Programme Overview

Programme Overview

Eine Frau blättert im DOK Festivalkatalog von 2021, die Kameraperspektive blickt über ihre Schulter auf den Katalog in ihrer Hand.
© Susann Jehnichen
DOK Leipzig is an international festival for documentary and animated film, being the first in the world to combine these two genres. DOK Leipzig is built on more than 60 years of history and takes place every year in autumn.

With contemporary international films, unique special programmes and a rich programme for children and adults, our competition categories give exciting artistic works a place to celebrate their premieres. As a platform, DOK Leipzig aims to promote young talent regardless of gender or origin.

With DOK Neuland, the festival presents the public with a curated exhibition of Extended Reality works. Each year this creates a world where visitors can experience profound stories in unexpected virtual spaces.

Staging the Festival Amid the Pandemic

In 2020, DOK Leipzig took place for the first time as a hybrid festival against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. And what’s to come this year? We will return to big screens in the fall! For our 64th edition taking place from 25 to 31 October, we plan to air the complete film programme in selected Leipzig venues, and to celebrate a week of documentary and animated film with our audience on-site in Leipzig.

After the festival week, our “DOK Stream” will launch online to serve those who wish to either deepen their festival experience or visit DOK Leipzig wholly online. The VoD film programme will feature a selection of festival films accessible to the German public during the first two weeks of November.

We’ll reveal the themes and films for this year's special series and competitions step by step beginning September. Stay up-to-date with our newsletter:

Several Golden Doves standing on a table, in the background you see the seating rows of a movie theatre.
Susann Jehnichen
The Competitions

At DOK Leipzig 2020, we presented six competition categories and a brand new category out of competition:

  • International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film
  • International Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film
  • Camera Lucida – Out of Competition
  • German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film
  • German Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film
  • “Golden Section” – Competition for the Audience Award Long Documentary and Animated Film
  • “Golden Section” – Competition for the Audience Award Short Documentary and Animated Film

Awards & Juries

Eight Golden and Silver Doves have been awarded at DOK Leipzig 2020, additionally further prizes were presented by our partners within the festival. Find out about all winning films at DOK Leipzig 2020 here

Who actually decides which films receive awards? DOK Leipzig’s winning films are selected by independent juries. 

Film submissions

Want to submit a film to DOK Leipzig 2021? Our Call for Entries is open from 1 March 2021. Read more details on our submission page.

A screening in the big hall of the Leipzig main station, a big audience is watching a train on the screen
Special Programmes

In addition to the competition categories, we also present several curated special series annually. These include a Retrospective, Homages, programmes for children and young people (Kids DOK) and other special thematic series and matinees. 

A female person with VR glasses is looking up.
Susann Jehnichen
Extended Reality: DOK Neuland

In our Extended Reality exhibition DOK Neuland, audiences and filmmakers can discover and define new boundaries in film with interactive works, virtual and augmented reality, games, 360° films and media art in a completely new form. 

XR Submissions are open until 1 July 2021.

Take a step into DOK Neuland.

DOK in Dialogue

Many people arrive in the east hall of the central station and choose seat on the stairs.
Film Screening at the Main Station

Cinema for all at a very special Leipzig venue! Together with the PROMENADEN shopping centre at the main station, every evening during the festival we show selected films from the programme free of charge.

This popular format not only attracts thousands of guests to the Osthalle each year, it’s also extremely popular with filmmakers. Our tip: Snuggling up under blanket with a thermos is rather cozy here.

A virtual hub in which several animations are in the process of merging together
Animation Perspectives

In the new programme format Animation Perspectives, DOK Leipzig gives multidisciplinary artists the stage. Here, they can take their unique and idiosyncratic work out of their individual creative bubbles and into a lively dialogue with festivalgoers.

For the 2020 edition, new media artists Patrick Buhr und Aaron Jablonski designed a special virtual hub open to the audience.

Female Filmmaker in the talk event Which passport for a film?

Perhaps a film hasn’t left your mind since the screening, or the discussion afterwards only piqued your curiosity further? For anyone that’s hungry for more, our talks unpack the latest developments in the industry, tell the stories of filmmaking greats, and explore national film cultures around the world.

In our media library you can still rewatch the talks of our 2020 festival which all took place online, discussing intimacy, corona and family affairs in documentary film. 

Two people in front of the big red curtain on a stage in a full cinema.
School Screenings

Bringing lessons out of the classroom and into the cinema, our school screenings use selected documentaries and animated films to complement and illustrate topics that students are learning about. Each screening is followed by an in-depth discussion with the filmmakers.

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, we currently offer our 2020 school screening of the film Elefantin in an online version. Read more (in German) on our DOK Bildung page.

A row of DOK Industry posters on the wall, in front of them two women with masks are sitting next to each other in fron of their laptops and look at each other
Susann Jehnichen
DOK Industry

Our film branch networking programme is tailor-made for accredited trade visitors (filmmakers, XR creatives, producers, editors, decision makers and distributors). Each year we welcome around 1,600 accredited guests at DOK Leipzig, and in 2020 all events took place digitally in our myDOK area for the first time due to international travel restrictions. Find out more about DOK Industry

Want to know...

A movie theater during a film screening.
... which films have been screened at last year’s festival?

In our film archive you can rediscover all films of our past festival editions since 2012. 

Visit our Film Archive

Festival director Christoph Terhechte presents a Golden Dove statue.
... which films have won an award at DOK Leipzig 2020?

Read more about the awards and prize winners here:

The 2020 Winners were


Blick über die Schulter einer Frau, die auf einen Laptop schaut, auf dem der DOK Leipzig Trailer läuft.
... how to submit a film to DOK Leipzig 2021?

Film submissions to our next festival edition is open from 1 March 2021. You can submit your film through our myDOK area. We are excited to get to know your films.

Submit now!

64th Edition of DOK Leipzig
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