Finnish doc expert Pasanen set to lead DOK Leipzig

Finnish doc expert Leena Pasanen (pictured) has been nominated for the position of festival director for Germany's DOK Leipzig, with an official appointment set to come in October.
September 5, 2014

Finnish doc expert Leena Pasanen (pictured) has been nominated for the position of festival director for Germany’s DOK Leipzig – the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film – with an official appointment set to come in October.

If selected, Pasanen will succeed outgoing festival director Claas Danielsen, who has helmed the festival since 2004.

A selection committee of industry professionals chose Pasanen out of a batch of 33 candidates. The appointment will be decided by Leipzig’s city council on October 15.

Pasanen is the director of the Finnagora cultural institute at the Finnish Embassy in Budapest. Previously, she held various management positions at the Finnish broadcaster YLE, and was also responsible for documentaries on the channel, serving as head of programs. Pasanen also spent three years as director of the European Documentary Network in Copenhagen.

If approved by city council, Pasanen will receive a five-year contract and begin work on January 1, 2015. During this period, she will also serve as managing director of the municipal film council Leipziger Dok-Filmwochen.

“I am delighted that Leena Pasanen has been nominated as my successor,” said Danielsen in a statement. “She is widely respected internationally, a profound connoisseur of documentary film and a very experienced cultural manager.”

The 57th installment of the festival runs from October 27 to November 2.

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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.