Leena Pasanen New DOKLeipzig Festival Director

Press release of today from DOKLeipzig: Leipzig Mayor Burkhard Jung is proposing the Finnish documentary expert Leena Pasanen (49) to become the next director of DOK Leipzig. The City Council will decide on the appointment on 15 October. A selection committee composed of industry professionals chose Pasanen from 33 candidates. Her years of experience and excellent international network were among the deciding factors.

Leena Pasanen currently directs the Finnagora cultural institute at the Finnish Embassy in Budapest. Previously, she held various management positions at the Finnish television broadcaster YLE. Pasanen was responsible for documentaries on YLE 1, then led the cultural and documentary programming division of the digital special-interest channel YLE Teema and later worked as a programme coordinator. She also spent three years as director of the European Documentary Network in Copenhagen.

“I am delighted that Leena Pasanen has been nominated as my successor. She is widely respected internationally, a profound connoisseur of documentary film and a very experienced cultural manager”, says outgoing festival director Claas Danielsen.

If the City Council signs off, Leena Pasanen will succeed Claas Danielsen on 1 January 2015. She will begin a five-year contract as festival director of DOK Leipzig also serving as managing director of the municipal Leipziger Dok-Filmwochen GmbH.

Claas Danielsen has led the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film since 2004. During his tenure, he modernised DOK Leipzig and made it one of the leading international documentary festivals and major industry gatherings.

… If I dare take the October 15 confirmation as a formality, a big hug and congratulations to Leena, colleague in documentary and former director of EDN – as the one who writes these lines.

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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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