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Leipzig 2005

Workingman's Death.At this international festival dedicated to documentary and animation films, our prize went to Workingman's Death by Michael Glawogger (Austria, 2005). Details of the prize

"The film questions the discussion about the disapperance of the classic working men. In the third world people still work under very brutal and harsh conditions. The documentary covers the subject with high cinematographic quality and an impressive narrative structure. Strong visual images and engaging music and sounds make Workingman's Death a breathtaking documentary to watch." (Statement of the jury)


The 48th edition of the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films with director Claas Danielsen in his second year had a lot to offer to everybody - Leipzig audience as well as media industry participants from all over the world. There is a new, short version of the name - DOK Leipzig, a new logo, which caused broad discussions and a new most enchanting festival center situated in the only recently opened 'Museum für bildende Künste' (Museum of Fine Arts). Beside the films there were many special offers for the industry. In co-operation with the Central German Media Fund and the Saxon State the former video library was transformed into the DOK Market. Here all the festival films as well as 200 others chosen from the selection comittee from the 2400 submission could be seen by programmers from others festivals, f.i from the Guangzhou Documentary Film Festival in China as well as many buyers from TV-stations and distributors. The final pitching of the Discovery Campus Master School for young filmmakers and the first DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting IDEAS where directors and producers could present their projects to more than 50 international TV-representatives as well as the DOK Summit Panel Discussions focused on specific topics like programme initiaves for innovative television (Oct. 6th), new ways to reach the audience (0ct. 7th) and questioned the return of political documentaries in Germany (Oct. 8th).

All these specific industry offers were very well received and raised ongoing talks and intensive meetings. Most of the projects presented encountered great interests and got first financing promises.The accreditation figures show that the DOK Leipzig industry offers were put out at the right time. The number of expert visitors increased immensely. For the first time the festival achieved the record of 1000 accreditations: 1.017 accredited guests from 35 countries in total registered for the festival participation in 2005. The good feedback from all participants encourage the festival to continue to develop its profile in this respect in 2006 as well.

The festival also payed tribute to the 25th anniversary of the AG DOK, (Arbeitsgemeinschaft Dokumentarfilm), the German Documentary Filmmakers Association with a retrospective on German political documentaries from 1980 until 2005, Red Films Are Easier Spotted (Rote Filme Sieht Man Besser), which was set up by the German Federal Film Archive (Bundesarchiv/Filmarchiv) as well as with the public präsentation of a book The Defence Of Reality (Die Verteidigung des Realen) published by AG DOK. It referrers to the foundation of the filmmakers association in Sept. 1980. The Festival closed on Oct. 9 with an audience day with free entrance in the festival cinemas in Leipzig. Directly after the end of the Festival, it will present an "epilogue" in Dresden, Halle, Weimar and Berlin.

Elfriede Schmitt
© FIPRESCI 2005


Reports:

Reality and Spirituality in Leipzig. Viliam Jablonický is impressed by a vast range of films, both short and long, that reveal people in a political context and expose their emotions and spirituality.

The Master of Direct Cinema. Both Ville Hänninen and the Leipzig Film Festival pay homage to Albert Maysles, who is still very active at the age of 78.

Read also Pamela Bienzobas' review of Workingman's Death published at the occasion of the Venice festival.

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Leipzig 2005

Index

Reality and Spirituality

Albert Maysles

Workingman's Death
(reviewed in Venice)