Competitions & programme sections 2024

Every year, our film programme brings together a selection of the most outstanding current international documentary films. The festival presents the highlights of documentary filmmaking and at the same time is guided by a clear curatorial signature. Three main competitions are at the heart of the programme: Main Competition, DOK.deutsch Competition and DOK.horizonte – Cinema of Urgency. With the Student Award and the FFF Talent Award Documentary Film, we also present two relevant prizes for up-and-coming filmmakers. The cross-sectional competitions German Documentary Film Music Award, VFF Documentary Film Production Award, DOK.fest Award of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit and DOK.edit Award – presented by Adobe honour the various trades of filmmaking, sometimes uniquely in Germany. In the programme sections Homage, Africa, DOK.panorama, Best of Fests,, Munich Premieres, DOK.4teens and In Memoriam, the festival presents numerous specials, often in cooperation with selected partners from art, culture and society in Munich and beyond.

Main competitions Main Competition

Slices of life, insights and perspectives: the films of the International Competition open doors to new worlds for us. They compete for the VIKTOR Main Competition, which is endowed with 10,000 euros. The prize sponsor is Bayerischer Rundfunk. 


DOK.deutsch Competition

Intense stories and the unusual on one’s own doorstep: the competition presents films that deal with people and topics in German-speaking countries. The VIKTOR DOK.deutsch Competition is endowed with 7,500 euros. The prize sponsor is Sky. 


DOK.horizonte – Cinema of Urgency

The films in this series tell stories from countries in transition. They are supported by ENGAGEMENT GLOBAL with funds from the BMZ and are nominated for the VIKTOR DOK.horizonte Competition, endowed with 5,000 euros. The award donor is the Petra-Kelly-Stiftung. 


Student Award

The Student Award of DOK.fest München presents outstanding documentary films by students of German-speaking film schools. The films are nominated for the megaherz Student Award, worth 3,000 euros. 

Cross-sectional competitions

German Documentary Film Music Award

The Iranian cellist, double bassist and composer Atena Eshtiaghi receives the German Documentary Film Music Award 2024 for her music to MY STOLEN PLANET.


VFF Documentary Film Production Award

Producer Oliver Stoltz from Dreamer Joint Venture Filmproduktion receives the VFF Documentary Film Production Award 2024 for VENEZUELA: COUNTRY OF LOST CHILDREN.


DOK.fest Award of SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit

Director Silje Evensmo Jacobsen receives the 2024 DOK.fest Award of the SOS-Kinderdörfer weltweit for A NEW KIND OF WILDERNESS.

DOK.edit Award – presented by Adobe

Yaël Bitton and Károly Szalai receive the DOK.edit Award – presented by Adobe 2024 for their work as editors for the film KIX.

FFF Talent Award Documentary Film

The award focuses on the work of up-and-coming Bavarian directors. It is endowed with 5,000 euros and is sponsored by the FilmFersehFonds Bayern.

Programme sections

Filmmaking in Exile

This year, the Filmmaking in Exile series presents works by filmmakers who live in exile and are currently unable to return to their home countries. It was curated together with “Goethe-Institut in Exile”. 



This year‘s festival has a special focus on the strongly divergent forces within European democracies. The DOK.focus DEMOCRAZY series features five films that offer an in-depth insight into five countries, from the highest state level to the social microcosm: in Hungary, Russia, Austria, Norway and Germany. 


Homage to Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster

With five joint films and a master class, the homage of the 39th DOK.fest München is dedicated to the Dutch directing duo Petra Lataster-Czisch and Peter Lataster. Africa

Every year at the festival in May, AFRICAN ENCOUNTERS focuses on African documentaries and current film-aesthetics and social debates. 



DOK.panorama shows innovative documentary films from all over the world mapping the diversity and current trends of documentary storytelling – including many new discoveries and premieres.



Innovative cinema and intimate insights: The BEST OF FESTS series brings together films that have already been screened at other important festivals and celebrated or awarded prizes there.

Portraits of Erroll Garner, Cindy Lauper and Joana Mallwitz, a road trip with The Mars Volta and a journey into the past of US hip-hop greats, such as LL Cool J, Russel Simmons and DMC: delivers music for the eyes and ears. Presented by ARTE.


Munich Premieres

Munich is the home of most of the filmmakers whose works are gathered together in the Munich premieres section. But, time and again, the view extends far beyond the city limits.


In Memoriam: NAWALNY

With the screening of this film, we want to give our audience the opportunity to meet Alexei Navalny again, whose legacy weighs heavily and will not be forgotten. 



Selected films for children and young people and the whole family.

The educational programme of DOK.fest München considers itself a “school of seeing” that combines media literacy and cultural education. It is aimed at children, young people, families and schools.