DOK Leipzig

DOK Leipzig is an annual festival for documentaries and animations that celebrates film and promotes debate. The festival focuses on the values of peace, tolerance, human dignity and freedom of expression, along with a strong, individual artistic signature of the filmmakers.


DOK Leipzig is an international festival for documentary and animated film, being the first in the world to combine these two genres. DOK Leipzig is built on more than 60 years of history and takes place every year in autumn.

With contemporary international films, unique curated series and a rich programme for children and adults, DOK Leipzig gives exciting artistic works a place to celebrate their premieres. As a platform, DOK Leipzig aims to promote young talent regardless of gender, origin or point-of-view.

During the festival week, which usually takes place between October and November, numerous Leipzig venues turn into DOK Leipzig cinemas. Film screenings, live debates, artist talks, masterclasses and special events are all part of the repertoire.

With DOK Neuland, the festival presents the public with a curated exhibition of Extended Reality works. Each year this creates a world where visitors can experience profound stories in unexpected virtual spaces.

DOK Industry Programme supports the creation and circulation of new creative documentary films from all over the world. Exceptional projects are presented every year in a relaxed and open environment.

The 64th edition of DOK Leipzig will take place from 25 October to 31 October 2021.


Submissions to the festival programme are generally open to artistic documentaries and animated films as well as Extended Reality works of all lengths.

To be considered for the competitions, it is important that the films have been produced either in the current year or in the year before, and that they have not been shown publicly before last October.

Films need to celebrate at least a German premiere at DOK Leipzig. World premieres, international and European premieres are preferred.

For XR works, no specific premiere status is required to qualify for the submission.

The co-financing and networking event DOK Co-Pro Market accept submissions of creative documentary projects in development or early stages of production.

Submission deadlines 2021:

  • Documentary and animated films: 1 July 2021
  • XR works: 1 July 2021
  • Documentary projects for the DOK Co-Pro Market: 2 August 2021

The call for 2022 will open in March 2022.


The film programme presents six competition sections and further curated series such as a Retrospective, Homages, Animation focused series and programmes for children and young people.

The competition sections are:

  • International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film
  • International Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film

As diverse as the circumstances in which people live, as different as their perspectives, are the various cinematic tools filmmakers use to examine and pass them on. DOK Leipzig’s international competitions generate productive encounters: between a young generation eager to experiment and those who remain true to the curiosity and creativity of their beginnings.

  • German Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film
  • German Competition Short Documentary and Animated Film

Perspectives intersect in the German competitions of DOK Leipzig: Those of an emerging generation looking for its own forms of expression and those of established filmmakers who have retained their spirit of departure and contradiction. Their films illuminate familiar regions or cross borders to demonstrate a wide range of forms and themes, of close-ups and distant views.

  • “Golden Section” – Competition for the Audience Award Long Documentary and Animated Film
  • “Golden Section” – Competition for the Audience Award Short Documentary and Animated Film

In geometry the Golden Section represents harmonic proportions. This section brings together films that arouse emotions, that take the subjective point of view, that can be humorous, surprising and warm-hearted. Like the whole DOK Leipzig line-up, they compete for the audience’s favour. Here, however, an audience jury will also award the prizes.

Extended Reality: DOK Neuland
In the curated XR exhibition DOK Neuland, audiences can discover and define new boundaries in film with interactive works, virtual and augmented reality, games, 360° films and media art in a completely new form. The exhibition is open to the public, admission is free.


The film branch networking programme is tailor-made for accredited filmmakers, XR creatives, producers, editors, decision makers and distributors. Each year DOK Industry welcomes around 1,600 accredited guests at the festival. In 2021, DOK Industry Programme goes hybrid, presenting its key formats on-site in Leipzig and online at the same time.

DOK Industry Programme presents:

  • DOK Co-Pro Market
  • DOK Film Market
  • DOK Short n’ Sweet Pitch
  • DOK Preview Presentations
  • DOK Exchange Conference
  • Meet the Experts
  • Podcasts
  • Panels and Talks


DOK Education invites students and teachers to get to know documentary film as both a cinematic genre and a content medium. The activities include special screenings for school classes and university courses. Every year during the festival, young people also have the opportunity to be part of the youth editorial team DOK Spotters and learn more about festival coverage, accompanied by media professionals.