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