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Leipzig Docu Kickoff for the 48th time

The day has come for celebrating the opening of the 48th International Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, presenting the first two films selected for competition: "The Giant Buddhas" (Christian Frei, Switzerland) and "Element of Light" (Richard Reeves, USA). Numerous international guests are expected, including more than 100 filmmakers, whose productions will be presented during the festival.

The following filmmakers are among those expected: Jenny Abel (USA) , Akram Agha (Syria), Jan van den Berg (Netherlands), Asa Blanck (Sweden), Christoph Boekel, Adam Comiskey (GB), Gerd Conradt, Lutz Dammbeck, John R. Dilworth (USA), Christian Frei (Switzerland), Thomas Frickel, Maja Gehrig (Switzerland), Michael Glawogger (Austria), Detlef Gumm, Alexander Gutman (Russian Federation), Philip Gröning, Till Harms, Jeff Hockett (USA), Esther Hoffenberg (France), Pea Holmquist (Sweden), Pierre Hébert (Canada), Lew Hohmann, Andrew Jimenez (USA), Sahraa Karimi (Slovakia), Hannes Karnick, Judith Keil, Volker Koepp, Omid Koshnazar (Iran), Gerd Kroske, Peter Krieg, Antje Kruska, Anja Kvistgaard (Denmark), Richard Ladkani, Anastasia Lapsui (Finland), Erkko Lyytinen (Finland), Caroline Martel (Canada), Arunas Matelis (Lithuania), Doris Metz, Tamara Milosevic, Helke Misselwitz, Sarah Moll, Peter Mostovoy (Israel), Hanna Nordholt, Johan Palmgren (Sweden), Ellen Perry (USA), Wolfgang Pfeiffer, Izabela Plucinska (Poland), Joachim Tschirner, Helga Reidemeister, Wolfgang Richter, Bernhard Sallmann, Ali Samadi Ahadi, Frauke Sandig, Sybille Schönemann, Svetlana Sobolev (Israel), Klaus Stanjek, Bartosz Sujkowski (Poland), Jarek Sztandera (Poland), Sibylle Tiedemann, Farhad Tursunov (Kirghizia), Bertram Verhaag, Andreas Voigt, Daniel Vernon (GB), Paul Watson (GB) and Yonathan Zur (Israel).

Naturally, every opening ceremony calls for a speech, welcoming the audience. This year, the role will be taken by Hedda Gehm from the Sächsischen Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst (Ministry for Science and Art, Saxony), Peter Dinges, managing director of the Film Förderungsanstalt (Institute for Film Funding, FFA), and festival director Claas Danielsen, all together kicking off an exciting festival week!


Nominations for the "Talent-Dove"

This year, the Medienstiftung of the Sparkasse Leipzig will award the "Talent-Dove" (worth 10,000 Euro) to young talented filmmakers for the second time. The decision on who the award is going to go to is up to the international jury for documentary film. Following films were nominated this year:

-from the international competition:
Abel Raises Cain (Jenny Abel and Jeff Hockett, USA 1998-2004) Beneath the Stars (Titti Johnson and Helgi Felixson, Sweden 2004) For a Miracle (Jarek Sztandera, Poland 2004) Fountain of Youth (Daniel Vernon, GB 2005) Girl with Telephone (Anja Kvistgaard, Denmark 2005) Last Men Standing (Sasha Djurkovic, GB 2005) The Fall of Fujimori (Ellen Perry, USA 2005) The North Star (Erkko Lyytinen, Finland 2004)

- from other programme sections:
Dancing with Myself (Antje Keil and Judith Kruska, Germany 2005) Devil's Miner (Richard Ladkani, Germany / USA 2004) Lost Children (Ali Samadi Ahadi and Oliver Stoltz, Germany 2005) Wrong Time, Wrong Place (Tamara Milosevic, Germany 2005)

Awards:

In 2005, a total of 16 prizes worth just under 54,000 Euro will be awarded (2004: 47,500), including two new prizes, donated just a short while ago for productions in the section of International Competition Documentary Film. Thus, the international jury will this year also decide on the winner of the new KINOWELT DVD AWARD, for an outstanding film with commercial potential within the international documentary film competition, raising the interest of many audience members. The prize includes a free DVD production as well as payment for all licensing rights. CinemaNet Europe awards the "CinemaNet Europe Award" to a film in the German Competition, this prize consists of a free "Digital Source Master" production, useful for a subsequent digital screening and film evaluation at the cinema.

Jury Members

High-profile German and international film experts participate in this year's three main juries of the festival:

The International Jury for Documentary Film:
Jane Balfour (Distributor "Jane Balfour Services", GB)
Igor Blazevic (Director of the "One World Film Festivals", Czech Republic) Yong Fei (Vice-president of Guangzhou TV, China) David Fisher (Filmmaker and Director of the "New Israeli Foundation for Cinema and Television", Israel) Diane Weyermann (Director of the documentary film programme at the Sundance Institute, USA)

German Jury for Documentary Film:
Heino Deckert (Producer)
Myrna Maakaron (Filmmaker, Discovery Channel Film Prize-Winner 2004) Gerd Ruge (Journalist)

International Jury for Animated Film:
Marcin Gizycki (Filmmaker, Photographer, Poland)
Gerben Schermer (Holland Animation Film Festival (HAFF), Netherlands) Sabine Scholze (Deutsches Institut für Animationsfilm (DIAF), Germany)

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