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Leipzig highlights

International competition highlights from Leipzig:

"Touch the Sound" is this year’s opening film at the festival
The new film of Thomas Riedelsheimer (Two German Film Awards for "Rivers and Tides") will celebrate its first German screening as the opening film of the 47th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Films on October 19, 2004. "Touch the Sound" has recently been awarded the Main Prize of the "Semaine de la Critique" at the International Locarno Film Festival. The film accompanies the Scottish percussionist Evelyn Glennie during her fascinating work: "'Touch the Sound' is magical cinema, full of grace and atmosphere, an opulent feast for the eye and the ear" (Margret Koehler, blickpunkt: film). Director Thomas Riedelsheimer will be at the first screening.

This year’s special screenings: exploring the borders, humour and the young documentary filmmakers
The documentary film has its funny side, too. It may exceed the limits and turn into a field for experiments. The 2004 special programmes of the Leipzig Festival show the variety of the genre:

Fictiohybridanimated? Exploring the limits of the documentary film and television
Which way will documentary film go? Filmmakers explore the limits of the genre in an area determined by the tension between production, hybridization, animation, experiment and formatting. "In any case, a festival should also be a stage, where the developments of the genre and the production conditions of the filmmakers become the subject of discussions. What happens at the genre’s fringe areas and where have taboos been violated? I would like to show these developments and discuss the question how far you can go", says festival director Claas Danielsen.

Life is terribly funny – Humour in documentary film?
In hard times like these you need something to laugh at! The funniest documentary films of recent years show the genre from its best side. No escapisms, merely proof that the most inscrutable stories can often only be told with a wink. Discover films you have never seen before or which you should re-discover ...

Carte Blanche for Fred Gehler
Fred Gehler ran the Leipzig Festival as its Artistic Director with extraordinary expertise and great success since 1994. He bids farewell with four programmes in which he presents treasures of the film history, his personal favourites and even some of his own works, which he will discuss with colleagues and the audience. The films on the screen will range from "The Golden Age" (1930) by Luis Buñuel and Salvador Dali, the main contributions to surrealisms in the film, to "Hommage à La Sarraz" by Juergen Boettcher (1981), one of the most important examples of the 'other film' in the GDR.

Discovery Campus Master School Screening
Every year, 15 young film talents from all over Europe develop new ideas for documentary films for an international audience. The Discovery Campus Master School, a non-commercial Euro-pean master class for directors and producers, offers them the necessary forum. This year's first screening of the Master School is taking place in Leipzig.

Animation 2004
Well-known animation film artists will compete with their new productions for the 'Golden Dove' this year, among them Gil Alkabetz who is screening his new production "Morir de Amor" as the world premiere in Leipzig and "Hair High", the new long footage film by Bill Plympton that will be screened the first time in Germany. Chris Hinton, Chris Landreth, Isabelle Favez, Anja Struck, Phil Mulloy and Valentin Olshvang will present their new films as well. The "New German Animation" programme will provide an overview over the range and creativity of the national production in this field. The 30 or so topical films to be screened will include the most important work of several German animation film schools. This series makes Leipzig the only festival that offers the independent animation film industry in Germany such a broad platform. The exclusive Leipzig series ANIMADOC that dares a journey with films from all over the world between two genres will be complemented in 2004 by talks and panel forums, where the "documentary element in animation" is discussed.

Comprehensive extras: DOC SUMMIT & Co.
The special film series will be supplemented by panel discussions on various subjects with international guests: Everyone interested in these topics is invited to the DOC SUMMIT, held in the Alte Handelsboerse of Leipzig, where a discussion on "Exploring the limits of the documentary film and television" will complement the actual film series of the festival programme. The situation of the documentary film in Germany and the consolidation of the genre in Central and Eastern Europe are further subjects. The panel discussions will complement the topical discussions between the filmmakers under the motto of "Let's talk about Dok" and "Let's talk about Animation" in the presence of a very committed and motivated audience. Besides, the festival gives "Links to Education" again, when it presents the National Film and Television School of London, one of the most renowned film schools of Europe. The general programme also includes a presentation of the programme "Aftermath of a System", topical films about the GDR history the MDR (Central German Broadcast Station) produced, "FIRST FLUSH - focus of the young film" and the local short film competition "Shockin' Local Short Night Shuffle", which shows the best current productions of young filmmakers.

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