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DOK Leipzig attendance figures hit new recoàrd at 37.000
37,000 visitors were on hand at DOK Leipzig this year - a new record. The 54th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film proved yet again to be an audience magnet - the attendance numbers have now risen for seven consecutive years. "The quality of this year's programme was extremely high, the cinemas were full and the industry events were very productive. We tried out innovative event formats and successfully introduced the new DOK Training platform. Industry professionals and audiences were enthusiastic - the 54th DOK Leipzig was our most successful festival yet!" said festival director Claas Danielsen.
Yet as this years festival comes to an end, preparations for the next are already underway. The dates for the 55th edition of DOK Leipzig have now been set: it begins on 29 October and ends on 4 November 2012. The country focus will turn towards films from Latin America. In the retrospective a largely unknown yet sensational chapter in the history of international cinema will be re-opened. 23 documentary and 13 animated films created between 1922 and 1936 by the German-Russian film studio Meschrabpom will be presented. Among them are works by legendary directors Wsewolod Pudowkin, Boris Barnet, Lew Kuleschow and Joris Ivens.
In the framework of the retrospective DOK Leipzig will be collaborating with the Berlin International Film Festival, the Deutsche Kinemathek and the Russian State Documentary Film Archive at Krasnogorsk. Under the title "The Red Dream Factory" the retrospective of the Berlinale 2012 will be dedicated to the complete works of Meschrabpom, while DOK Leipzig will be focusing on the documentary and animation film productions of the German-Russian film studio. The retrospective in Berlin and Leipzig will be curated by Alexander Schwarz and Günter Agde.
The first films by this studio were created as part of a media savvy campaign for the Workers International Relief (WIR), abbreviated in Russian as Meschrabpom, which was intended to bring authentic works from Soviet Russia to a German audience. In 1922 the Meschrabpom-Rus company was founded as a German-Russian corporation. A highly professional film studio was established in Moscow with a central office in Berlin, and this quickly became a laboratory for the new invention of Russian film after the October Revolution. While the state-run film supervisory authority in Moscow was expecting propaganda, films were made at Meschrabpom that often penetrated far beyond political ideologies. The studio focused more on the everyday lives of people and produced artistically challenging feature films and outstanding documentaries that thrilled audiences in both countries and inspired the entire European avant-garde film scene. Documentary film was given a new thematic orientation - a " vision of a new life" accompanied by the invention of a spectacular cinematic language. The socially engaged film of the 1930s would be unthinkable without Meschrabpom..
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