What does it mean to offer a full-fledged industry programme to leading and emerging film professionals from across the world? How important is it for the good prestige of festivals to be able to prepare this kind of industry programme? We asked the representatives of programme Christine Hille and Lina Dinkla from DOK Leipzig.
An interview with Christine Hille, Head of Industry of DOK Leipzig and Lina Dinkla, Assistant Programmer
For many festival visitors, the most, and sometimes the only visible part of the festival programme is the list of presented documentaries and the experience of full cinema halls where they have to be able to arrange a seat. But there is another important level of festival life; an industry programme focused on film professionals and their professional education and growth. It allows the filmmakers and producers to present new projects while sale agents and distribution managers have a unique chance to find films to work with. Of course, the industry programme is not only about making new business deals but primarily about meeting interesting colleagues, sharing experience and getting fresh ideas, as you can see in the DOK Leipzig Talks programme from March 24 to 30 at DAFilms.com.
What are the main activities of DOK Leipzig in the field of industry programmes? How many years have you been developing this area?
In 2004, the DOK Industry was launched; initial activities are the Co-Production Meeting and the DOK Market. The DOK Market offers a fully-digitized video library with more than 400 new selected European and international documentaries, animated docs and animated short films, especially targeted at international TV buyers, distributors, festival programmers and other professionals. The aim of the International DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting is to stimulate international co-productions between European production companies, as well as with their colleagues from abroad, and to support the financing of European creative documentaries. The networking event Anima Meets Doc: Expanded connects professionals from the documentary and animation sector as well as transmedia experts. The DOK Panels and DOK Talks offer a platform to discuss current developments and the future of the documentary sector and to pass on knowledge and best practice. In the last years, we have additionally established the DOK Leipzig Net Lab, a workshop for cross media projects, the Crossmedia Screenings for our "regular" audiences and, in cooperation with DoK Incubator and Doc Wok, rough cut workshops in Eastern Europe and Asia, which present their final results to the industry in Leipzig.
What does the industry part bring to the festival? In general, we can follow a trend of a constantly growing number of film festivals establishing their own industry sections...
The industry part is crucial for a festival with premiere policy. The industry secures the attendance of potential buyers and that's the main reason to choose a festival as a place to celebrate the premiere for a rights holder. Another reason is our audience which is well-known for its enthusiasm, intelligent questions and empathy with filmmakers and protagonists. But for the audience it doesn’t matter if the film was shown at other places in the world as well, because they don’t normally travel to other festivals.
The industry parts of festivals usually stay apart from other festival activities targeted on general audiences and common visitors. Are there any intersections, any special programme formats that bring together film professionals and audiences?
Audiences and filmmakers meet and talk at the so called Q&As (Questions and Answers) which happen after most film screenings. We are also organising DOK and Anima Talks for filmmakers with films in competition and for the audience.
The promotion of the festival is undoubtedly a very important thing. How does the promotional process work in case of the industry programme? Do you have to use any specialized website, any particular channels of communication?
We have our own section at the DOK Leipzig website, which is named Industry + Training and is blue instead of red, which is the official festival colour. We use the blue as well to guide the audiences and the accredited guests during the festival. We have also created our own Facebook and Twitter accounts because our news as well as our target group is slightly different. But we don’t promote DOK Leipzig and DOK Industry separately apart from the festival week itself. It’s because the documentary world is very niche and it would make no sense to further split it off. We think we have created a strong brand with the colour red and the dove and we use this brand for the festival and for the industry.
Under the title "DOK Leipzig Talks", DOK Leipzig presents 4 discussions with filmmakers and film professionals from March 24 to 30 at DAFilms.com. Could you tell us more about this particular concept and recommend our audience at least one of these talks to watch?
This is a format we have offered for several years now and it aims at both film professionals and "regular" audiences. We invite filmmakers from the official programme, mostly one to three, to discuss their films, their approach in making a film, and always under a certain topic. Here the aesthetics, formal subjects, the content and the filmmakers’ attitude are focused on. Topics like budget, promotion, financial aspects won’t be discussed here.
Actually I would recommend the interview with Jon Bang Carlsen and the talk about The Invisible in documentary films with Daniela de Felice, who has received an award for the best animated documentary, which was presented for the first time; Marina Razbezhkina is on the panel with her film OPTICAL AXIS, and Johanna Domke and Marouan Omara whose film CROP is also available at Dafilms.com.
Dear Christinne and Lina, thank you for providing us an extended view into the background of DOK Leipzig’s industry programme. We wish all the best not only to this particular part of your festival programme but to all festival activities. We look forward to experiencing them in October 2014 in Leipzig again!
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.