Submission Rules and Regulations
Want to submit a film to DOK Leipzig 2021? You can easily download the Rules and Regulations PDF here or you continue reading below.
Please check our FAQ about the submission process or contact our programme team!
Marie-Thérèse Antony, Lina Dinkla
programm [at] dok-leipzig [dot] de
+49 (0)341 30864-1020
1.1 About DOK Leipzig
The International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film – in short: DOK Leipzig – is an annual festival for documentary and animated film.
The festival is sponsored and organised by the city of Leipzig. It commissions the non-profit Leipzig-based DOK-Filmwochen GmbH with the preparation, implementation and management of the festival.
The 64th edition will take place in Leipzig from 25 October to 31 October 2021, followed by an Online-Edition with selected festival films.
1.2 Requirements for submission
The festival is open to documentary and animated films as well as animated documentaries and hybrid forms of documentary narration. Films of all lengths with production years 2020 or 2021 that have not been publicly screened before October 2020 are eligible for submission.
Films which were shown publicly on television, the internet or via a regular cinema release in Germany before the end of DOK Leipzig 2021 (25. – 31.10.2021) or which were available via download, stream or otherwise free of charge or against payment cannot qualify.
Any number of films can be submitted by one person or company as long as the submission requirements are met.
1.3 Submission procedure
The submission form can be found in the myDOK section of the DOK Leipzig website during the submission process (1.3.-1.7.2021).
The submission form asks for all information important for the processing and evaluation of the film. Mandatory fields are marked with an asterisk.
The submitter must be authorized to submit the film to the festival – and possibly confirm a screening in the DOK Leipzig programme.
1.4 Submission fee
For the submission of a film from 1.3.2021 to 18.6.2021 40,00€ (incl. 7% VAT) will be charged as submission fee.
For the submission of a film from 19.6.2021 to 1.7.2021 a submission fee of 50,00€ (incl. 7% VAT) will be charged for the submission of a film.
The submission fee is to be paid by filling out the submission form via the payment methods offered there. Submissions for which no entry fee has been paid will not be processed.
Payments in other forms or currencies will not be accepted.
We would like to point out that the submission fee cannot be refunded under any circumstances. This also applies to multiple submissions, withdrawn submissions and rejected submissions.
Films that have been made in the context of training or studies can be exempted from the submission fee. A corresponding proof can be uploaded in the submission form. After examination of the proof, the programme department may exempt the submission from the fee. There is no entitlement – the decision on the waiver is up to the programme department.
Films whose country(ies) of production is/are one or more of the following are eligible for an exemption from the submission fee. The exemption will be granted when the submission is processed.
Afghanistan, Albania, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Congo Dem. Rep., Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gambia, Ghana, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jamaica, Jordan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Philippines, Rwanda, Solomon Islands, Sao Tome & Principe, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe
1.5 Submission deadlines
There are two deadlines for submitting films.
The first submission deadline is 1.5.2021. Films that have been finished by this date should be submitted within this first selection period.
The second and final submission deadline is 1.7.2021. A later submission is not possible.
1.6 Premiere regulations
At least one German premiere is required to qualify for the competitions. World premieres, international and European premieres are preferred.
World premiere means that the film has not been shown publicly until DOK Leipzig 2021.
International premiere means that the film will be publicly screened at DOK Leipzig 2021 for the first time outside its country/countries of production.
European premiere means that the film will be publicly screened at DOK Leipzig 2021 for the first time within Europe.
German premiere means that the film will be publicly screened at DOK Leipzig 2021 for the first time within Germany.
Films that have already had their German premiere do not qualify for the competitions. These films can only be submitted for the programme Kids DOK.
Please inform us immediately of any changes to the premiere status of the submitted film – this may affect the selection status of the film.
1.7 Submission copy
In the submission form there is the possibility to insert password protected viewing links. These should be streaming links, which do not require registration against payment for viewing the film.
Other formats, such as DVDs or other data carriers, are not accepted.
Trailers and film clips will also not be accepted as submission copies.
1.8 Rough cuts
The festival allows the submission of rough cut versions. When submitting a film, it should be taken into consideration that the selection process does not allow for the viewing of several film versions. Therefore, when submitting a preliminary version of the film, it should be ensured that it accurately reflects the final version in broad outline.
The submission form should indicate what changes are to be expected until the final version.
1.9 Language versions
For the submission it is necessary that the film is available in German or English. If the original language of the film is not one of these two languages, the film must be provided with appropriate subtitles in German or English.
The programme consists of six competitions and one out-of-competition section:
- International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film (long documentary and animated films from 41 min)
The five-member international jury for this competition awards a Golden Dove for a long documentary or animated film, and a Silver Dove for a long documentary or animated film by an up-and-coming director (with up to three directorial works after completing their education).
- 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 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 Award Long Documentary and Animated Film (Long documentary and animated films from 41 min)
- Audience Award Short Documentary and Animated Film (Short documentary and animated films up to 40 min)
The Golden Dove for a long documentary or animated film as well as the Silver Dove for a short documentary or animated film will be determined by an audience jury following public screenings during the festival.
- Camera Lucida (Out-of-competition) (documentary and animated films of all lengths)
2.1 Selection procedure
The selection committee of the festival decides on the selection of films. Films cannot be submitted for a specific section or a specific nomination - the decision on this allocation is made by the selection committee.
The selection takes place in two selection rounds.
All films submitted in full by the first submission deadline (1.5.2021) will receive feedback on their selection status in June. This can be an invitation, a rejection or a reservation for the shortlist for the later selection process.
The final decisions of the selection committee will be announced in September at the latest.
In exceptional cases, a binding feedback can be given independently of these periods. This applies, for example, if another festival is interested in your film or if the premiere status stated in the submission form could change before DOK Leipzig begins. In these cases please contact the programme department.
2.2 Special Programmes
The festival has an annually changing compilation of special programmes. These include retrospectives, tributes and programmes that focus on a specific theme. The special programmes are prepared by curators. The submission process does not include the submission of films for special programmes.
Selected films will receive an official invitation by e-mail to the person specified as the submitter in the entry form.
The invitation is issued for a section under conditions specified in the letter of invitation.
To confirm the submission, the rights holder must fill out a participation form, which is included in the invitation letter.
The invitation to the festival is non-transferable and the film that was submitted to the selection committee for evaluation is invited. Should there be any changes to the film, these must be disclosed to the programme department.
If the invitation cannot be accepted or if the requirements for the invitation stated in the letter of invitation cannot be met, please contact the programme department.
3.1 Transfer of screening copy
The screening copy of a selected film must arrive at DOK Leipzig by 1.10.2021 at the latest. If you are unable to meet this deadline, please contact the programme department.
The film copy intended for screening should be sent via digital data transfer. Further information on this can be obtained from the programme department.
Digital screening copies are irrevocably deleted no later than two weeks after the end of the festival.
It is also possible to send the film copy intended for screening to the festival office on a physical data carrier.
Please send the copy of the film to the following address:
The transport costs for screening copies are shared with the festival and the submitter. The costs of sending the screening copy to Leipzig are borne by the submitter. The costs for sending the screening copy from Leipzig will be borne by the festival. The festival does not pay any fees for re-import, storage etc. The submitting party is responsible for insuring the screening copies on the shipping route to Leipzig and from the moment they are handed over to the first carrier for return shipment. The return transport of the screening copies is carried out by the festival's courier service partner.
Shipments from abroad must be accompanied by a pro-forma invoice. Since there is no value of goods in the actual sense (the goods are not sold, no profit is made), the value of the goods should be indicated as as low as possible in order to keep any customs duties as low as possible. The consignments with the presentation copies must be marked: "NO COMMERCIAL VALUE, FOR CULTURAL/ FESTIVAL PURPOSES ONLY".
All copies will be insured at the replacement value of the screening copy of the same type and quality from the time they are received by the Festival until they are handed over to the first transport company for return shipment. This insurance cover is limited to the costs of producing a new film copy or the damaged act, in the case of videos the cost of copying a new screening cassette or in the case of a digital data carrier such as a hard disk the cost of the copy plus data carrier. The costs to be taken into account shall be proven by means of supporting documents and may not exceed the current prices of similar service providers in Germany. The Festival's liability excludes the assumption of any costs for the production of (intermediate) negatives, (intermediate) positives, master tapes or other post-production costs.
In the event of a faulty screening, the festival cannot be held liable for immaterial damages. Claims for damages must be made in writing within six weeks after the end of the festival. Later objections cannot be considered.
3.2 Screening formats
Allowed are screening formats as DCP and HD video files for playback from the video server. All other formats (35 mm, BluRay Disc as well as all video tapes such as Beta Digital PAL, Beta SP PAL 16:9 or HDcam) can only be accepted in exceptional cases and in any case require consultation with the programme department.
HDcam SR and DVD are generally excluded as screening formats.
HD video files are accepted in the following formats:
1. Quicktime MOV, Prores 422 HQ 1080p 24/25/29.976 - Audio: PCM / 5.1 Stereo 48KHz, 16 or 24bit
2nd Quicktime MOV, DNXHD 1080p 24/25/29.976 - Audio: PCM / 5.1 Stereo 48KHz, 16 or 24bit
We only accept progressive digital video files. Interlaced material (50i/60i) is not accepted.
The Festival would like to point out that films provided on videotapes after consultation will be converted to DCP format by our digitalization department. The Festival undertakes to destroy these files no later than 2 weeks after the end of the Festival. The DCPs are made for the sole purpose of the festival performance and cannot be made available to the rights holder after the festival.
It is also possible to upload the film copy intended for screening via digital data transfer to the DOK Leipzig FTP server. For further information please contact the programme department.
3.3 DOK Film Market
With the DOK Film Market Video Library, DOK Leipzig offers a platform for the distribution and promotion of current productions in the festival programme as well as about 120 other selected documentary film submissions. The DOK Film Market is accessible to international TV editors and buyers, festival representatives, film curators, film distributors and world sales agents, cinema operators and cultural institutes as well as funding bodies during the festival at viewing locations in the festival centre and online. After the festival, the DOK Film Market will remain online for another six months.
All documentaries and animated films fort he competitions of the Festival and selected special programmes that have been completed no more than one year before the current festival edition can be digitised free of charge and included in the DOK Film Market. If a film is not desired to be included in the DOK Film Market, it is possible to inform the DOK Film Market office of this in the relevant field of the entry form or explicitly inform the DOK Film Market office of this in writing by email.
The wish to participate in the selection process for the DOK Film Market, even in the case of rejection for the festival programme, can be stated in the relevant field of the entry form. Films that are not part of the festival programme will receive an invitation to register for the DOK Film Market after the selection process has been completed. For the admission of a film to the DOK Film Market, a fee of 120€ per feature film or 80€ for a film up to 40 minutes in length will be charged (all prices plus VAT).
By submitting a film or interactive work, the submitter agrees to the use and storage of the basic film information for archive and research use in our database, even if the submitted film will not be selected.
By submitting the work, the submitter declares that he or she is the owner of the rights to the submitted work. For the purposes of these Regulations, "right holder" shall mean the author of the protected object or any other natural or legal person or group of persons who have acquired an intellectual property right to the protected object, which covers the acts specified in these Regulations and for which it is possible to grant rights of use or transfer them to third parties.
The submitter warrants that the materials provided are free from third-party rights. In the event that third parties assert claims against DOK Leipzig regarding the materials and works provided, the submitter will indemnify DOK Leipzig from these claims and will also bear the costs of the necessary legal defence incurred by DOK Leipzig. DOK Leipzig will inform the submitter immediately in the event of claims by third parties.
The films selected for the competitions and the section „Camera Lucida“ will be shown in up to five public screenings during the festival.
Interactive works selected for the festival will be publicly screened or exhibited.
DOK Leipzig writes its own texts for the festival catalogue and the programme booklet. The submitted synopses are used for the DOK Film Market catalogue.
No film or interactive work may be withdrawn from the DOK Festival programme after participation has been confirmed in writing via the participation form.
The Festival shall be granted the right, free of charge, unlimited in space and time (for the duration of the property right to the protected object), to use excerpts from the film of a maximum length of three minutes as well as advertising material provided by the right holder, such as trailers, photos and stills, in the context of reporting and promoting the Festival and the respective film, and to pass them on to reporting media (television, radio, Internet podcasts, social media and other multimedia formats) and media cooperation partners for non-commercial use and to publish them on its website www.dok-leipzig.de, to use it in the online film programme and on social media platforms for advertising purposes. In doing so, ten percent of the total running time of the film may not be exceeded.
During the festival and within six months afterwards, the film can be viewed in the digital festival video library, the DOK Film Market. DOK Leipzig is entitled to digitalise the submitted production for this purpose.
The festival reserves the right to use and archive selected viewing copies for internal purposes and non-commercial, non-public educational work. Commercial use of the archived view copies by the festival is excluded.
Registration for participation in DOK Leipzig 2021 is considered as acceptance of the above regulations. The festival management has the right to regulate all cases not provided for in the regulations and to allow exceptions in special and justified cases. The festival management decides on all matters not included in these regulations.