Truth: Stranger than Fiction
Facts aren’t always facts, and “alternative facts” don't always lie.
In a world where “truth” is carefully curated, filtered, and viewed through the lens of social media, often the only difference between truth and fiction lies in the perspective through which one views the world.
Documentary films offer a fascinating peephole into a particular reality, at a certain time of a certain person's life. Whether in the form of an expository, a poem, an essay, an observational piece, whether it's dramatized, animated, or based on interviews, documentary films all have a message to send.
How can we make a difference in the world?
Documentary films are not just an avenue through which we can observe real life; they also serve to inform, educate, and critique. They are valuable creations in a day and age where media is increasingly curated and so much more homogenous.
That is why Doc.Berlin welcomes all of the above forms of documentary film-making, and even more so, those that transcend boundaries to move fluidly between one and more styles.
Ours is a new annual film festival featuring work from around the world by up and coming artists, showcasing innovative independent cinema with all selected films inviting viewers to learn and ponder.
To inspire, motivate, and award new talent, the Doc.Berlin film festival will take place at the historic Babylon Berlin Cinema, currently the venue for the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).
The Babylon is a cinema in the Mitte neighborhood of Berlin and part of a listed building complex at Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz opposite to the Volksbühne. The building was erected 1928/29 according to plans of architect Hans Poelzig, which is regarded as typical of its construction period, Neue Sachlichkeit.
As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, the festival will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers.
Join us at the Babylon on December 14-17.
Doc.Berlin is part of Doc.World, a new global network of Documentary Film Festivals, with festivals in London, Berlin, Ghent and Boston.
As a celebration of the cinematic and visual arts, these documentary festivals will bring diverse international films to our community and showcase the best regional and international filmmakers.
previous doc.world festivals
Documentary Film Exchange
From 2020 onwards, the Doc.World festivals will team up for an annual documentary film exchange. One film from each festival's official selection will be screened at the other festivals.
A look back at 2019
We are pleased to announce that Doc.Berlin had its successful first run in what will hopefully become a long and rewarding tradition. Check out some behind the scenes photos below:
Ghent Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival 2019
The Viewpoint Documentary Film Festival Ghent kicked off its 11th edition with a full house for the premiere of 'Doel' by Frederik Sǿlberg, a Danish documentary on the Belgian ghost town Doel. Special guests of the 2019 edition also included Rob Maas, Lander Haverals, Annick Timmermans and Bénédicte Liénard who all introduced their work during the festival.. Check out some photos below:
DECEMBER 17, 20:00
Tungrus (India) by Rishi Chandna
Tungrus (pronounced: toongroos) is a short documentary that observes a week in the peculiar lives of a middle-class suburban Mumbai household. What was once a home like a million others in the city, turns topsy-turvy when the eccentric patriarch brings home a baby chick for his cats to play with, much to the exasperation of his family.
Koka, the Butcher (Germany) by Bence Máté
A respected figure in Cairo’s pigeon fighting world is leading his area into a decisive battle. Under immense pressure from his conservative community to quit his passion and marry, he is faced with the possibility that the upcoming race will be his last one.
Yvonnes (Italy) by Tommaso Perfetti
Vincenzo has always led a marginal existence. He is now 42 and has not seen his daughter for a long time. One day, he takes the train to go and see her, not even knowing if he will be welcome. The time of the journey will be like his lifetime. Time without an apparent conclusion, where everything is mixed up in the chaos of his acts, the consequence of a lust for life and poor choices.
DECEMBER 18, 20:00
Shooting Crows (Switzerland) by Christine Hürzeler
A park in the fog. Crows flap and caw in the sky. A homeless man sleeps between the trees. Now and then a crow is shot: as a
deterrent. The crows rally after every shot. A woman disappears. The police gather evidence. What is really going on? Are reality and imagination slowly blurring?
The Velvet Underground Played at My High School (USA) by Robert Pietri
This animated documentary is the story of the Velvet Underground's disastrous first public performance. While on stage for merely 20 minutes, The Velvet Underground performed three songs: 'There She Goes', 'Venus in Furs', and 'Heroin'. The Summit High School audience responded with, as a band member recalled in 1983, a 'murmur of surprise that greeted the appearance' that 'increased to a roar of disbelief as the band started to play' which'swelled to a mighty howl of outrage and bewilderment...' Half the audience walked out.
A Bad Habit (Italy) by Luca d'Onofrio
Lost among his thoughts, a man leaves his sad present.
He sees in his head the night spent with "Her", the woman who he can't name, but who has left him a permanent sign within.
Going with the flow of his own addictions the man surrenders to nostalgia. He has only one hope, the possibility to savor one more time that night spent with "Her".
14.05 always a kind of onward (The Netherlands) by Guido F.G. Jeurissen
In a city rebuilt, a heedless community moves forward. The clock hits five ‘o clock. Leftover wage slaves drip homewards; an old couple can’t even remember each other’s existence and a young pregnant woman struggles to find her way in an overcrowded subway. For just a moment, time freezes. Stuck in an infinite feedback loop. Until a colossal eruption awakens the city and embraces it in a blanket of black smoke. Taking everyone’s breath.
Pain is Mine (Australia) by Farshid Akhlaghi
One day, One room, One take.
After her spinal surgery, she was always in pain, intense pain, unendurable pain. Painkillers have been her refuge for a long time, but one day, she decided to stop.
Wognum (The Netherlands) by Tim Bary
Mathijs is 42 years old and an avid member of the hardcore world. A life of raving, taking pills and jumping up and down and up and down. A rough and harsh life at first sight, but Matthijs found warmth there, warmth he couldn’t find elsewhere. Having had a difficult childhood, with parents who didn’t believe in his dream, he discovered a different world in the hardcore scene. An answer for his loneliness, a place where he felt understood. Unfortunately life is not an ever ongoing party, and Matthijs’ loneliness comes back to haunt him again. This affects his relationship with his friend René, and not knowing what to do he locks himself up in his attic during the day, dreaming of his long lost passion to become a world class pianist. He decides to pick up the pieces and bring back life in his piano playing fingers again.
SUBMIT YOUR WORK
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We accept short and feature documentary films up to 120 minutes. Click here to submit your film.
The Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival accepts documentaries in all forms. All non-English language films must be subtitled in English. Entry does not guarantee acceptance into the festival. Submissions WILL NOT be returned. We also accept submissions that have premiered elsewhere and that may have distribution agreements already in place. Rough cuts and incomplete projects are not accepted. Multiple entries are allowed, however a separate entry form must be submitted for each. The festival has the capability to screen MP4 & MOV.
EXHIBITION & SCREENING
Screenings are scheduled during the Festival at the discretion of the Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival. Whilst every effort will be made to adhere to the published schedule, Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival reserves the right to make changes at any time for any reason. Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival will not be liable for any costs claimed as a result of a change in scheduling. No film may be withdrawn from the festival program after its selection. If chosen as an official selection, Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival is granted the permission to exhibit the film at the Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival and all associated screenings. Location and timing of any screenings of the film shall be the sole decision of the organizers of the Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival. Filmmakers will be solely responsible for all costs resulting from the submission of the film to the Festival including but not limited to postage or insurance of the film, and expenses of your staff or any representatives of the film. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
LOSS OR DAMAGE
Although every precaution will be taken to prevent loss or damage to materials while in the possession of the festival, The Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival is not responsible should any materials be damaged while in transit to or from, or while in the possession of the festival.
The filmmaker holds the Doc.Berlin Documentary Film Festival, its management, juries, subsidiaries, agents, sponsors, affiliates, and etc. harmless from any and all claims of liability resulting from entry. The filmmaker certifies to have full rights. Producer will indemnify the organisers of the Festival against all claims, demands, costs, damages, expenses (including legal fees), proceedings and losses resulting from the screening of the film at the Festival or from claims by any third parties.
The festival does not offer screening fees for its films. By submitting through FilmFreeway you are agreeing to NOT request a screening fee as a requirement for your film's participation in the festival, should your film get selected for the program.
Since the festival only requires a nominal entry fee, we will NOT accept requests for other entry fee waivers.