Landing in Dresden in a Dash-8

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Filmmaker Ann Marie Fleming is at DOK Leipzig in Germany, presenting her film I Was A Child of Holocaust Survivors. She has graciously agreed to write some guest posts for us from the festival.

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It took a while to get from Vancouver to Leipzig.  I flew Air Berlin to Dusseldorf, then to Dresden, then an hour’s car ride to Leipzig.  I’ve been invited to DOK Leipzig, a festival started in 1955, with films advocating peace and human dignity.  It is now the 2nd largest doc fest in Europe, unique in that it celebrates documentary and animated films and the creative spirit- freedom of mind and of speech.

During the cold war, it was a unique nexus where East and West filmmakers could come together and exchange ideas. I am presenting I Was a Child of Holocaust Survivors there, my adaptation of Bernice’s Eisenstein’s illustrated memoir. It is in the official animation competition and also in the section of animated docs.

I’ve also been asked to sit on a panel with Andy Glynne, founder of the London Documentary Filmmakers Group. Now that I’ve actually read the program I see I am going to be discussing the personal… in particular, telling someone ELSE’s story. Luckily, I just have to use my own films as examples, to talk about the way animation is used and why.

I’m bringing along The Magical Life of Long Tack Sam and two earlier shorts, New Shoes: An interview in exactly 5 minutes and You Take Care Now, all very personal films.

Tonight is the opening of the festival, but I’ve been traveling for a day and a half, and spent the evening going through the catalogue and preparing for the week.  There is soothing classical music and a fireplace that comes on automatically on the television in my hotel room when I put the key card in the slot.

Tomorrow, I’m going to go see Rest in Peace,  a film about death, or what we do with the dead, and my first 2 screenings…. Rudy Buttignol of Knowledge Network is here, giving workshops.  I hope to be able to meet up with him, too.