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
Submit by:
Tue, 07 Jul 2020 00:00:00 +0200
What’s happening?
Cinema full of visitors looking to a white screen.

New Competitions and Awards at DOK Leipzig

A fresh wind is blowing through our film programme this year. We are pleased to announce a number of new competitions and awards for the upcoming DOK Leipzig 2020.

Fans of animated film will have something special to look forward to: A competition dedicated for the first time to feature-length works in the genre. “In recent years there have been outstanding artistic animated films that would be a good fit for DOK Leipzig and have the potential to meet an enthusiastic audience here,” festival director Christoph Terhechte says. This section will also award a Golden Dove at the festival’s conclusion.

We are also expanding our International Competition for long films. From now on, this will be our platform for both young filmmakers as well as established directors. The previous Next Masters competitions will merge here with the international competitions for long and short films.

The extensive International Programme and the Late Harvest section will also be combined into one Audience Competition, introducing two new Audience Awards for short and long films.

Film Programme will be streamlined

Meanwhile, the film programme will be streamlined to feature around 200 works, down from the more than 300 films shown during previous festival editions.

“We aim to maintain the festival’s high-quality standards, while continuing to explore new cinematic forms and ensuring an abundant selection for the audience,” Terhechte says. “At the same time, we don’t want to overwhelm audiences with a bursting programme. Instead we’re presenting clearly defined sections so the public can make more targeted choices.”

Read more about our new competitions and awards in our press release.

The frontal view upon the Schauburg with entrance door and red branding of DOK Leipzig

DOK Day at Schauburg

Thanks to our series in cooperation with the historic Schauburg movie theatre, Leipzig’s documentary film fans can now get their fix between festivals. On the last Wednesday of every month we’ll be showing highlights from years past, starting on 29.01 at 8 pm with the 2019 crowd favorite Coal Country Song. Gundermann.

With the help of unpublished archive footage and the artist’s songs, director Grit Lemke profiles the late East German musician Gerhard Gundermann. This film for our times explores how the witty excavator operator grappled with the consequences of open-cast mining and the issues of environmental protection and individual responsibility.

The series continues on 26.02 with Daniel Abma’s Autobahn. In this loving and humorous film, Abma documents day to day life in the German town of Bad Oeynhausen, where the thousands of lorries that drive through each day threaten to strip the community of its spa resort status. But the promise of a new motorway bypass could be the solution.

In March we’re featuring Narges Kalhor’s In the Name of Scheherazade or the first beergarden of Teheran. Deutsche Welle journalist Jochen Kürten saw the film during the 2019 festival and called it “a clever meditation on filmmaking, a profound examination of the concepts of homeland and foreigners, a thoughtful film about prejudice and cultural ignorance, but above all a funny film about all these phenomena together.”

We’ll keep you informed about more films to come.

See you at Schauburg!

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.


Read more about the award winners 2019 in our archive.

63rd Edition of DOK Leipzig
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