Eighty-four documentaries from five continents form the official program of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, now celebrating its 55th year in the German city. The festival runs from October 29 to November 4.
Familiarly known as DOK Leipzig, this year’s edition boasts 27 world premieres and 14 international premieres. Including the animated fare, a total of 360 non-fiction films from 62 countries will be shown.
“This year’s films paint a very exciting and varied picture of a world in transition,” says festival director Claas Danielsen, who has run the event since 2004. “In that way, the festival serves as a barometer of fundamental political, social and cultural change.”
Amongst the festival strands are: an international competition (13 films), a German competition (12 films), young cinema for new filmmakers (11 films), a dozen short films and 36 feature-length documentaries curated from around the world.
In addition to these competitive sections, special programming includes a Latin American section called The Spirit of Freedom, the self-explanatory Utopias and Realities: The Red Dream Factory (primarily silent films with live musical accompaniment) and filmmaker retrospectives showcasing the work of Barbara Hammer, Peter Nestler, Mariola Brillowska and Boris von Borresholm.
In a festival first, the opening night film, Are You Listening! comes from Bangladesh. In this world premiere screening, director Kamar Ahmad Simon examines the plight of 100 or so families from a flood-ravaged village who have lived on an old dyke for the past two years.
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