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International Competition Documentary Film
Filmstill 30 Kilometres per Second
30 Kilometres per Second
Jani Peltonen
A ghost ride through Finnish TV archives of the 1960s grazes the moon landing, American TV shows, a war in Africa. But how to connect with the world when dancing is forbidden?!
Filmstill 30 Kilometres per Second
Filmstill 30 Kilometres per Second

30 Kilometres per Second

30 kilometriä sekunnissa
Jani Peltonen
International Competition Documentary Film
Documentary Film
Finland
2023
23 minutes
Finnish,
English
Subtitles: 
English
World premiere

The narrator of the film was diagnosed with proprioception disorder by her physiotherapist: She lacks a normal awareness of her body in space and thus a reference to the world around her. Dancing as a therapy might help. Instead, she takes a ghost train into Finland’s television history, to the 1960s, when ordinances forbade spontaneous dancing because of a Medieval decree.

Young people were robbed of their body awareness, Finland, with its peculiar position between the blocks of the Cold War, stood untethered in the political geography of the time. Connections were made through television, Swiss campaigns for the independence of the West African province of Biafra, the weightless moon landing, U.S. American stars from soap operas and TV western shows. Travelling without moving. Do ghosts have proprioception? Wouldn’t they float out of this world otherwise? Or are they kept tethered to the ground by film and television recordings?


Jan Künemund

Photosensitivity warning: Contains flashes of light that may trigger seizures for people with visual sensitivities.

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10.10.
#251
Passage Kinos Astoria
Teil der Kompilation
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10.10.2023
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#251
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11.10.
#3A1
Cinémathèque
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11.10.2023
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12.10.
#461
Passage Kinos Wintergarten
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12.10.2023
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Jani Peltonen
Script
Jani Peltonen
Cinematographer
Jani Peltonen
Editor
Anni Tiainen, Julia Matinniemi
Producer
Joona Mielonen
Sound Design
Saku Anttila
Score
Emil Sana

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Main Contact
Saara Toivanen
saara.toivanen@aalto.fi
International Competition Documentary Film
Filmstill At All Hours and None
At All Hours and None
Davide Minotti, Valeria Miracapillo
A journey through places and times that shaped the life of Turkish writer and human rights activist Aslı Erdoğan. She writes against silence, especially in exile.
Filmstill At All Hours and None

At All Hours and None

In tutte le ore e nessuna
Davide Minotti, Valeria Miracapillo
International Competition Documentary Film
Documentary Film
Italy
2023
19 minutes
Turkish,
French,
Italian,
English
Subtitles: 
English
International Premiere

“Words are the only instruments I have”, says Aslı Erdoğan in this powerful audiovisual collage. The writer, physicist and human rights activist who lives in exile in Berlin writes against the disappearance and loss of her own language. As a former political prisoner in Turkey, she knows only too well what autocratic violence and oppression intend: to silence people.

In this sense, this filmic portrait sets itself vociferously against the silence. Words flicker between fragments of the history of protest in Turkey. Working with text, photography and archive material, the film embarks on a vibrant visual and acoustic journey through places and times that shaped Aslı Erdoğan’s homeless life. Taking inspiration from her autobiographical collection of prose, “Requiem for a Lost City”, individual history becomes collective. A many-voiced choir reminds us that language is the thing that nonetheless holds everything together.


Annina Wettstein

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10.10.
#251
Passage Kinos Astoria
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10.10.2023
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11.10.
#3A1
Cinémathèque
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11.10.2023
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12.10.
#461
Passage Kinos Wintergarten
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Davide Minotti, Valeria Miracapillo
Script
Aslı Erdoğan
Editor
Davide Minotti
Producer
AAMOD
Sound
Riccardo Spagnol
Sound Design
Valeria Miracapillo

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Retrospective
Filmstill Uprisings in the Soviet Sphere of Influence
Uprisings in the Soviet Sphere of Influence
Ralph Giordano, Hans-Ulrich Barth
Communism as a history of crises: The authors examine the various uprisings in the Soviet sphere of influence and search for similarities and differences.
Filmstill Uprisings in the Soviet Sphere of Influence

Uprisings in the Soviet Sphere of Influence

Aufstände im sowjetischen Machtbereich
Ralph Giordano, Hans-Ulrich Barth
Retrospective
Documentary Film
FRG
1961
24 minutes
German
Subtitles: 
None
No Premiere

The history of communism as the story of its crises: The two authors Ralph Giordano and Hans-Ulrich Barth take up various uprisings and protests to demonstrate the discrepancy between the claim to power and the reality in “socialist imperialism.” A more nuanced light is shed on individual uprisings, while at the same time feeding into stereotypical Cold War images of the enemy.


Katharina Franck, Andreas Kötzing

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Director
Ralph Giordano, Hans-Ulrich Barth
Producer
NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk / German TV ARD Network

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OneGate Media GmbH
Retrospective
Filmstill Confusion
Confusion
Evald Schorm
Secretly filmed footage of the suppression of the Prague Spring: hidden in archives for decades and screened 22 years later to the beat of Tchaikovsky.
Filmstill Confusion

Confusion

Zmatek
Evald Schorm
Retrospective
Documentary Film
Czechoslovakia
1969
36 minutes
Czech
Subtitles: 
English
No Premiere

No images of value but “confused material.” For decades, footage secretly filmed in August 1968 in Prague was hidden in archives under this label. Evald Schorm recovered the illegal material and composed it to the beat of Tchaikovsky recordings, in keeping with its expressive nature. The film could finally be publicly shown in 1990.


Katharina Franck, Andreas Kötzing

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Director
Evald Schorm
Cinematographer
Stanislav Milota, Jaromír Kallista, Jiří Macák, Ivan Vojnár, Jozef Ort-Šne, Jozef Ort-Šnep
Editor
Vlasta Styblíková
Producer
Krátký Film Praha

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Main Contact
Pavla Kallistová
athanor@athanor.cz
Retrospective
Filmstill One Wednesday in June – 20 Years Ago: People’s Uprising, Workers’ Revolt or Secret Services Putsch?
One Wednesday in June – 20 Years Ago: People’s Uprising, Workers’ Revolt or Secret Services Putsch?
Lutz Lehmann
Workers’ revolt or popular uprising? Or an attempted Western coup after all? 20 years after 17 June 1953, a television report looks for answers. The interpretations remain open.
Filmstill One Wednesday in June – 20 Years Ago: People’s Uprising, Workers’ Revolt or Secret Services Putsch?

One Wednesday in June – 20 Years Ago: People’s Uprising, Workers’ Revolt or Secret Services Putsch?

Ein Mittwoch im Juni – Vor 20 Jahren: Volksaufstand, Arbeiterrevolte oder Agentenputsch?
Lutz Lehmann
Retrospective
Documentary Film
FRG
1973
60 minutes
German
Subtitles: 
None
No Premiere

What happened in the GDR on 17 June 1953? Using a lot of original footage, Norddeutscher Rundfunk looks back on the events in a detailed report marking their 20th anniversary and shows different interpretations and explanations. Agent coup? Workers’ revolt? Popular uprising? The interpretations were controversial, even among contemporary witnesses and Western historians.


Katharina Franck, Andreas Kötzing

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Director
Lutz Lehmann
Cinematographer
Hans Jacob
Editor
Elke Düring
Producer
NDR Norddeutscher Rundfunk / German TV ARD Network
Sound
Jürgen Jannsen, Norbert Kinsky

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Main Contact
OneGate Media GmbH
International Competition Documentary Film
Filmstill El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
Ivan Ramljak
A refugee camp built in Egypt in 1944 becomes the social model for Tito’s Yugoslavia. Archive material and contemporary witnesses tell a lived social-utopian origin story.
Filmstill El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia

El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia

El Shatt – nacrt za utopiju
Ivan Ramljak
International Competition Documentary Film
Documentary Film
Croatia,
Serbia
2023
96 minutes
Croatian,
Arabic
Subtitles: 
English
International Premiere

El Shatt in Egypt, in the middle of the desert, was both a haven and a projection. This is where in 1944, based on a deal between the Yugoslavian partisans led by Tito and the British allies, not only a refugee camp for the families of anti-fascist fighters from Dalmatia was built. This is where a model was created for the future Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia – a state that was to build its founding narrative on the people’s liberation fight against fascism and declare collectively organised self-administration its social ideal.

Director Ivan Ramljak offers us multifaceted insights into this long-forgotten piece of primordial communist history spelled out in reality. After painstaking research, he combines hundreds of historical photographs and some (few) film recordings of interviews with contemporary witnesses. The lively voices of those who were children back then and are over 80 today tell their stories offscreen: of the struggle for survival, solidarity and lived ideology, in short, of a daily life that included self-organised schools, workshops, canteen kitchens, even a newspaper. Ramljak, tongue firmly in cheek, takes up the thread of history and juxtaposes his skilfully arranged archive material with staged scenes played by the ensemble of a theatre that was founded in El Shatt at the time.


Borjana Gaković

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10.10.
#271
Regina Palast 1
El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
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10.10.2023
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#271
El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
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12.10.
#412
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El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
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12.10.2023
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#412
El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
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15.10.
#7A2
Cinémathèque
El Shatt – A Blueprint for Utopia
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15.10.2023
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Ivan Ramljak
Script
Ivan Ramljak
Cinematographer
Boris Poljak
Editor
Jelena Maksimović
Producer
Tibor Keser
Co-Producer
Iva Plemić Divjak, Mladen Kovačević, Sunčica Fradelić
Sound
Miloš Drndarević
Sound Design
Vladimir Živković

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Main Contact
Tibor Keser
tibor@kompot.hr
World Sales
Marcella Jelić
marcella@splitscreen.hr
Nominated for Prize of the Interreligious Jury, FIPRESCI Prize, MDR Film Prize
International Competition Animated Film
Filmstill Families’ Albums
Families’ Albums
Moïa Jobin-Paré
The photo albums of other families hold special secrets. The arms and hands of unknown grandparents, aunts and friends perform a ghostly pantomime.
Filmstill Families’ Albums

Families’ Albums

Albums de familles
Moïa Jobin-Paré
International Competition Animated Film
Animated Film
Canada
2023
8 minutes
without dialogue
Subtitles: 
None
International Premiere

Images of blurred landscapes fade into each other. Apparent rock formations reveal themselves only at second glance as collages of human body parts. Browsing further through the family album uncovers something that is rather rarely found in such private pictorial chronicles: the backs of people’s heads. Grandparents, aunts and friends do not, as usual, look out of the album and the then at the viewer in the now but into the mysterious depths of a neon-lighted corridor. Its architectural elements form a filmic labyrinth behind whose closed doors animated collages of arms and hands perform everyday gestures in a ghost-like pantomime.

Moïa Jobin-Paré opens found private photo albums. The connections and stories between the pictures remain as abstract as that which the photographs show is concrete. Poetic spaces of interpretation open up. The Canadian artist offers a special reading. She scrapes individual elements or patterns off the analogue photographs and animates these “painterly” edits in a space of washed-out sounds. Scratches and white dots spread mushroom-like on the physically dissolving images.


André Eckardt

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12.10.
#413
CineStar 2
Families' Albums + Suzanne from Day to Day
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12.10.2023
CineStar 2
#413
Families' Albums + Suzanne from Day to Day
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13.10.
#553
Passage Kinos Astoria
Families' Albums + Suzanne from Day to Day
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13.10.2023
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Families' Albums + Suzanne from Day to Day
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14.10.
#664
Passage Kinos Wintergarten
Families' Albums + Suzanne from Day to Day
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14.10.2023
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#664
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Script
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Cinematographer
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Editor
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Producer
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Sound
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Sound Design
Moïa Jobin-Paré
Animation
Moïa Jobin-Paré

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World Sales
Nominated for mephisto 97.6 Audience Award
German Competition Documentary Film
Filmstill getty abortions
getty abortions
Franzis Kabisch
This desktop video essay examines how the media illustrate the issue of abortion. Clicking through photo databases and magazines reveals the consequences of suggestive images.
Filmstill getty abortions

getty abortions

getty abortions
Franzis Kabisch
German Competition Documentary Film
Documentary Film
Germany,
Austria
2023
22 minutes
German
Subtitles: 
English
World premiere

What images do we associate with abortion and why? Where do these images and the emotional scripts in our head come from? How do they influence women who (want to) have an abortion, how do they shape the general discussion? Franzis Kabisch’s personal desktop documentary investigates these questions with great precision, clarity and humour (yes, humour, too!).

In the process, she moves from early 2000s girls’ magazines to the late 19th century, sifts through troves of feminist knowledge and checks alleged cultural-historical facts (such as the discovery of hysteria in women) that haunt conventional wisdom to this day. At the end of the film, we have not only seen an exemplary examination of image politics and how they contributed to pushing the issue of abortion to the social sidelines and linking it with shame and guilt. Franzis Kabisch manages, almost “in the same breath,” to break up the false hubris of the documentary and demonstrate that the evidential value of filmic and photographic “testimonies” must always and implicitly be scrutinised. Ultimately, “cui bono?” – the question who profits, must be considered in every media-critical reflection – not just in the age of stock photos, editing software and AI but, strictly speaking, at the start of every documentary image production.


Luc-Carolin Ziemann

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10.10.
#2A1
Cinémathèque
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10.10.2023
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13.10.
#512
CineStar 2
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13.10.2023
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#512
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14.10.
#651
Passage Kinos Astoria
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14.10.2023
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Franzis Kabisch
Script
Franzis Kabisch
Cinematographer
Franzis Kabisch
Editor
Franzis Kabisch
Producer
Franzis Kabisch
Sound Design
Franzis Kabisch, Katharina Pelosi, Laura Schick

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Main Contact
Franzis Kabisch
franziskabisch@gmail.com
Nominated for Gedanken Aufschluss Prize
Beyond Animation
Filmstill Home Stories
Home Stories
Matthias Müller
Startled, a scared woman goes to the door … Actresses in such classic Hollywood scenes become one in this montage: an eternal female prisoner of their home and their role.
Filmstill Home Stories

Home Stories

Home Stories
Matthias Müller
Beyond Animation
Experimental Film
Germany
1990
6 minutes
without dialogue
Subtitles: 
None
No Premiere

At home in the uncanny: Startled, a woman turns on the light, hesitates, listens and goes to the door, full of dark forebodings … In this montage of similar scenes from Hollywood melodramas of the 1950s and 1960s, the various actresses merge into a meta-protagonist who experiences the same horror over and over again: She is trapped in her home and in her classic movie role.


André Eckardt

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Director
Matthias Müller
Sound
Dirk Schaefer

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German Competition Documentary Film
Filmstill Home Sweet Home
Home Sweet Home
Annika Mayer
Old Super 8 films show domestic happiness, the West German economic miracle, an idyllic home, grandmother Rose as a young woman at the centre. They do not show the violence in Rose’s marriage. Or do they?
Filmstill Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home
Annika Mayer
German Competition Documentary Film
Documentary Film
Germany
2023
67 minutes
German
Subtitles: 
English
World premiere

Rose and Rolf in the still-young FRG. He, 13 years her senior, was in the Second World War. She, who wants to have many children, accepts his proposal and leaves school. Rose watches Super 8 home movies from the fifties, sixties and seventies with her granddaughter Annika Mayer, the director of “Home Sweet Home”: her two boys in short leather pants, a home with a manicured front garden, dad coming home from work, mom cooking soup with sausage links. Rose does not recognise herself in these ideal images of the German economic miracle. This pretty young woman is a stranger to her.

Annika begins to ask questions. Together with her grandmother, she starts to look for traces of domestic violence in the latter’s marriage, which is invisible in the films. But Rose’s open narratives gradually make her experiences tangible. What biographical abysses may lurk behind Rolf’s proud smile? Judiciously deployed slow motion effects dissect the apparent domestic happiness. Atonal and hyperrealistic sounds lie under the distorted soundtrack. The birds sing all too happily, the idyll suddenly seems deceptive.


Anke Leweke

Contains mentions of physical violence

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11.10.
#323
CineStar 4
I Still Talk to You + Home Sweet Home
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11.10.2023
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#323
I Still Talk to You + Home Sweet Home
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12.10.
#4A2
Cinémathèque
I Still Talk to You + Home Sweet Home
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12.10.2023
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#4A2
I Still Talk to You + Home Sweet Home
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14.10.
#634
CineStar 5
I Still Talk to You + Home Sweet Home
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14.10.2023
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#634
I Still Talk to You + Home Sweet Home
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Annika Mayer
Script
Annika Mayer
Cinematographer
Jakob Krese
Editor
Annika Mayer
Producer
Annika Mayer, Jakob Krese
Sound Design
Gaston Ibarroule
Score
Gaston Ibarroule

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Main Contact
Andrew Norton
andy@rainafilms.com
Nominated for VER.DI Prize for Solidarity, Humanity and Fairness, DEFA Sponsoring Prize
German Competition Documentary Film
Filmstill Weeding
Weeding
Amelie Vierbuchen, Lea Sprenger, Franca Pape
Three filmmakers research the history of a chemical factory in Cologne-Kalk. Off- and online archives teach them the art of weeding out and throwing away, the art of daring the gap.
Filmstill Weeding
Filmstill Weeding
Filmstill Weeding

Weeding

Kassieren
Amelie Vierbuchen, Lea Sprenger, Franca Pape
German Competition Documentary Film
Documentary Film
Germany
2023
9 minutes
German
Subtitles: 
English
World premiere

Three directors prepare a film about the chemical factory in the Cologne district of Kalk, on whose former grounds a shopping mall has been built. With some self-mockery they talk about their investigation and search for sources, their capitulation to the resistance of the material. Meanwhile, an archivist struggles with a mis-spooled 16mm film. Historical images splutter across the monitor of his analogue editing table. The silhouette of the factory with its towering chimneys is discernible. Site plans are shown, chemicals are blithely mixed. In an album, the filmmakers discover faded photos of female forced labourers. Suddenly, questions arise: Which stories are kept, which forgotten? Throwing away is part of his job, after all, the archivist explains in the finest Rhenish accent. What does this statement mean for the directing trio?


Anke Leweke

Photosensitivity warning: Contains flashes of light that may trigger seizures for people with visual sensitivities.

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12.10.
#411
CineStar 2
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12.10.2023
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#411
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13.10.
#543
CineStar 6
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13.10.2023
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#543
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14.10.
#693
Schauburg
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14.10.2023
Schauburg
#693
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Credits DOK Leipzig Logo

Director
Amelie Vierbuchen, Lea Sprenger, Franca Pape
Cinematographer
Amelie Vierbuchen, Lea Sprenger, Franca Pape
Editor
Lea Sprenger, Franca Pape
Producer
Kunsthochschule für Medien Köln
Sound Design
Lea Sprenger, Franca Pape

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Main Contact
Franca Pape
f.pape@khm.de
Matinee Saxon State Archive
Filmstill [Kurt Biedenkopf visits a Soviet tank regiment]
[Kurt Biedenkopf visits a Soviet tank regiment]
Klaus Wilhelm
A Soviet armoured regiment in Saxony welcomes a distinguished visitor: The Minister President arrives on Christmas Eve 1991 and meets young soldiers whose future is uncertain.
Filmstill [Kurt Biedenkopf visits a Soviet tank regiment]

[Kurt Biedenkopf visits a Soviet tank regiment]

[Kurt Biedenkopf besucht ein sowjetisches Panzerregiment]
Klaus Wilhelm
Matinee Saxon State Archive
Documentary Film
Germany
1991
8 minutes
German
Subtitles: 
None
No Premiere

The Russian tricolour is already blowing in the background as Saxony’s Minister President Prof. Dr. Kurt Biedenkopf visits a Soviet armoured regiment on Christmas Eve 1991. Those were truly turbulent times – a few months before, tanks had been rolling across Moscow’s Red Square during the August Coup; only days later, Mikhail Gorbachev resigned.


Konstantin Wiesinger

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Director
Klaus Wilhelm
Cinematographer
Ch. Stolle

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