Leipziger Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
October 1, 2007

Leipziger Festival for Documentary and Animated Film
On this, the 50th anniversary of the International Leipziger Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, the festival will reflect on its history with a number of programs. DOK Leipzig will show a selection of films that have screened over the years, while debuting films that could not be screened in the past due to political restrictions. The festival is also due to publish a book with 50 stories from the past 50 years of its history.

Running from October 29 to November 4, the festival will also expand industry events. DOK Market Digital, introduced in 2005, will this year enable buyers and other industry professionals to select from more than 400 docs to view digitally in private viewing seats. There is also the International DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting, a networking opp for filmmakers from Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia to find financing for their projects and learn about each others’ markets. As part of this meeting there will be a panel discussion on ‘Cinema Distribution of Documentary Films.’

In this pivotal year, the festival will also introduce a new competition: The International Young Documentary Talent Competition Generation DOK. The prize of €10,000 worth of start-up financing will go to one up-and-comer who is approaching the factual genre in new and exciting ways.

The IDFA Forum
In its 15th year, the Forum for International Co-Financing of Documentaries moves to a new venue, the Compagnie theatre (Bloveniersburgwal 50, Amsterdam, pictured next page). This new location is close to the new IDFA and Docs for Sale venues.

The rules governing project eligibility have also changed this year. In previous years, only projects that had 25% (and less than 75%) of financing already in place were eligible to enter into the pitch sessions. This year they’re allowing projects in all phases of production. A limited number of projects that do not have the previous minimum amount of financing in place (Seedling Projects) and those that have over 75% of funding in place (Rough Cuts) are eligible for entry into the Forum. Seedling Projects that are accepted will be pitched in one-on-one meetings with commissioning editors, while Rough Cuts of a maximum of 10 minutes will be shown to TV buyers, CEs and other financiers. Projects that meet the old criteria will still be pitched to an audience of broadcasters from around the world.

The Forum, which runs November 22 until December 2, will also become a launching pad for cross-media doc projects. With this in mind, the Forum will offer the opportunity to present these types of projects to potential financiers, as well as provide labs where participants can work with experts on the development of cross-media projects.

History Makers
The event formerly known as the World Congress of History Producers will not be changing its name to a symbol, instead it will be calling itself History Makers: International Summit of History & Current Affairs Producers. The newly renamed event also has a new ep behind it, namely Bill Nemtin. Nemtin and the rest of the crew at History Makers have added current affairs programming to the bill, with the intention of linking today’s current affairs with tomorrow’s history. On top of the name and content changes, History Makers is permanently being moved from November to January, with the next one slotted to run from January 17 to 19, 2008 in New York City.

About The Author
Managing editor with realscreen publication, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Darah is an award-winning journalist who has spent over two decades covering a wide range of issues from real estate and urban development to immigration, politics and human rights, primarily with The Vancouver Sun. Prior to joining realscreen, she was editor of Stream Daily, realscreen's sister publication covering the dynamic global digital video industry. She also served a stint as a war reporter in Afghanistan for television and print, and was a national business blogger with Yahoo Canada.