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DOK Leipzig – 56th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film

A Folk Troupe
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"A Folk Troupe" (Gang Zhao)

Starting with a big storm, like in a Shakespearean comedy, preventing many participants to arrive in time for the inauguration, the 56th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film opens its doors from 28 October to 3 November 2013. This important festival is dedicated to documentaries and animated films and attracts many people. Moviegoers flock here to find out what is the best in these film genres. But also to taste the Dolce Vita in Leipzig, after Dresden the second largest city in the north-west of Saxony.

DOK Leipzig was founded in 1955 by the "Club of film-makers of the German Democratic Republic" (Club der Filmschaffenden der DDR) under the title "All-German Leipzig Week for Cultural and Documentary Film", as the first independent film festival of the GDR. Today, DOK Leipzig is the oldest documentary film festival in the world. Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the “International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film” has developed into one of the most dynamic documentary festivals, providing a high-quality, international programme and, since 2004, additional industry offers. Artistic animated film has formed an integral part of the festival for decades. Since 1995 the genre got its own competition.  With its Animadoc section, DOK Leipzig also offers a platform to animated documentary. Starting this year, it is the world's first film festival to award a prize in this hybrid subgenre. Overall, 346 films will be screened in the various sections and Special Programmes: 187 documentaries, 116 animations, and 43 Animadoc productions. 24 among the 109 films in the official documentary film programme of the 56th edition of DOK Leipzig will be world premieres, 24 international premieres, 7 European premieres and 47 German premieres. The large percentage of prestigious names and former award winners whose films enrich the programme is a particularly positive development.

DOK Leipzig, as now is its common name, has for its logo a pigeon. Probably because this bird is traveling. This year, the international jury, FIPRESCI jury and Ecumenical jury can choose from a dozen films to crown, and they come from all over the world. Sorts of reflections of social reality, we cannot say they are all very happy, but they all allow artistically to open our eyes. Is this not the role of cinema? For instance this year the different juries have to choose between: In Sarmatien (Volker Koepp); Die Trasse (Vitaly Mansky); Optical Axis (Marina Razbezhkina); Hilton! — Here for Life (Virpi Suutari); Super Women (Yael Kipper and Ronen Zaretzky) ; Stop the Pounding Heart (Roberto Minervini); Just the Right Amount of Violence (Jon Bang Carlsen); Normalization (Robert Kirchhoff); DNA Dreams (Bregtje van der Haak); A Diary of a Journey (Piotr Stasik); Joanna (Aneta Kopacz); and A Folk Troupe (Gang Zhao). We once again have the opportunity to admire the diversity but also the credo of DOK Leipzig which traditionally stands for films advocating peace and human dignity. In view of its varied and exciting history, it celebrates freedom of mind and high artistic quality in film. (Jean-Max Méjean)

DOK Leipzig — 56th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film (Germany, Leipzig, October 28 — November 3, 2013). Jury: Jean-Max Mejean, France ("Jeune Cinéma"), Sasja Koetsier, The Netherlands ("De Filmkrant"), Alexandra Puetter, Germany ("Filmecho"). FIPRESCI prize: A Folk Troupe directed by Gang Zhao (China, 2013, 62min) shown in the International Competition Documentary Film. Motivation: "For its impressionistic look at the inner and outer relations of a Chinese Opera troupe". Print Source: Zhao Gang Film Studio, Phn: +862887534178, e-mail: gangter@sina.com.
Festival: www.dokfestival-leipzig.de

Reports

Theatrical Art and the Difficulty of Living. In deciding to award our prize to A Folk Troupe, by Chinese filmmaker Zhao Gang, the FIPRESCI jury not only recognized its high artistic quality, but also the fact that this film — which is about the life of a company — speaks of theatrical art and the difficulty of living. Jean-Max Méjean's review. arrow.
Staging Reality. The borderland between reality and fiction expanded at DOK Leipzig 2013 by the awarding of the Golden Dove for feature-length documentary to the docudrama Stop the Pounding Heart — a challenging choice for those that like to draw a sharp line between drama and documentary. Sasja Koetsier's report. arrow.
A Short Film About Development on the Road. Two guys, an RV, chemicals by the bottle, and the quest for the perfect product — no, A Diary of a Journey (Dziennik z podróży) is not the Polish version of Breaking Bad, but an altogether more relaxed exploration of the master-student relationship. Alexandra Pütter's report. arrow.

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Leipzig 2013

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bullet. Staging Reality
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