DOK Leipzig Winners 2016

I liked the award ceremony of DOK Leipzig last night at the CinéStar 4. Instead of hiring some entertainer, or having two people talking to each other trying to be funny, the festival had a host, Jörg Taszmann, film journalist from Berlin, on stage who conducted the prizegiving in a very calm and professional way, speaking perfectly German and English and French. What I also appreciated was to have the juries on stage giving their motivation in English and German, often helped by the host. As before the best jury in terms of performance was the Youth Jury, who had made special prize to “their” winner, Polish “Communion”.

A total of 21 prizes were awarded, including 7 Golden Doves and 2 Silver Doves. With 77,000 euros in prize money, DOK Leipzig is the best-endowed documentary film festival in Germany. The ceremony took a bit more than two hours with announcements, thank you speeches and for some of the films clips. Festival director Leena Pasanen was pleased about that reduction in time and can be happy with the many compliments she and programming director Grit Lemche got through the evening. Well deserved.

And the winner of the Golden Dove was – no surprise for me, see previous post – Sergey Loznitsa with his ”Austerlitz”. Danish documentary icon Jørgen Leth handed the award to Loznitsa with these words:

””Austerlitz” is a magnificent filmic essay about a walk in the wellkept sets of the most horrible acts of the concentration camp genocide. Loznitsa is working with light and shadow, as he is relentlessly observing large groups of visitors. The calm and beauty of his images and the remarkable soundediting leaves lots of space for thinking one more time about what happened not so long ago in the middle of Europe. The film is sophisticated, almost playful in the way it deals with inside and outside and its very consequential framing of people and objects.”

Silver Dove went to Heidi Specogna for her ”Cahier Africain” and there was a honorary mention to Andreas Dalsgaard and Obaidah Zytoon for ”The War Show”.

Another film from ”my list”, ”A Young Girl in her Nineties”, by French Yann Coridian and Valeria Bruni Tedeschi, was the one the film critics from the Fipresci found the best, and happy I was when Russian Marina Razbezhkina chose Georgian ”Listen to the Silence” by Mariam Chachia as the best film in the Next Master’s section. Georgian documentary is at its best these years.

Equally happy I was to see the MDR Prize go to Russian Tatayna Chistova for her ”Convictions” that was pitched at Baltic Sea Forum 2015. Will watch the film asap.

For the German competition I can not say anything yet, will see some of the films later on, definitely ”To be a Teacher” by Jakob Schmidt, who was on stage 4 times to receive an award. Overwhelming for the young man and entertaining for us in the audience.

You can find all awards mentioned on 

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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