Doku Arts

Zeughauskino Berlin

Submissions closed for DOKU.ARTS 2016

The submission process for this year’s edition closed on 1 May. Thank you to all filmmakers for taking part!


Essay films have evolved over the course of the 21st century into an independent art form. Moreover, for the last 15 years or so, they have been experiencing a boom in museums and galleries; deserving a larger audience via cinema and television, the art form has found its niche.

The history, evolution and tradition of essayistic cinema and television can be traced back to directors such as Esther Schub, Dziga Vertov, Hans Richter and Chris Marker. Major European documentarians like Agnès Varda, Hartmut Bitomsky, Aleksandr Sokurov, Alexander Kluge and Wim Wenders shaped the essayistic cinematic form in the 20th century.

With its ESSAYDOX programme, the tenth edition of DOKU.ARTS introduces this vibrant cinematic form through new films and presents its relevance, ingenuity, poetry and political relevance in the 21st century. Cinematic essays have always been of central importance in DOKU.ARTS festival history.

International Film Festival

The International Film Festival presents 25 new documentary and essay films never before shown in Berlin - most are German premieres. Moreover, ESSAYDOX offers non-European perspectives on an originally European genre. The festival shows the diversity and innovative design freedom in dealing with literary and philosophical texts, works of art and cultural artefacts through essay film. The emphasis here is on both adaptive approaches as well as ones of artistic and literary criticism. Nearly all the filmmakers will personally present their essay and documentary films.


The International Symposium “Essay Films and Video Essays in the 21st Century” on Friday, 7 October, explores contexts of production and the future of international essay films. Artists, essayists, bloggers, film critics and scholars discuss philosophy, aesthetics, contextual position and future prospects of today's essay films.