▷ DOK Leipzig: Awards donated by MDR go to “Father” and “The Balcony Movie”

30.10.2021 – 21:45

MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk

Leipzig (ots)

As the exclusive media partner of the 64th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk again donated two prizes this year: The “Golden Dove” in the International Long Documentary and Animated Film Competition and the MDR Prize “Best Eastern European Film “were awarded in Leipzig on October 30th.

Endowed by the MDR annually since 2013 and endowed with 10,000 euros “Golden Dove” in the category “International Competition Long Documentary and Animated Film” goes to this year “Father” by director Wei Deng (China, 2020).

The film “Father” celebrated its European premiere at DOK Leipzig. The statement of the jury stated: “Honest, moving and haunting – the story goes beyond what is visible to the eyes. It shows the complexity of life and becomes a pure homage to humanity.”

In his generation portrait of father and grandfather, Wei Deng tells of tradition and change, violence and alienation in Chinese society. Pale grays and weak light sources create an atmosphere that seems to match the gloomy memories of famines, deceased siblings and the forcibly enforced one-child policy.

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Zuogui, grandfather of the director, is 86 and has been blind since childhood. For him, the profession of fortune teller was a way out of poverty. People still ask him for information, including his son Donggu, a building contractor. The camera stays close to the grandfather when he feels his way along the facade of his apartment. Orientation in one’s own environment has become more difficult since his son Donggu had the old house torn down and a new one built. Zuogui can do little with modern China, which wants to stand for economic boom and prosperity. Only when another construction project of his son threatens to fail, against which the fortune teller had warned, does affection between the two seem possible again.

Traditionally – and this since 1995 – the winner of the MDR award was also made “Best Eastern European Film” announced. The prize, endowed with 3,000 euros, went to “The Balcony Movie” von Regisseur Paweł Łoziński (Poland, 2021), a film about the magic of the moment and the power of talking to one another. “The Balcony Movie” unanimously impressed the jury, as the jury chairman Alexander Naunau, himself an award-winning documentary filmmaker with two Oscar nominations, emphasized.

“A film with a very simple concept: a balcony, a camera, a microphone. Paweł Łoziński asks, listens, doesn’t look away, remains charming and full of empathy, ”said the jury’s statement. And further: “With a mixture of humor and profundity, he opens up whole worlds that inspire and surprise us because we would not have guessed them. The film connects us all because we are all just passers-by. But a short, casual conversation can evidently create the magic of a sense of community, sweeten the day and even change your life. ”

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The whole world, captured on a somewhat dreary sidewalk in Warsaw. For two years, director Paweł Łoziński stood with the camera on the balcony of his apartment and watched the people walking by from up there. Those he saw and made to talk are young and old, neighbors or just passers-by. The filmmaker speaks to her, asks questions, listens and creates a space for conversations that are seldom found between strangers. The meaning of life is literally unraveled here in passing.

MDR as the exclusive media partner

This year, too, the MDR has made a major contribution to DOK Leipzig as the exclusive media partner.

Mitteldeutsche Rundfunk launched a new, 24-hour program event called “MDR DOK around the clock”, organized the “ARD program workshop for the future of documentary productions”, the ARD documentary film competition and a “special screening” at Leipzig Central Station . The MDR co-production “The Cars We Drove Into Capitalism” by Boris Missirkov and Georgi Bogdanov was shown here.

A special program with new docs on MDR television as well as extensive reporting on television, radio and on the network also made the importance of documentary film for the MDR clear.

The MDR has published the following press releases on its commitment to DOK Leipzig 2021:


“10. ARD documentary film competition: The five finalists have been chosen ”



“MDR engagement at DOK Leipzig”



“‘DOK Leipzig Spezial’, film podcast premiere, MDR DOK around the clock: Close to DOK Leipzig with the MDR”



“6. ARD program workshop – strengthening the documentary ”



“‘Reporter / Refugee’ wins 10th ARD documentary film competition”


Press contact:

MDR, Press and Information, Kerstin Gensel-Dittmann, Tel .: (0341) 3 00 6535, E-Mail: [email protected], Twitter: @MDRpresse

Original content from: MDR Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, transmitted by news aktuell


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