Crowded Cinema.

Let’s get started! The Call for Entries for the 63rd edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films is now open. 


You can submit creative documentaries and animated films as well as animated documentaries of all lengths and interactive works like VR, AR, XR, installations, media art and other formats. Please find all answers to your questions in our FAQ. Ready to set off? We are looking forward to your submission.

Call for Entries
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Tue, 07 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200
What’s happening?
Leena Pasanen bestows Christoph Terhechte with a red scarf

DOK Leipzig 2020 with Christoph Terhechte

It is not only a glittering festival week that has come to an end, there have been made important decisions during this week as well.

Christoph Terhechte will be artistic director of DOK Leipzig as well as managing director of Leipziger Dok-Filmwochen GmbH effective 1 January 2020, the Leipzig City Council resolved on Wednesday (30 Oct. 2019).

Journalist and film critic Christoph Terhechte is currently artistic director of the Marrakech International Film Festival. From 2001 to 2018, he served as director of the International Forum of New Cinema at the Berlinale, which he developed into one of the major international centres of independent artistic cinema. Christoph Terhechte was born in Münster in 1961. He studied political science and journalism in Hamburg and was a film critic in Paris and Berlin.

Festival director Leena Pasanen who will continue her work in Bologna, symbolically presented Terhechte, coming from Marrakech, with a red scarf. See you soon at DOK Leipzig!

A lot of spectators in the cinema, waiting for the Opening of the Festival. A big red screen with an eye on it.

DOK Leipzig 2019 has come to an end

DOK Leipzig has come to an end after an eventful and moving week. A total of 48,000 filmgoers and visitors came to the cinemas and festival events during the past week.

“We’ve received extremely positive feedback from our filmmakers. Many of them were overwhelmed by the professionality and the relaxed atmosphere that the festival offered at the same time. Most of all, however, the filmmakers adored our audiences, whom they saw as particularly interested and focused,” says festival director Leena Pasanen.

Films challenging the audience

“The big winners of the evening were films that challenge the audience, that resonate for a long time and that adhere well to formal criteria,” says Pasanen. Three awards, the most to be received by a film that evening and including a Golden Dove, went to the film Exemplary Behaviour by Lithuanian filmmakers Audrius Mickevičius and Nerijus Milerius, who explored themes of guilt and atonement using the example of two criminal offenders serving life sentences. Two awards, also including a Golden Dove, went to the German entry Status and Terrain by Ute Adamczewski, who documented places in Saxony that are no longer visibly recognizable as sites of persecution by the National Socialists in 1933.

More industry representatives than ever before

More industry representatives than ever before attended the festival during the week of 28 October to 3 November to advance their film projects, expand their professional network and find ways of distributing their films worldwide. The industry section DOK Industry attracted some 2,000 film professionals from around the world.

The festival director concludes: “I’d like to thank all of our funders, sponsors and partners for a successful DOK Leipzig 2019!”

This was the final festival under Leena Pasanen’s management. In 2020, Christoph Terhechte will succeed her as festival director. DOK Leipzig will be held from 26 October to 1 November next year.

You can find an overview of all award winners in our Archive.


Several white porcelain awards in shape of a Dove with golden wings are standing on a table.

Award winners of DOK Leipzig 2019

On 2 November DOK Leipzig celebrated its Award Ceremony, where this year’s Golden Doves and further prizes were given out. This year at DOK Leipzig, a total of 24 awards with a combined value of 82,000 euros were presented, including seven Golden Doves.

International Competition

The film Exemplary Behaviour has been awarded the Golden Dove International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film. In this work, Lithuanian filmmakers Audrius Mickevičius and Nerijus Milerius explore guilt and atonement as experienced by two convicted felons serving life sentences. When his brother is murdered, Audrius Mickevičius wonders whether there is a statute of limitations for guilt and whether anyone can really ever atone for murder. Before the film was completed, Audrius Mickevičius fell ill and died. Nerijus Milerius finished the project. In its statement, the jury said: “It’s at the darkest of times when we’re confronted with the worst that we discover our true selves and that the human spirit shines the brightest. With grace and dignity, the filmmakers take us on a unique and unexpected journey of redemption.”

German Competition

The Golden Dove German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film has gone to the entry Status and Terrain by Ute Adamczewski. The director films places in Saxony that people no longer notice were sites of persecution by National Socialists in 1933. Documents from that era and memoirs written after the war by persons affected are read in a voice-over. Among various reasons for its decision, the jury said: “This work is not only a very important documentary; it also comes with an extremely powerful artistic form.”

Next Masters Competition

With the Golden Dove Next Masters Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film, recognition was bestowed upon Safety123, a film by Austrian filmmakers Julia Gutweniger and Florian Kofler. Shot in the Alps, this film explores a nearly invisible security system intended to protect people from natural disasters such as landslides, whose causes are not independent of human activity. Honourable mention was given to the Brazilian production Arid Zone by Fernanda Pessoa.

International Competition Short Film

In the International Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film, the Russian production Puberty by Elena Kondrateva has been awarded the Golden Dove for best documentary and the Iranian short film Am I a Wolf? by Amir Houshang Moein has been awarded the Golden Dove for best animated film.
Honourable mention went to Asho by Jafar Najafi, also an Iranian film.

German Competition Short Film

The Golden Dove for Best Short Documentary and Animated Film has gone to the German production Opera Glasses by Mila Zhluktenko. Honourable mention was given to The Last Painting by Tom Salt and Gravedad by Matisse Gonzalez.

Next Masters Competition Short Film

The Golden Dove Next Masters Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film has gone to the Ukrainian entry Deep Love by Mykyta Lyskov.

Award Screenings

On Sunday, 3 November, five of the award-winning films will be screened again. In the Name of Scheherazade or the First Beergarden in Tehran starts at 12.30 pm, followed by Opera Glasses at 12.45pm. At 4.00 pm we'll show Exemplary Behaviour, awarded with three prizes and at the ver.di screening tonight at 6.45 pm, you'll have the chance to watch the film Status and Terrain. Finally, Robolove will be screened again at 7.00 pm.

In addition, we also present two screenings with this year's audience favourites, the DOK Busters.

A woman is holding a certificate while two other women next to her are hugging each other.

Filmmakers awarded at the DOK Co-Pro Market

Three prizes have been awarded to new documentary projects participating in the 15th DOK Co-Pro Market.

DOK Leipzig and the Russian-language network Current Time are teaming up honour an outstanding documentary film project from Central or Eastern Europe. This year’s winner is Irena by Giedrė Žickytė. The award is endowed with prize money in the amount of 2,000 US dollars.

In addition, Zonta Club Leipzig-Elster has awarded their talent-development prize of up to 1,000 € to cover the travel and accommodation of one participating female producer, in this case Godisamang Khunou with the project Black Women and Sex.

EWA – the European Women’s Audiovisual Network has awarded the EWA Development Prize for the best female-driven documentary project for the fourth year in a row. This year the price was split to award two projects. The financial support goes to Between Two Wars by Alina Gorlova and Anna Savchenko will receive mentorship support to further develop her project 72 Hours for one year.

We congratulate all Co-Pro winners 2019, thank our award partners and look forward to the further development of all the outstanding participating film projects.

Read more about the DOK Co-Pro Market

Read more about the award winners 2019 in our archive.

63rd Edition of DOK Leipzig
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