Film Submissions FAQ 2023
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General Submission Information
- What kind of films can I submit?
- Are there any guidelines for the submission in terms of content or theme?
- What are the exclusion criteria for a submission?
- When, where and how can I submit?
- How can I submit my film for DOK Film Market?
- What are the competitions?
- Can I submit my film for a specific competition?
- When is the submission deadline?
- Is there a submission fee and when, where and how do I have to pay it?
- Can I be exempted from the submission fee or get a discount?
- Can I get a refund of the submission fee?
- Does my film need a premiere to be submitted?
- What is the difference between world premieres, international, European and German premieres?
- What do I do if I get an invitation to another festival?
- What kind of preview file should I submit?
- What language version must my submitted film have?
- Can I submit rough cuts?
What screening format does my film need when it is selected?
- What happens after I have submitted the entry form?
- When and how will I know if my film is selected?
- Who decides about my film?
- Who can I contact if something changes in my submission?
- How many films are selected?
- How will DOK Leipzig take place in 2023?
- If my film was rejected last year, can I resubmit it?
- What happens to my film if it is rejected?
- Can I submit a series?
- Can I submit a hybrid film?
What kind of films can I submit?
You can submit animated and documentary films of any lengths.
Films over 40 minutes qualify for the feature film awards, films under 40 minutes compete for the short film awards.
Are there any guidelines regarding content or themes for the submission?
We do not have any guidelines for films in terms of content or subject matter.
However, we look for films with a creative approach produced for cinematic release.
What are the exclusion criteria for a submission?
It is important that the production year of your film is either 2022 or 2023.
In addition, your film should not have been shown publicly before October 2022.
If your film has been released in Germany on television, internet or with a regular cinema release by the festival edition DOK Leipzig 2023 (8/10–15/10/2023), it will unfortunately not be able to qualify.
When, where and how can I submit my film?
You can submit your film on our website from 15/2/2023 onwards. Just log in to our myDOK account where you find the entry form and off you go.
How can I submit my film to DOK Film Market?
When submitting your film for the DOK Leipzig festival selection, you can indicate in the entry form if you want your film to be considered as well for the DOK Film Market selection. There is no need to separately submit your film to the DOK Film Market.
If your film is officially selected for the DOK Leipzig festival programme, you can choose to include your film in the DOK Film Market Online Library free of charge. For films that are selected for DOK Film Market without being part of the festival programme a registration fee applies. The fee is charged only once you have accepted the invitation and agreed to register your film in the online library.
The DOK Film Market Online Library is accessible to 300 accredited international TV buyers and commissioning editors, festival programmers, curators, representatives of cultural institutes, funding institutions, distributors and sales agents looking for the best new films for their slots, festival programme or distribution slate.
If you don’t want to submit your film to the festival selection process but only to the DOK Film Market please write to film-market [at] dok-leipzig [dot] de.
For more information, please visit our Film Market page.
What are the competitions?
The festival programme of DOK Leipzig consists of four competitions – endowed with our main awards, the Golden and Silver Doves – and two out of competition sections. You can find more details about the competitions in our submission regulations soon.
Can I submit my film for a particular competition?
You can feel completely free in your submission: you simply submit for the festival programme and not for specific competitions or sections. The assignment to the sections will be made by our selection team.
When is the submission deadline?
Our submission deadline is 15/6/2023. After that date, submissions are unfortunately no longer possible. All films will be notified by the end of August about their selection status.
Is there a submission fee and when, where and how do I have to pay it?
Yes, there is an entry fee, it depends on the length of your film and the time you submit it.
You can conveniently pay the entry fee at the end of the submission process via PayPal or credit card. With the payment of the fee you complete the submission – without payment the submission can unfortunately not be processed by our team.
The submission fee for short films (under 40 minutes) is organised in three steps:
- 15/2–31/3/2023 35€ (incl. 7% VAT)
- 1/4–31/5/2023 40€ (incl. 7% VAT)
- 1/6–15/6/2023 45€ (incl. 7% VAT)
The submission fee for feature films (over 40 minutes) is equally organised in three steps:
- 15/2–31/3/2023 40€ (incl. 7% VAT)
- 1/4–31/5/2023 45€ (incl. 7% VAT)
- 1/6–15/6/2023 55€ (incl. 7% VAT)
Can I be exempted from the submission fee or get a discount?
If your film was made as part of your education or studies, we charge a discounted submission fee of 10€. Simply have your education or study certificate ready when you fill in the submission form in our myDOK section. The validity is checked when processing the submission and the bill adjusted to show the reduced submission fee.
The upload of a student ID does not guarantee a fee reduction; a discount is granted at the discretion of DOK Leipzig.
Films from the following production countries are exempt from the entry fee. The exemption happens automatically in the submission form:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Argentina, Armenia, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Congo, Cuba, Djibouti, DR Congo, Ecuador, Egypt, El Salvador, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kiribati, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Niue, North Korea, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian Territories, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, São Tomé & Príncipe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & Grenadines, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Timor Leste, Togo, Tonga, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Venezuela, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Can I get a refund of the entry fee?
Unfortunately, we cannot refund the entry fee. Please make sure that your film complies with our regulations.
Sometimes it happens that a film is submitted by more than one film team member. Please check with your distributor, production, director or film school to see if your film has already been submitted.
Does my film need a premiere to be submitted?
For the competitions, world premieres, international or European premieres are preferred. A German premiere is a condition for all competitions as well as for the Camera Lucida and Panorama sections.
If your film has already had its German premiere, it will no longer be considered for the competitions. Films without a German premiere can only be submitted to our Kids DOK programme.
- World premiere means that your film has never been shown publicly. Excluded are private screenings of the film or team premieres, where only the narrow circle of participants is present.
- International premiere means that your film has already been shown publicly in its country(ies) of production but not yet in another country. For example, if your film is from Malaysia and has already been shown there but nowhere else, its screening in Germany would be an international premiere.
- European Premiere means that your film has already been shown to the public outside Europe but not yet in Europe. For example, if your film has already been shown in India and Argentina but nowhere else, its screening in Germany would be a European premiere.
- German premiere means that your film has never been shown publicly in Germany but has been shown outside of Germany and outside of its country(ies) of production. For example, if your film is from Greece and has already been shown there and additionally in Sweden and Canada, but not yet in Germany, its screening in Germany would be a German premiere.
- No premiere means that the film has already been shown to the public in Germany.
What do I do if I get an invitation to another festival?
If the premiere status of your film changes after submission if you have been invited to another festival or because a release date is coming up, please contact our programme team. In exceptional cases, we can speed up the decision-making process for a film so that you can weigh up our decision against the other options for your film.
What kind of preview file should I submit?
In our submission form you have the possibility to insert a screening link. A password-protected vimeo link, for example, is a good idea.
Which language version must my submitted film have?
In general, of course, we are happy to view and evaluate films in all languages. However, films whose original language is not German or English need subtitles in German or English in order for us to understand them.
If your film is selected, it will need English subtitles in any case.
Can I submit rough cuts?
Yes, we are happy to be entrusted with your rough cut. You should bear in mind that we rarely have enough time to view films in different versions several times. Therefore, we recommend that you should feel confident that the rough or fine cut version you want to send us is the version that best represents your vision. In the submission form, you can inform us of any changes that need to be made until the final version is ready.
What screening format will my film need once it has been selected?
For the screening of your film we need a DCP or a HD video file, which we can convert into a DCP. You do not need to have a screening format ready when you submit your film – this will only become relevant once your film has been selected.
What happens after I have submitted the entry form?
After you have submitted and paid your entry, the submitted data will be checked by our programme team. If anything is missing or unclear, we will contact you immediately. So if you do not hear from us, your submission is complete and ready for review.
Our selection team will watch your film and discuss it and all other submitted films over a period of several weeks.
As soon as the selection is completed in August, our programme team will contact you and inform you of the selection decision.
Who decides about my film?
Every year, we put together a team of experienced film experts for the viewing and selection of films.
When and how will I know if my film has been selected?
You will be notified about the decision of our selection team at the end of August.
The decision letter will be sent by e-mail to the person who was specified as the submitter in the entry form.
Who can I contact if something changes in my submission?
If your submission has changed or if an error has crept in, you can always contact our programme team (by email at programm [at] dok-leipzig [dot] de). We will be happy to adjust the data record of your film.
How many films are selected?
For DOK Leipzig 2023 we will invite about 80 films for the competitions.
How will DOK Leipzig take place in 2023?
The 65th festival edition took place in Leipzig’s festival cinemas in 2022 and we welcomed numerous international filmmakers and guests to Leipzig.
We are planning the 66th festival edition from 8 to 15 October 2023 on-site in Leipzig in our regular cinemas and venues.
If my film was rejected last year, can I resubmit it?
Films that were submitted and rejected in the previous year cannot be resubmitted and will be automatically disqualified
We only accept resubmissions of films in exceptional cases. If your film has been a rough cut in the previous submission and has undergone significant structural and artistic changes, we can evaluate if a second submission is possible. Please contact our programme team before resubmitting your film, otherwise it will automatically be disqualified.
What happens to my film if it is rejected?
If your film is rejected, the basic film information will remain in our database for archival and research purposes. Film files and viewing links are deleted after the festival (end of October 2023).
Can I submit a hybrid film?
Absolutely and with pleasure! Films that combine documentary narration and animation have always been a natural part of our selection. We are also happy to receive films that combine fictional and documentary elements. And of course, we are also happy to consider fictional animated films.
Can I submit a series?
So far, we do not have a separate section for series formats, but this does not mean that we generally reject series. Feel free to contact our programme team – together we will certainly find a good solution.