other films in the DOK Leipzig programme will also be accompanied by talks and introductions, which will be available online. These include pre-recorded film talks as well as introductions by members of the festival’s selection committee and the “Director’s Short Cuts”, short cinematic messages from the directors, which they were free to structure. “In this way, we strive to allow filmmakers to participate in the festival even if they cannot come to Leipzig this year, and to convey as much of the festival atmosphere as possible to our audience online as well,” says Terhechte.

A total of 150 films and XR works will be shown to the public in nine different venues in Leipzig. DOK Leipzig will again offer free admission to some of the films in the East Wing (Osthalle) of Leipzig’s main railway station. Furthermore, almost all of the films in this year’s programme will be available online throughout Germany for two weeks.

The Golden Dove in the Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film in combination with €10,000 is sponsored by MDR. The Silver Dove in the Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film in combination with €6,000 will for the first time be sponsored by 3sat.


You’ll find a list of all the films in the international competitions and the Camera Lucida programme in the pdf.

You can find the complete programme with further details on all films and their screening dates at the festival here.

Images of DOK Leipzig, logos and further press material, including important figures and dates, can be found in our press download area.

The 63rd edition of DOK Leipzig will be held as a hybrid festival this year. In addition to cinema screenings for the Leipzig audience, a large part of the programme will be shown online throughout Germany. Film talks, podcasts and the industry events of DOK Industry will be available online. Accredited guests are able to view festival films online worldwide.

Would you like to be accredited for DOK Leipzig 2020? Please, register with a new account on myDOK by 18 October and use this form to apply for your online accreditation.