… 2018 ended. Was it good or bad? I normally watch all the films in the main international competition, the long documentaries to make my own hit list. This year it was not possible. I watched three, the winner of three awards Claudia Tosi’s “I Had a Dream”, Alina Gorvola’s “No Obvious Signs” that received the regional broadcaster MDR’s award and Sergei Loznitsa’s “The Trial” that got no prize, which was completely wrong. Excellent films, I would say.

Being at the festival was good, as it has been all the years I have been there, invited by Claas Danielsen and now Leena Pasanen. I liked the putting together of the program done by the selection committee, and I can easily see – without taking part – that the industry section is being taken care of with enthusiasm and professionalism by Brigid O’Shea.

Atmosphere… is crucial for a festival, and DOKLeipzig manages to create it.

Being a festival guest in Leipzig is being treated with warmth and generosity. At the Museum and in the cinemas by those employed and those who are in the volunteer group.

It can be exhausting for an old cat like me, but a festival is a place where you constantly run into people you have met before and who want you to see their latest work… you remember the face but not the name. Sorry for that! But my meetings and screenings with the Lithuanians Audrius Stonys, Giedre Zickyte, Mindaugas Survila, the representatives from the Lithuanian Film Centre director Rolandas Kvietkauskas and the head of promotion, information and heritage Dovilé Butnoriūté, producer Dagne Vildziunaite and director Aistė egulytė – took most of my time, pure pleasure! 999!

The festival takes place in a city that is simply nice to be in: there is a lot for the eye, Leipzig is eine Kulturstadt, the architecture, the market square, the cafés and restaurants, Thomaskirche with Bach, and even if there are many grand magasins the city keeps small specialist shops, for instance selling wine and tobacco. The latter is history for me, alas.

Some statistics from the festival’s press release of this Monday: “The 61st edition of DOK Leipzig has come to a close. The festival was a great success, with 47,155 visitors attending film screenings and events over the week. Six evenings of screenings in the Osthalle of Leipzig’s main train station, which were coordinated in conjunction with Promenaden Hauptbahnhof and the Deutsche Bahn, drew about 3,600 visitors. 

DOK Neuland, DOK Leipzig’s interactive exhibition, attracted roughly 3,000 visitors. “Once again, DOK Neuland grew a little bigger. With a space of 400 squaremeters, located in Nikolaistraße 23, the visitors were able to immerge into the 360° films and VR projects. For the very first time, the exhibition was created by a designer. I am very proud, within only four years, DOK Neuland has become an integral and important part of DOK Leipzig”, says festival director Leena Pasanen…

The photo: a mural just on the other side of the hotel we stayed in, Adina. I have no idea when it was made but the reference to the days of GDR is evident!


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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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