Some 2,850 films from 77 countries were submitted to this year’s International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, among them 2,200 documentaries and 650 animated films. The number of entries is down slightly from last years, when DOK Leipzig received a record 3,012 entries. The 55th edition of DOK Leipzig will take place from 29 October to 4 November 2012.

Around 75 films will be selected from among the entries to compete for the Golden Dove awards in the five competition sections. In all, DOK Leipzig will showcase around 200 documentaries and 150 short animated films. In addition, the festival will present a number of special programs and tributes. This year’s retrospective will be on the German-Russian film studio Mezhrabpom, whose films in the 1920s and ‘30s inspired the entire European film avant-garde. The traditional country focus will be devoted to the young documentary cinema of Spanish-speaking Latin America. Awaiting animation enthusiasts at DOK Leipzig will be a journey of discovery through a century of Polish puppet animation. Shortly before the presidential election in the United States, the festival will pay tribute with its special program on democracy to the U.S. documentary showcase POV (Point of View), which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.

DOK Leipzig has in recent years become one of the industry’s major gatherings in Europe. Since 2011, the festival has been expanding its DOK Training professional development activities and focusing increasingly on new and interactive media. Thanks to the DOK Market, the International Co-Production Meeting, numerous panel discussions and many other offerings, the number of international visitors has doubled since 2004 to more than 1,400. For both the general viewing public and filmmakers from around the world, DOK Leipzig represents a film program at the highest artistic level. Enthusiasm for the festival is growing steadily, with the number of attendees having reached a record 37,000 last year.

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Chris Arrant

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