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DOK Leipzig participates in Solidarity Screenings for Syrian documentary film festival

On 15 March 2012, DOK Leipzig participates in a global show of solidarity with the Syrian DOX BOX Documentary Film Festival. The organisers in Damascus have cancelled today's most important Arab documentary film festival in the face of the civil war-like situation in their country. In its place, they have launched the "DOX BOX Global Day" initiative in which DOK Leipzig and around twenty other documentary film festivals across the globe are taking part.


On "DOX BOX Global Day" on 15 March, DOK Leipzig, in collaboration with DOX BOX Documentary Film Festival in Syria and the Passage Kinos Leipzig, will present four outstanding Syrian documentary films from the past decades. Between the two screenings, festival director Claas Danielsen will talk about the current situation in Syria with Edgar Blume, head of the now closed Aleppo Goethe-Institut.


Among the selected films is "A Flood in Baath Country" (2003), which tells of the dramatic consequences of a predictable Euphrates river dam failure, delivering a devastating critique of the Assad regime and its tribal politics. It was directed by the late doyen of Syrian documentary filmmaking, Omar Amiralay, who was a frequent guest in Leipzig with his works. A very topical film, just completed by an anonymous filmmaker, is "Tournesols - Al-Rastan", which tells of the many victims and sacrifices in the small town of Al-Rastan near Homs brought about by the people's resistance against the regime.


German patron of "DOX BOX Global Day" is Markus Löning, the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid. Festival director Claas Danielsen adds the following appeal to this show of solidarity: "We call upon the international community to take effective measures at last to end the bloodshed and prevent a civil war in Syria."


The International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film is the largest of its kind in Germany, the second-largest in Europe and the oldest documentary festival in the world. Its 55th edition will take place from 29/10 to 4/11/2012. DOK Leipzig annually presents up to 350 productions from around 50 countries. Prize money to the amount of up to 74,500 Euros is awarded in the five competitions. In 2011, the Festival achieved a record result of 37,000 entries and more than 1,400 international industry visitors.


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