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DOKUARTS was founded in 2006 at the Berlin Academy of Arts upon the initiative of the festival director, Andreas Lewin.

The International Festival for Films on Art DOKUARTS shows the strengths, diversity, imagination and experimental nature of the documentary genre: from long-term observation to filmic essays, from compilation to homage films, creative documentaries by filmmakers and film documents are presented, which are characterised by their artistic or documentary quality. DOKUARTS promotes this valuable genre, and is unique in Europe for its stringent conceptual orientation.

The international symposium held in parallel with the festival programme is developed from lines of inquiry innate to film and conceived with the aim of reflecting and matching art, science and philosophy – as it has done during the Recycled Cinema (2014), Architectures in Motion (2015), Essaydox (2016) and Beyond Format (2018) symposia.


DOKU.ARTS 2016 Symposium Essaydox

On 7 October 2016, in addition to this year's DOKU.ARTS film programme (6 – 23 October), an International Symposium will take place. We are delighted to announce topics and participants today.
The International Symposium explores contexts of production and the future of international essay films. Artists, essayists, film critics and scholars discuss philosophy, aesthetics, contextual position and future prospects of today's essay films. The working approaches, new forms of presentation, and distribution channels being employed by essayists are to be examined. To what extent do literary forms influence the creative process of essayists? Which roles do autobiographical elements play in the essay form? Here the focus is on contemporary essay films, which deal with migration, (auto)biographies, literature and memory and perceptual processes.

Date: Friday, 7 October,  10 am–6 pm (followed by film programme with guests)
Location: Zeughauskino, Deutsches Historisches Museum, Unter den Linden 2, 10117 Berlin
Conference language: English

Participants and Lectures
Keynote: Essay and Esse
Ross Lipman (filmmaker and restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive)
Stories We Don’t Tell: Trauma, History, and the Essay Film
Melis Behlil (Associate Professor of Cinema Studies and Head of Radio, Television and Cinema Department at Kadir Has University Istanbul)

Imaging Blindness
Sarah Cooper (Professor of Film Studies at King’s College London)

The Essay Film between Festival Favourite and Global Film Practice
Thomas Elsaesser (Professor Emeritus at the Department of Media and Culture, University of Amsterdam, Visiting Professor at Columbia University)

From Home Movies to Moving Homes – First Person Documentaries and the Migrant Experience
Igor Krstić (Postdoctoral Researcher, Department of Film, Theatre and Television, University of Reading)
Disjunctive Narration: The Essay Film’s Thinking and Epistolarity as Argumentation
Laura Rascaroli (Professor Film & Screen Media at University College Cork, Ireland)

Orality as a Construction of Discourse and Montage – The Use of Modes of Storytelling in Experimental Cinema
Nelson Carlo de los Santos Arias (filmmaker, Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic)
Diaspora experiences, essayistic narratives and Asian subjectivity
Bo Wang (filmmaker, Beijing, China)

Jörg Taszman (Film critic, amongst others for Deutschlandradio Kultur, Die Welt, epd Film)

Participation in the symposium is free. Registration is required in advance at

For updated information see

10th DOKU.ARTS Edition

The tenth edition of DOKU.ARTS will take place from 6 – 23 October 2016 at the German Historical Museum/Zeughauskino. The International Film Festival ESSAYDOX presents 22 new documentary and essay films from 16 countries never before shown in Berlin - mostly German premieres presented by the invited filmmakers. Moreover, ESSAYDOX offers non-European perspectives on an originally European genre. The festival highlights the diversity and innovative creative freedom in addressing literary and philosophical texts as well as the essay film genre’s potential for image and culture critique.