64th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film

25.10.2021 to 31.10.2021

The Interreligious Jury at DOK Leipzig 2021 has awarded its prize to the French film "Que Dieu te protège" (May God Be with You) by Cléo Cohen. The prize is endowed with € 1,750, jointly donated by the Interreligious Round Table Leipzig, the Oratorium zu Leipzig and the VCH-Hotels Deutschland GmbH - im Verband Christlicher Hoteliers e. V. including the Hotel MICHAELIS Leipzig. The Golden Dove for Best Documentary Film went to the documentary "Ye ye he fu qin" (Father) by Wei Deng from China. The Leipziger Ring Film Prize was awarded to Rami Farah and Signe Byrge Sørensen for their film "Frihed, håb og andre synder - Den syriske revolution 10 år senere" (Our Memory Belongs to Us). The Fipresci Prize of the International Film Critics was awarded to "Paroles de nègres" (Words of Negroes) by Sylvaine Dampierre.

The festival began on October 25 with the opening film "Der Rhein fließt ins Mittelmeer" by Offer Avnon from Israel, who in it reflects on the ten years of his stay in the Federal Republic of Germany. The film is connected to the retrospective and the homage of this year's festival. The retrospective entitled "The Jews of the Others. Divided Germany, Divided Guilt, Divided Images" confronted films of the FRG and the GDR that addressed Judaism and the Holocaust. The homage was dedicated to the Israeli director Avi Moghrabi.

In Leipzig, an Interreligious Jury has been observing the International Competition since 2016. This year, 14 films were competing for their prize. The main prizes of the festival are the Golden and Silver Doves, which are awarded in different sections of the festival. After the festival, from 1st to 14th November, a selection of more than 70 festival films will be presented as Video on Demand.

Link: Festival homepage


May God Be with You
Directed by:

May God Be with You explores, in a beautifully cinematographic way, the silent transmission of human values and feelings of belonging within a Jewish family from the Maghreb. The film shows in subtle images that the individual’s identity is never fixed but constantly in flux. Through the use of her body – and especially her hair - Cléo Cohen demonstrates the fluid identities of Jewish people living in France today. These identities are partially rooted in various religious and cultural traditions – be they Jewish, Christian or Muslim, and May God Be with You examines the way in which Cohen’s family develop their personal, perhaps even contradictory identities in a fascinating dialogue with their history and the cultural and religious legacies of their environment.

More about the festival

Freek L. Bakker, member of the Interreligious Jury, comments on the award winning films of the festival.