Seven documentary films and five animations in the festival's main programme, another ten titles in the DOK.Market film fair – the team of Polish films to participate in this year's edition of the DOK.Leipzig festival looks really impressive!

October 28 is the starting date of the 56th edition of DOK.Leipzig festival. Polish cinema enjoys a particular appreciation in Leipzig, and is numerously represented in competitive sections every year. This time, seven new documentary films from Poland will be delivered to the festival’s audience.

Piotr Stasik’s ‘A Diary of a Journey’ and Aneta Kopacz’s ‘Joanna’ qualified for the International Documentary Film Competition, while ‘When I’m a bird’ by Monika Pawluczuk was accepted into the International Short Documentary Competition. For each of these films, the screenings in Leipzig will be their international debut. ‘Deep love’, the latest film by Jan P. Matuszyński, will have its world premiere at the DOK.Leipzig, contending for prizes in the Young Cinema Competition.

In the out-of-competition International Documentary Programme, three Polish films will be presented – ‘The love equation of Henryk Fast’ by Agnieszka Elbanowska, ‘Father and Son’ by Paweł Łoziński and ‘Mother 24/7’ by Marcin Janos Krawczyk. For ‘The love equation of Henryk Fast’ this will be an international debut, while the other two films will be shown in Germany for the first time.

Polish animated films will be strongly represented as well. This year, four films were invited to participate – Tomasz Popakul’s ‘Ziegenort’, Marcin Wasilewski’s ‘Lost senses’ as well as Tomasz Ducki’s ‘Baths’ and a Polish-German film ‘Darling’ by Izabela Plucińska, the latter two films seeing its premiere in Germany. Additionally, in the out-of-competition programme for animated films, the six minute long ‘Ab ovo’ by Anita Kwiatkowska-Naqvi. It is worth noting, that one of the filmmakers has already been very successful in Leipzig – in 2007 Tomasz Ducki received a Golden Dove for best animation with his ‘Life line’, produced by MOME from Hungary.

Polish documentary productions have also been frequently awarded in Leipzig over the last few years. In 2008 the Golden Dove went to ‘Till it hurts’ by Marcin Koszałka. In 2009, Paweł Łoziński’s ‘Chemo’ was awarded an MDR prize, and ‘September 17’ by Aleksander Gutman received a special mention in the short film category. The following year brought even more awards. ‘Vodka Factory’, directed by Sweden-based filmmaker Jerzy Śladkowski received the Golden Dove, and another one in the short film category went to ‘A piece of summer’ by Marta Mironowicz. At the 53th DOK.Leipzig, Marcin Sauter’s ‘North of Calabria‘ won the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury and the ver.di prize of trade unions. In 2011, the Silver Dove was won by ‘Argentinean lesson’ by Wojciech Staroń, and ‘Phnom Penh Lullaby’ by Paweł Kloc received a special mention in the Young Talents Competition.

Ten Polish films were invited to participate in the DOK.MARKET, a film fair that accompanies the festival. The group includes Matej Bobrik’s ‘Self(less)-portrait’, Marcel Łoziński’s ‘Father and Son on a journey‘ Marcin Koszałka’s ‘You’re Gonna Be a Legend, Man‘ and ‘Lust Killer‘, Edward Porembny’s ‘Madame Tyson‘, Kamil Król’s ‘I love a Hooligan’, Brygida Frosztęga-Kmiecik’s ‘The Odd Movie’, Filip Dzierżawski’s ‘Love’, Lidia Duda’s ‘Everything is possible’ and Wiktoria Szymańska’s ‘The Man Who Made Angels Fly’.

On top of this, DOK.Leipzig will also feature two Polish documentary projects still in the making. Among the films partaking in this year’s DOK.Incubator workshops is ‘Życie motyla’ by Piotr Bernaś (‘Life of a Butterfly’). It is going to be a film about modern day gladiators, arena and bloodshed, about a deliberately self-destructive, 34-year old radical rebel, the world champion in fighting. What drives a man who chooses a life of perpetual struggle, lets his body be mutilated and puts his health at risk?

Among the 35 films that qualified for the Leipzig Co-Production Meeting is ‘Birdwatching’, authored by Katarzyna Trzaska and produced by ZYGIZAGA Films. The film takes place in the Biebrza National Park, Poland. The beginning of a one-week hatching period of water-fowl attracts ornithologists from all over the world. One of them is a German from Berlin, Jan Avenhous, an advertising agency employee, personally a vegan and a passionate advocate of eco lifestyle. During his stay, Jan, who speaks Polish language, is bound to come in contact with locals living in the village, exchange views and reflections on the nature that surrounds them. What fuels dispute and humour in the film is a clash of two different worlds – that of a man living in a developed and industrialized Western European country, accustomed to comfort but sick of the ever-increasing pace of city life, and that of a Polish family living on a farm, who have adopted an ambiguous attitude towards nature.

We would like to encourage you to read the interviews with filmmakers whose films have been qualified for DOK.Leipzig programme:

– inteview with Monika Pawluczuk
interview with Paweł Łoziński
interview with Marcin Janos Krawczyk

More at the festival’s official website.