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www.DOKweb.net is a portal dedicated to East European documentary film. The news section provides up-to-date information on upcoming and just completed films, interviews with filmmakers and other documentary professionals, in-depth articles exploring the state of documentary filmmaking in various parts of the region, as well as insightful texts on current trends, funding, etc. The portal also boasts the largest published databases of completed and upcoming documentary films from Eastern Europe, an industry directory, as well as trailers and original video content. www.DOKweb.net is IDF´s key online project that provides comprehensive details on all IDF´s activities and links them with general information service.
Institute of Documentary Film’s Activities
Founded in 2001, the INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (IDF) is a non-profit training and networking centre based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of East European documentary films and their wider promotion. Our activities support filmmakers through all stages of completion – development, funding, production, post-production, and distribution. We aim at individual filmmakers (tailored consultations), groups of carefully selected professionals with projects or films (Ex Oriente Film, East European Forum, East Silver, Doc Launch, etc.), broader professional community (East Doc Platform), as well as the general public (portal www.DOKweb.net). We closely work with key int. festivals, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, markets, or training initiatives and serve as the GATEWAY TO EAST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY FILM.

DOK LEIPZIG PRIZE WINNERS

The Golden Dove Award for best feature documentary film of the 51st DOK Leipzig went to René by Helena Třeštíková. The Silver Dove was awarded to Heddy Honigmann's Oblivion. The Golden Dove for best short documentary film was presented to Marcin Koszałka's ...Till It Hurts; Bastion of Sin by Thomas Lauterbach received the Golden Dove Award for best German documentary film.

 

51ST DOK LEIPZIG
International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
October 27 - November 2, 2008
Leipzig, Germany




2008 will again see DOK Leipzig presenting outstanding new productions from all over the world. Euros 56,500 in prize-money will be awarded within the framework of four competitive sections - International Competition Documentary, International Competition Animated Film, German Competition Documentary Film, International Young Talent Documentary Competition „Generation DOK“. This year, DOK Leipzig  received around 2,400 entries from 99 countries.

For a complete overview of all winners, please click here.

 

 

 

 

The International Jury for Documentary Film Awards for Documentary Films and Videos / Long Metrage (> 45 min)

 

GOLDEN DOVE AWARD (along with € 10,000 granted by TELEPOOL)
RENÉ (Czech Republic)
D: Helena Třeštíková

In 1989, Helena Treštíková starts to film juvenile delinquent René. For almost 20 years, she follows the rhythm of his life, most of which is spent in prisons, interrupted only by brief stretches of freedom. 20 years during which epoch-making social upheavals take place, systems, regimes and governments change – depicted by televised images that reach René’s cell. The immobility and absence of pace “inside” is juxtaposed with a restless “outside”, where René roams squares and train stations and takes trains, without arriving anywhere. It is the filmmaker herself who is the connection between inside and outside, having become the only reliable constant in her protagonist’s life. A contradictory and shifting relationship reflected by René in his letters to Treštíková. Read by him, they add a second level to the film where the filmmaker practically becomes the second character.

[participant of the 2007 East European Forum, w/project Katka, René was presented at the Panel of Upcoming Czech Docuomentary Films in 2007]

 

 

SILVER DOVE AWARD (along with € 3,000)
OBLIVION
(Netherlands / Germany)
D: Heddy Honigmann

A country is given a face, or better, a variety of faces: Peru. Director Heddy Honigmann has looked for encounters with a number of people whom one would normally call ‘average people’, but who, seen through her camera, grow into fantastic and likeable personalities. Different kinds of service, caring and of civic, in the sense of communal, life together are presented in “El Olvido”. The protagonists all work in the service industry: from barkeeper to waiter and shoeshine boy, to leather tailor and children who earn a little money at big intersections by performing tricks to entertain the car drivers while they’re waiting. Even politicians are ultimately defined only as servants of common welfare. “El Olvido” inspires a wonderful kind of understanding for a country whose ordinary people manage to stay decent by means of defiant pride.

 

 

 

 

The International Jury for Documentary Film Awards for Documentary Films and Videos / Short Metrage (< 45 min)

GOLDEN DOVE AWARD (along with € 5,000 from DOK Leipzig and Filmverband Sachsen e.V.)
...TILL IT HURTS (Poland)
D: Marcin Koszalka

Oh, how beautiful life could be, if only the things that happen between two lovers counted. But life is different, especially if a dominant mother who has ruled her son’s life for 53 years stands between the man and the woman. And so, after an idyllic opening sequence, this short film unfolds the whole horror of a mother-son-relationship shaped by fear, insults and plain paranoia. In “Till It Hurts”, Polish director and cinematographer Marcin Koszalka turns back to the subject of his first documentary, “Such a Nice Boy I Gave Birth to”, which dealt with his own relationship to his dominant mother. Again he goes right to the threshold of pain in this film which was part of the Polish television series “Decalogue” and describes the fourth commandment – honour your father and mother – as a form of deep emotional disruption. And yet there is a short moment of unexpected tenderness between the mother’s shrill harangues and the son’s reproaches which focuses the whole tragedy of mutual interdependence in a single image – and illustrates the son’s hopelessness of ever liberating himself from his mother.

 

 

 

The German Jury for Documentary Film Awards for Documentary Films and Videos

GOLDEN DOVE AWARD (along with € 10,000 granted by Kinowelt GmbH)
BASTION OF SIN (Germany)
D: Thomas Lauterbach

Aysel is a devout Muslim, who for many years has lived the well-protected life of a homemaker and mother in the Swabian province. When she learns that the Stuttgart state theatre is looking for Turkish amateur actresses for a performance of Euripides’s “Medea”, she sees this as an invitation to apply. To her, the project is an opportunity to escape her monotonous day-to-day existence. What starts out as a change of scenery for Aysel increasingly challenges her view of the world. Family traditions, religion, the relationship between the sexes are issues which she was able to evade successfully in her former life but which now become increasingly dominant and confusing. Of course, Aysel has no intention of allowing herself to be brainwashed and sees her part as that of an ambassadress for good traditions and against monolithic stereotypes of the suppressed Turkish woman, too. Being the only headscarf-wearing woman in the chorus of Turkish women, she must and will defend her values and lifestyle against others with more modern ideas, even against parts of the production.

 

 

 

HONORARY MENTION
THE HEART OF JENIN
(Germany / Israel)
D: Marcus Vetter, Leon Geller

In November 2005, an Israeli soldier deployed on an operation in the West Bank, in the Jenin refugee camp, shoots the Palestinian boy Ahmed Khatib. His father Ismael decides to donate his son’s organs and thus save the lives of Israeli children. The case attracted a lot of media attention. Two years later the filmmaker accompanies Ismael on a journey across Israel to visit three of the children who survived thanks to the donated organs. One of them is a teenage Druzian girl whose family welcome Ismael very warmly. The family of a lively Bedouin boy from the Negev desert also extend a warm welcome to him. It is only in the Jerusalem flat of the orthodox Jewish family with the little daughter that one feels the deep rift between the parties. They are doing their best, but a strong feeling of uneasiness lingers on both sides.

 

 

The International Jury for the Young Talent Competition Awards for an extraordinary documentary film talent

TALENT DOVE of the Media Foundation of the Sparkasse Leipzig (along with € 10,000 as start-up funding for the next documentary film project)
GOLESHOVO (UK / Bulgaria)
D: Ilian Metev, Metodi Metev¨

She couldn’t sleep all night, says the old peasant woman, after she had left the village of Goleshovo for the first time and ridden her mule to the next town. So many impressions, so many images ... However would a person who travels around the world find enough space in his head for all those images? Only 59 people live in Goleshovo. The young people moved away, only old women and a slightly deranged aged priest are left. Bulgarian film student Ilian Metev follows the quiet daily peasant’s lives of those who remained. With humour and precision he observes the old women at work in the village, but also sitting together, singing, remembering old Goleshovo, hoping for new life brought by tourists and occasionally treating themselves to a swig of holy Good Friday water (matured behind the crucifix for ten years!).

 

 

 

HONORARY MENTION
THE REVOLUTION THAT WASN'T (Estonia / Finland)
D: Aljona Polunina

The more complex and confusing – from our perspective – Russian politics become, the simpler the explanation patterns offered by the media are. Aliona Polunina pays no attention to all this, moving right to the heart of a movement which made headlines as a part of the “Other Russia” alliance led by Garry Kasparov. In 2003, she had already taken a disconcerting look at the partisan games of an enclave of the National Bolshevik Party in “Yes, Death”. Now she delves deeper, far below the surface of a grotesque mixture of xenophobia, vulgar communism and populism. She has followed her protagonists over the years and found the stuff great tragedies are made of: a father who sacrifices his son, treason and regret, crime and punishment. The events around the 2008 elections provide the framework for the story of Anatoly, once the second man of the NBP led by Eduard Limonov. He sacrificed his life and his sons to the party, but becomes a failure in his own and others’ eyes after a moment of disloyalty. Step by step he withdraws into religion, while the church leaders are hand in glove with the NBP and his sons build political careers...

 

 

 

 

HONORARY MENTION
CYANOSIS (Iran)
D: Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami

A man sits in the streets of Tehran and paints – stylised bodies and nightmarish faces with huge eyes and mouths. He paints on old cardboard, hubcaps, everything he can lay his hands on. Again and again he is chased away by the police or insulted by passers-by, because art – everyone agrees – happens in different, academic circles. In her award-winning Animadoc film, Rokhsareh Ghaemmaghami presents the artist Jamshid Aminfar, whose work has been compared with Keith Haring’s and Edvard Munch’s abroad while in Iran he is an outlaw whose art barely earns him a living. Mentally impaired since childhood, a traditional career was closed to him – until at last luck in the person of a gallery owner and a young Frenchwoman seemed to enter his life. Jamshid dreams of recognition, money and requited love, but all the while things are going the way they usually do – wrong. The limits of the documentary are reached when it comes to the protagonists’ interior worlds. This film overcomes them with the greatest of ease, by juxtaposing the visible, authentic tragedy with animations of the expressionist visual power of Jamshid’s imagination.

 

 

 

 

The MDR (Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk) Awards for an excellent Eastern European documentary film

MDR FILM PRIZE (along with € 3,000)
RENÉ
D: Helena Třeštíková

In 1989, Helena Treštíková starts to film juvenile delinquent René. For almost 20 years, she follows the rhythm of his life, most of which is spent in prisons, interrupted only by brief stretches of freedom. 20 years during which epoch-making social upheavals take place, systems, regimes and governments change – depicted by televised images that reach René’s cell. The immobility and absence of pace “inside” is juxtaposed with a restless “outside”, where René roams squares and train stations and takes trains, without arriving anywhere. It is the filmmaker herself who is the connection between inside and outside, having become the only reliable constant in her protagonist’s life. A contradictory and shifting relationship reflected by René in his letters to Treštíková. Read by him, they add a second level to the film where the filmmaker practically becomes the second character.

[participant of the 2007 East European Forum, w/project Katka, René was presented at the Panel of Upcoming Czech Docuomentary Films in 2007]

 

 

 

The DEFA Foundation Awards

DEFA SPONSORING PRIZE (as a grant in the amount of € 4,000 to the film)
THE HEART OF JENIN (Germany / Israel)
D: Marcus Vetter, Leon Geller

In November 2005, an Israeli soldier deployed on an operation in the West Bank, in the Jenin refugee camp, shoots the Palestinian boy Ahmed Khatib. His father Ismael decides to donate his son’s organs and thus save the lives of Israeli children. The case attracted a lot of media attention. Two years later the fi lmmaker accompanies Ismael on a journey across Israel to visit three of the children who survived thanks to the donated organs. One of them is a teenage Druzian girl whose family welcome Ismael very warmly. The family of a lively Bedouin boy from the Negev desert also extend a warm welcome to him. It is only in the Jerusalem fl at of the orthodox Jewish family with the little daughter that one feels the deep rift between the parties. They are doing their best, but a strong feeling of uneasiness lingers on both sides.

 

 

 

 

The Jury of the Trade Union ver.di – Department of Media and Arts – Awards

JURY AWARD (along with € 1,500)
THEMIS AS A LADY OF LOOSE MORALS (Belarus)
D: Viktar Dashuk

Viktar Dashuk, who works under constant surveillance, calls the political events in his country “Belarusian absurd theatre”. A dictatorship where Themis, the goddess of justice and morality, has degenerated into a lady of easy virtue who will sell herself to the whole world. Dashuk shows how president Lukashenko managed to bring the legal system and, step by step, the whole state under his exclusive control. He draws a line of lawlessness that leads directly to Stalin and Dzerzhinsky, from show trials against the innocent, the disappearance and physical destruction of political opponents up to brute violence against anything that gets in the way of the ruling powers. Dashuk’s camera is present while the headquarters of the election commission of the 2004 referendum are being raided by Lukashenko’s thugs (the election results were to guarantee him unlimited power), and as demonstrators are beaten up or trials staged. He juxtaposes his raw and shocking images with those produced by offi cial Belarus sources where Lukashenko has himself presented as the god-like “father” of the country.

 

 

 

The Ecumenical Jury Awards

ECUMENICAL JURY AWARD
OBLIVION (Netherlands / Germany)
D: Heddy Honigmann

A country is given a face, or better, a variety of faces: Peru. Director Heddy Honigmann has looked for encounters with a number of people whom one would normally call ‘average people’, but who, seen through her camera, grow into fantastic and likeable personalities. Different kinds of service, caring and of civic, in the sense of communal, life together are presented in “El Olvido”. The protagonists all work in the service industry: from barkeeper to waiter and shoeshine boy, to leather tailor and children who earn a little money at big intersections by performing tricks to entertain the car drivers while they’re waiting. Even politicians are ultimately defined only as servants of common welfare. “El Olvido” inspires a wonderful kind of understanding for a country whose ordinary people manage to stay decent by means of defiant pride.

 

 

 

The FIPRESCI Jury (Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique) Awards

FIPRESCI AWARD
OBLIVION
(Netherlands / Germany)
D: Heddy Honigmann

A country is given a face, or better, a variety of faces: Peru. Director Heddy Honigmann has looked for encounters with a number of people whom one would normally call ‘average people’, but who, seen through her camera, grow into fantastic and likeable personalities. Different kinds of service, caring and of civic, in the sense of communal, life together are presented in “El Olvido”. The protagonists all work in the service industry: from barkeeper to waiter and shoeshine boy, to leather tailor and children who earn a little money at big intersections by performing tricks to entertain the car drivers while they’re waiting. Even politicians are ultimately defined only as servants of common welfare. “El Olvido” inspires a wonderful kind of understanding for a country whose ordinary people manage to stay decent by means of defiant pride.