… was announced yesterday with an extensive press release for the 59th (!) edition of the documentary and animation film festival that runs October 31 till November 6. Let me, who will be there, as usual, for some days, enjoying the professionalism and hospitality of the festival, and the city of Leipzig, give you what the festival wants us press people to put a focus on, through a quote from the headlines:
“DOK Leipzig sets record for premieres. Official Selection 2016: Big names, promising talent, and a greater number of female directors. This year 100 films are celebrating their world and international premieres at DOK Leipzig. With 34 more than last year, the number has risen to set a new record. A total of 179 films and 6 interactive projects have made it into the Official Selection…”
OK, let’s take it step by step. “Big Names”, yes and at least two remarkable films that I have already seen: Mira Janek’s beautiful homage to creativity in
“Normal Autistic Film” (photo) and Vitaly Mansky’s timely, personal family essay “Rodnye: Close Relations”. And productive Sergei Loznitsa is back (last year he was there with magnificent “The Event”) with “Austerlitz”, “in which he observes visitors to a concentration camp with their selfie sticks: an eery scenery set in black & white tableaux.” Ukranian Sergey Buhovsky is there with “The Leading Role” and from good friend, producer Nenad Puhovski I heard that “Dum Spiro Spero” by Pero Kvesic should be something very special. Program director Grit Lemke writes, a quote: “…Dum spiro spero, to quote Cicero: while I breathe, I hope. But breathing can be a bit tricky when you have only twenty percent lung volume left, like Pero Kvesić. With a declining trend. The basic sound of this film (besides Kvesić’s Jew’s harp) is his wheezing as he moves through his shrinking universe, camera at the ready…”
Yes, for someone who thinks that “East Beats West” when it comes to original, artistic documentaries, DOK Leipzig has a lot to offer.
Next step. “a greater number of female directors”. Leena Pasanen, festival director: “We are very glad about the increased number of female directors in the competitions for feature-length films,” “Our team is making efforts to strengthen women in the film industry and we wish that more women are in a position to realise their film projects successfully. As one example, that’s why we have introduced a new prize this year for the best female-driven film project.” And make a retrospective with Russian director, producer and educator Marina Razbezhkina, who is also to be the one and only juror of the Next Master section of the festival.
And the special programmes… an exciting country focus on Turkey put together by Õzge Calafato and a wonderful retrospective of Polish documentaries with director names like Lozinski (Marcel and Pawel), Maciej Drygas, Kieślowski, Dziworski, Jerzy Bossak, Karabasz, Koszalska, Pacek, Palka… And “Disobedient Images”, a collection of animation films, remember that the slogan of this year’s festival is Disobedience. And much, much more.
A total of 309 films and interactive works will be shown during the festival week… OMG!