Profile: competitions and sections

Every year, the festival's film programme gathers a selection of the most outstanding current international documentaries. The festival presents the highlights of documentary work and is at the same time guided by a clear curatorial signature.

The programme focuses on four competitions:

  • The main competition puts together a showcase of outstanding international documentary films.
  • DOK.deutsch presents a best-of of current German-language productions.
  • DOK.horizonte presents films from and about countries with unstable structures.
  • The Student Award compiles a selection of the best films from our partner universities.

In addition, the FFF Talent Award Documentary Film is another relevant award for young filmmakers. The DOK.fest Award of SOS Kinderdörfer worldwide shows films that make a unique contribution to the lives of children and young people. The German Documentary Film Music Award gives a prize to a composition that combines in an outstanding way with the documentary film narrative. Finally, the VFF Documentary Film Production Award honors courageous producers in the non-fiction field.

In its programme series, the festival presents numerous specials with cooperation partners from culture and society. The highlight section "Cinema at its best" presents numerous premiere galas at the Deutsches Theater. Every year, the Retrospective looks at milestones in the documentary film history. In the section DOK.guest a country with its film culture introduces itself every year. The homage honours the life's work of renowned filmmakers.