DOK.archive Award

Donated by British Pathé, endowed with material supply worth 15,000 euros or 2,500 euros in cash

© British Pathé Ltd.

The DOK.archive Award honours outstanding archive and compilation film projects in development. High-quality archive footage is often invaluable for documentaries. The use of historical or commercial film excerpts on a larger scale, however, increases the required production budget substantially. With the DOK.archive Award, British Pathé and aim at promoting projects utilising licensed material and thus strengthening this traditional documentary genre.

Among all submissions for the DOK.archive Award, 5 projects will be presented to a jury of five during a live pitching at the Marketplace. The winning project will receive British Pathé archive material worth 15,000 euros, alternatively 2,500 euros can be paid out in cash.

Award Donor: British Pathé

British Pathé is considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world. Now also representing the Reuters Historical Collection, it has become a one-stop archive for the story of the 20th century. This treasure trove of 220,000 films, unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance, is used extensively by broadcasters, production companies, corporations and museums, among many others.


DOK.archive 2023

To this year's pitch

To this year's Award Ceremony


Submission deadline: 1 February 2023

Submission for the DOK.archive Award is now closed.

Award winners 2022: I USED TO BE THE MAYOR by Alexander Sussmann (director) and Karoline Henkel and Laszlo Josza (producers) 

The DOK.archive Award 2022 goes to Alexander Sussmann and Karoline Henkel for their concept for dealing with archive material in I USED TO BE THE MAYOR.

Gabor Demszky was a taxi driver turned writer, who in the 80’s became a leading voice in the underground opposition to Hungary’s totalitarian regime. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, he became the first elected Mayor of Budapest – and over the course of 20 years, he helped transform his country into a vibrant liberal democracy. Today power is in the hands of Victor Orban. No opposition voices are tolerated. Gabor’s triumphs are long forgotten. At the age of 68, he struggles with the anonymity outside the political spotlight and is taking stock of the price he’s paid – personally and reputationally - for his place in Hungary’s history.

To reflect on the developments of the past, we are collecting a wide range of archive footage. The transition time of the regime change and Gabor’s time in power is well documented. But to get an intimate view beyond the public appearances and to fill the missing gaps, we will combine it with animation. The playful arranged animation is presented in a patchwork style. We will combine different elements from photos, and newspapers to moving archive images to a consistent and entertaining form. On top of the visual layer, we will add a voice-over narration getting an intimate and subjective perspective on the history of Hungary, seen through the eyes of the former mayor of Budapest. These elements should make history also accessible to a younger audience and distinguish itself from classical archive documentaries.


Jury statement

"Five election victories and five divorces - the project I USED TO BE THE MAYOR portrays a multi-layered personality whose political life and personal trials and tribulations shed light on one of the greatest challenges and issues of our time: the disappearance of democratic values in the face of new populist autocracies (...) The jury was impressed by this story and the way the team aims to bring history to life for a younger audience by combining archive material and animation."


Jury 2022

Thomas Beyer, MDR, History and Documentary Editorial Department
Simon Witter, Footage Archive / Licensing, British Pathé Ltd.
Petra Gruber, Head of Channel Cooperation 3sat and ARTE, ORF / 3sat / ARTE
Dr. Nikolaus Wostry, Film Archive Austria
Käte Schaeffer, Acquisitions, ARSENAL Filmverleih GmbH


Award winners 2021: LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION BUT I’M WINNING by Julia Fuhr Mann

This film wants to explore the utopian potential in competitive sports, especially in running sports. It aims to create a world far away from strict sex and gender perceptions – because sex segregation is still socially accepted in sports, but it is unimaginable to be that rigid anywhere else in today‘s society.
In a mixture of fictional and documentary scenes, the film will create an utopian world where athletes are not classified according to their sex or gender, but are given space to show their uniqueness.

Jury statement

"Our audiovisual heritage is our preserved memory. We can find in this collective memory many beautiful as well as unpleasant perspectives on ourselves that were never in the conscious intention of the recorders. It is this new look at our past that the director and producers use to bring their project LIFE IS NOT A COMPETITION BUT I'M WINNING into the present. By reflecting to us the power of our communal adherence to norms and narratives, they ask us about our willingness to change. The project by Julia Fuhr Mann, Sophie Ahrens and Melissa Byrne addresses the utopian potential of competitive sport beyond rigid gender boundaries and images. [...]"

Jury 2021

Gunnar Dedio (LOOKSfilm)
Nina Goslar (ZDF/ARTE)
Karin Jurschik (HFF München)
Euridice Zaituna Kala (Euridice Kala)
Julia Teichmann (German Films)
Simon Witter (British Pathé Ltd.)

Award winners 2020: QUEEN OF CHESS of Bernadett Tuza-Ritter, Gabor Harmi and Zsofi Lili Kovacs

It tells the largely forgotten story of the Hungarian Judith Polgar, who became famous as a young girl in the male domain of chess competitions. Historical footage leading into late communist Hungary is linked with home movies from the private archives of the Polgar family as well as television reports on the competitions with the world chess champions of her time, especially Garri Kasparov. The result is an intimate portrait of an unusual young woman and at the same time a journey through time into a period of historical upheaval.

Jury statement

"The jury was particularly impressed by the clever and virtuoso handling of the versatile archive material. The historical and largely unknown film footage represents a fundamental narrative level here. The jury also finds it promising how the different facets of this child prodigy story are fanned out: the father's educational experiment, the gender relationship, the idiosyncratic world of chess, the tension of competitions, the social and political conditions – all this is reflected in this exciting biography of women."

Jury 2020

Anke Hahn (Head of film distribution, Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen)
Patrick Hörl (Managing Director, Autentic GmbH)
Monika Preischl (Archive Researcher and Archive Producer)
Simon Witter (Footage Archive / Licensing, British Pathé Ltd.)