The 54th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, held from October 17-23, is featuring a retrospective of American direct cinema pioneer Robert Drew’s work, as well as an interview session with him and a special 14-film program focusing on Indian filmmakers.
Drew, who founded Drew Associates with other doc luminaries such as Richard Leacock, D.A. Pennebaker, Terence Macartney-Filgate and the Maysles brothers, is behind such American direct cinema classics as Primary and Crisis: Behind a Presidential Commitment.
He will be appearing at the German festival for both a screening of those two films and a DOK Talk Special to be held on Saturday, October 22.
Three German filmmakers will also be honored with special tributes on the occasions of their birthdays. DOK Leipzig will be saluting Gitta Nickel (who turns 75), Jurgen Bottcher (who turns 80) and Kurt Weiler (who has recently turned 90) with select special programs. Nickel and Bottcher will also be attending the festival.
Fourteen films from Indian doc makers comprise the “Filmmakers as Changemakers – the Rhythms of India” program. Projects featured in the program include At the Stairs from Rajesh S. Jala, Oranges and Mangoes from Priyanka Chhabra and Manipur Song from Pankaj Butalia.
Another special program, “1961 Reviewed – When the World was Split in Two,” brings together 30 films from that era; a time when the world was both mired in division through developments such as the Berlin Wall, and attempting to move beyond such separation in some countries, with the desegregation movement in the U.S. gaining traction.
The festival also features 12 documentary films from around the world in its international competition, with the full list found here. Nine films have been entered into the international competition for short documentary, and that list is here.
For more information on this year’s edition of DOK Leipzig, check its website.