Kassel Dokfest

Dokfest Kassel // Kasseler Dokumentarfilm- und Videofest

31st edition

Nov 11 - Nov 16, 2021
Kassel, Germany

Open Call Open to Public Competitive Market Special Fees

Festival type Real Venue Festival
Types of films Animation, Documentary, Experimental, Hybrids, Music video, Student
Film length Full length, Mid-length, Short
Genre Alternative, Art, Avantgarde, Biography, Culture, Dance, Environmental, Film noir, Foreign, Health, Hip Hop, History, Human rights, Independent, Medical, Mockumentary, Music, Nature, News, , Post modern, Realism, Reality, Religious, Road Trip, Science, Silent movie, Social issues, Sports, Surreal, Transgender, Underground, Urban, War

Mission / description Feature Films:

The documentary feature film traditionally constitutes the center piece of the Kassel Dokfest. About 40 films are presented during the festival in the cinemas “Gloria” and “Filmladen”. This section shows documentary films with a total running time of more than 65 minutes; one focus lies on film productions from German-speaking regions.

Short Films:

The Kassel Dokfest shows about 180 to 200 international and current short and mid-length films in program compilations. Each of the 80 to 90 minute programs has a topical focus but is not shy of showing contrasts or opposing positions. The short film compilation’s topical focus is the result of a curatorial handling of the submitted works. For instance: three films from last year’s program (2011) dealing with the aftermath of the severest atomic catastrophes of our time were combined under the title “Half-Life Period” or “Love’s Merry-Go-Round” showed different forms of love and relationships. The topics for the compilation programs are a result of the submitted work – each year anew.

Golden Hercules – Film program from Northern Hesse:

One of the declared aims of the Kassel Dokfest is the presentation of regional works next to the works of international filmmakers and artists – on equal terms. In this film program 20 to 30 fictional, animation or documentary films of filmmakers from Northern Hesse will be presented, therefore this sections is not limited to the genre of documentary but open for all genres. The predominantly short works are shown in special compilation programs as well as part of the regular program.

Monitoring (Exhibition):

The concept of this year's Monitoring exhibition is guided by questions about digital surveillance, tries to comprehend the possibilities and qualities of privacy, addresses political and social ideologies of the past and turns to alternative future outlooks. Despite the different artistic approaches to these topics, the search for truth and questions about the access of knowledge and its conveyance between generations runs through the exhibition like a golden threat.

DokfestLounge (Audiovisual Performances):

The DokfestLounge is the festival's nightly counterpart and we are happy, that this year it again has found a home in the Caricatura – Bar + Gallery at the KulturBahnhof and right in the middle of the geographical heart of the festival. We are especially happy about the increased number of submissions which made the expansion of the program of audio visual performances possible and which show a better overview of current trends in the field of performative media art.
This year for the first time the DokfestLounge is offering, next to the curatorial program, the possibility for all external and local artists, filmmakers and visitors to showcase and try out own VJ sets as well as playing together interactive and simultaneously on the separate screens of the location. And last but not least it's the 30. anniversary. That means: “Party on and there's no fox like an old fox!”

interfiction (Symposium):

interfiction, a yearly workshop symposium, has been part of the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival since 1995. As the interdisciplinary section of the festival, interfiction’s aim is to bring together artists and scholars, theorists and practitioners in one event, in order to deal with the complex field of art, media and net culture together. Every year there is a new topic of focus. Based on the pressing questions of the issues, projects and hypothesis are presented and discussed, while workshops and talks enable a concentrated exchange, which is supposed to lead to a deeper reflection and show new perspectives.

interfiction regards itself as a forum for the exchange, networking and cooperation of producers of theory practice. The main structure of the event is reflected in the wish to function as a “temporary laboratory” – not only a platform for ideas and projects but to enable a direct and productive discussion about questions and problems which are essential to the participants.

The symposium’s director is Dr. Verena Kuni, professor for Visual Culture at the Goethe-University Frankfurt am Main.

junges dokfest:

The educational side program for young audiences, “junges dokfest – Watch and understand documentary film”, has been presented in cooperation with the Regulatory Authority for Commercial Broadcasting in Hesse (LPR Hessen) since 2009.

The section “junges dokfest” is aimed at school students from the 7th till the 13th grade as well as teachers and will take place before as well as during the festival.

Workshops and screenings will provide young persons an insight into the broad spectrum of documentary filmmaking, they can further practice their competence in understanding film and will write own reviews of selected films of the festival program under the guidance of media educators. The participants will also have the opportunity to engage in interesting discussions with attending filmmakers. Additionally three students will be involved in the Jury for the production grant “A38”.

Participating teachers will be offered special training in advance.

The educational side program will be instructed by the media educator and film scientist Dr. Carsten Siehl.

The works that will be shown in the “junges dokfest” program will be selected from all submissions for the film and video section. Submission for this section specifically, are not possible.


DokfestForum was founded in 2010 in cooperation with Fridericianum. As a venue for lectures, artist talks and screenings located at the intersection of film and art, the DokfestForum extends the spectrum of the festival to include the fine arts.

The Kassel Dokfest is pleased that the cooperation with Fridericianum will continue under the new director Susanne Pfeffer. On three evenings, Fridericianum will present screenings and artist talks that present documentary practices as well as dealing with the subject of the current exhibition “Speculations on Anonymous Materials”. Thus it will be considered how the profound technological changes of the past 20 years have altered our involvement with images, the body, language and the world and how these changes have resulted in alternative approaches to documentation – the central issues of this year’s DokfestForum.
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Festival website www.kasselerdokfest.de

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