DOK Leipzig 2018 Overview

The 61st DOK Leipzig

October 29-November 4

More than 80 new and recent nonfiction features screen at this long-running German festival.


The German competition includes several world premieres, including: Claudia Lehmann’s THE SYMPHONY OF UNCERTAINTY, an essay exploring particle physics, hypnotherapy, and industrial music; Katinka Zeuner’s BREATHING LIFE INTO STONE, a portrait of a man who creates tombstones; Benjamin Rost’s NIGHTWANDERERS, a nocturnal look at German outsiders; Arjun Talwar and Bigna Tomschin’s A DONKEY CALLED GERONIMO, about the residents of a small Baltic Sea island; and Pablo Ben Yakov’s LORD OF THE TOYS, which follows a group of young professional YouTubers in Dresden.


Among the offerings in the International Competition are: Othmar Schmiderer’s THE DAYS AND THE YEAR, following an Austrian organic farm for a year; Danae Elon’s A SISTER’S SONG, in which Marina tries to convince her sister Tatiana to leave the religious order that has separated them; Hester Overmars’ THE PRINCIPAL WIFE, following a woman’s quest to find answers about her mother, the wife of a notorious leader of a sect; Digna Sinke’s KEEPING & SAVING – OR HOW TO LIVE, in which the director explores the compulsion to collect; and Alina Gorlova’s NO OBVIOUS SIGNS, a profile of a Ukrainian woman reckoning with PTSD.


World premieres in the Next Masters competition include: Aistė Žegulytė’s ANIMUS ANIMALIS (A STORY ABOUT PEOPLE, ANIMALS AND THINGS), which looks at the presentation of dead animals as objects; Ricardo Calil’s CINEMA MOROCCO, about a theatre workshop in a long-abandoned movie palace; Guillermo Quintero’s HOMO BOTANICUS, an exploration of a Colombian tropical forest; Ahmad Jalili Jahromi’s SENTENCED TO DEATH, a profile of female criminals in Iran; and Jaśmina Wójcik’s SYMPHONY OF THE URSUS FACTORY, in which old employees of a Polish factory re-enact their former roles in the now derelict building.


Several titles make their debut in the International Programme, including: Elke Sasse’s THE WAR ON MY PHONE, which demonstrates how Syrian refugees have used technology to track the ongoing conflict; Rosine Mbakam’s CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE, set in an African hairdresser’s in Brussels; Valentina Primavera’s UNA PRIMAVERA, which follows the filmmaker’s mother as she separates from her husband of 40 years; Albin Biblom’s CURIOSITY AND CONTROL, exploring the way the animals are presented in museums and zoos; Bettina Borgfeld’s THE PRICE OF PARADISE, about what happened to the last feudal spot in Europe; Alice Riff’s ELECTIONS, which follows the high school elections in a São Paulo high school; Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov’s PALACE FOR THE PEOPLE, an exploration of five iconic socialist era buildings; Fanny Bräuning’s THE JOURNEY – A STORY OF LOVE, which follows the filmmaker’s elderly and infirm parents as they tour Europe.

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Filed under Documentary, Film, Film Festivals, Overviews, Recommendations

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