The promotion of young filmmakers is a special concern of the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, and the DokfestEducation section is an expression of this commitment. 

Imparting expert knowledge, taking in new developments and critically discussing them, establishing relationships and networking: These are the goals of DokfestEducation. The focus of 2021s university portrait is the Hessian university landscape. The recently initiated project „HAB – Hessen Abschlussförderung: Projekt-Förderung für künstlerische und gestalterische Studien-Abschlussarbeiten in zeitbasierten Medien und Bewegtbild“ (HAB – Hesse Degree Project Funding: Funding for Final Degree Projects in Time-based Media and Moving Image for Students of Design and the Arts) is a vital addition to the funding landscape.

Furthermore, DokfestEducation presents international distributors. Thus, interested viewers will be given the opportunity to reflect not only on the structural aspects of curatorial work (especially curatorial work related to film), but also consider content-related factors. What considerations are essential in the selection of films for a distribution program? The renowned distributor „Square Eyes“ presented a diverse program titled „Stop dreaming and get in.“ Profis Plaudern Praxis XIII / PraxisDokfest took up last year‘s theme and follows up to its concerns: The central topic were potential strategies in the age of streaming and online festivals. In introductory lectures as well as in one-on-one discussions, experts with practical experience shared their insights and gave assistance on the question of the commercial viability of filmmaking and the increasingly confusing media landscape 

The Hessian University Film Day, a non-public event for invited professionals and accredited festival guests. As part of the Hessian University Film Day (HHFT), four universities that have a film program present their best and newest feature, animation, experimental and documentary films to an audience of industry insiders and pitch their newest ideas.

The goal of the Hessian University Film Day is to build a connection between Hessian students and graduates and the film and TV industry, in order to promote future collaboration.

Every year, the HHFT specifically invites journalists, producers, heads of other festivals, distribution partners and members of various institutions of education. After the screenings, the professionals make a preselection for the HESSEN TALENTS, a hFMA project, which will be presented at the European Film Market within the Berlinale.

To further intensify the exchange for the HHFT, not only students are invited to present themselves and their projects, but industry professionals also get a chance to give some information about their work and themselves. In addition, all visitors will have the opportunity to provide students with vital feedback. The HHFT is supported by the Kassel Dokfest and the hessische Film- und Medienakademie (hFMA), and organized and implemented by students of the Kunsthochschule Kassel.

Hessischer Hochschulfilmtag – Impressionen

Starting in 2014, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival expanded its profile by the presentation of a European film and media distributor, addressing both structural aspects and the substance of their activities. This year we are pleased to present Square Eyes from Vienna.

Square Eyes is a sales and festival distribution agency which helps outstanding non-mainstream films find the audience and recognition they deserve. They specialise in representing bold, author-driven features and shorts, and collaborate closely with filmmakers to devise bespoke festival distribution and sales strategies. Square Eyes was founded in 2013 and quickly established a reputation for working with the most exciting shorts on the festival circuit.

presented by Wouter Jansen

Distribution im Profil – Impressionen

Distribution im Profil mit Vtape beim 36. Kasseler Dokfest in 2019
Distribution im Profil mit Vtape beim 36. Kasseler Dokfest in 2019
Distribution im Profil mit Vtape beim 36. Kasseler Dokfest in 2019
Distribution im Profil, 2018

Students from Kunsthochschule Kassel (Klasse Film und Bewegtes Bild) and École Supérieure d‘Art Pays Basque (Bayonne- Biarritz, France) started a collaborative project at the end of 2019. Their goal was to reflect on the concept of borders. As part of the Kassel Dokfest, the results of this long-term collaboration and the projects designed and developed by French and German students will be presented in a joint exhibition at ruruHaus.

38. Kasseler Dokfest | Débordements Überläufe

Streaming and VoD platforms are an ongoing topic of discussion in the film and media industry. The topic of digital marketing strategies was given a particular relevance by the Covid-19 pandemic. Last year, we already focused on the fact that, on the one hand, streaming providers and online platforms – thanks to their easy accessibility – are offering young media professionals in particular great potential for making their works visible, on the other hand, the supposedly greater independence of self-marketing in the online sphere is also contrasted by a potential devaluation of the works. Out of the necessity of the crisis, both cinemas and film festivals have dared to take the step into a digital form, whereby all sectors involved have been able to gain significant experience. Last year’s topical issue will be continued this year, as new aspects and insights are influenced by last year’s experience. The event Profis Plaudern Praxis XIII / PraxisDokfest would like to give young media professionals the opportunity to ask questions in this regard together with experienced industry experts, to weigh up their actions and to find future-oriented commercial strategies for their own productions.

Four short lectures will open up different perspectives on distribution strategies between cinema and streaming platforms. Afterwards, individual queries can be addressed in a moderated panel discussion and one-on-one conversations, taking place at the media project center Offener Kanal in Kassel or via Zoom. Language: English and German. The lectures and one-on-one conversations are primarily addressed to students from the network of the Hessian Film and Media Academy and the participants of the 12th Hessian University Film Day. Other interested persons are welcome to join as well. Since 2010, the series Profis Plaudern Plaudern Praxis has been held in cooperation with the Hessen Film and Media Academy (hFMA). The section considers itself as a platform for further education of film and media professionals. In lectures and workshops, experts share profound practical knowledge and discuss new developments in the industry.

Profis Plaudern Praxis XIII takes place as a hybrid event. The short lectures will be available as a DokfestChannel for free at from November 17. The panel discussion takes place on site at the media project center Offener Kanal, KulturBahnhof Kassel. A recording of the discussion will be available afterwards online. The subsequent one-on-one counseling sessions are taking place in two events as Block I on site ad Block II online by appointment via Zoom. Projects have to be provided beforehand. Participation on short notice on site is possible, as long as places are available.

Up-to-date information on the event here

Free registration until November 16, via Anna Bell:

Profis Plaudern Praxis – Impressionen

For the past 25 years, the Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival has presented a film school from another European country each year, independently of the works selected from the regular program. For this purpose, some of the students from the respective institution are invited to Kassel together with their professors and then present their most recent works. This year we are focusing on Hessian film schools, because adequate support for university and graduation films is sorely lacking in the funding landscape here. This is about to change, as the universities in Darmstadt, Kassel, Offenbach and Wiesbaden have laid the foundation for an ambitious program to support graduation projects.

The initiative HAB – Hesse Degree Project Funding, a cross-university graduation funding program for students in art, film and media degree programs at the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, the Kunsthochschule Kassel, the University of Art and Design Offenbach and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden, which cooperate in the network of the Hessian Film and Media Academy (hFMA), is an important Hessian talent funding program that is currently being set up. This aims to improve the transition from student life to professional life. The measure is intended to promote young talents in the final stage of education and thus close the gap to a systematic promotion of young talent in the field of film and media.

The HAB – Hesse Degree Project Funding, which starts during the degree program, and the STEP program of HessenFilm und Medien GmbH, which has already started for post-degree projects, thus form a decisive alliance. The aim is to provide more support for outstanding young talents in the film and media sector during their studies in Hessen and to counteract the exodus to other attractive funding locations.

This is made possible by targeted support that offers students the opportunity to develop, realize and complete their final project free of restrictions due to scarce resources while at the same time ensuring high quality.

With regard to professional life and the possibility of further systematic promotion (for example through the HessenFilm und Medien GmbH), the graduation project represents the first key reference. For graduates, the portfolios developed during the course of their studies, and especially the graduation project, are an important ticket to employment in the professional cultural and creative industries beyond the formal university degree – especially in creative courses of study such as the film and media sector.

The aim of the planned funding is to support Hessian students in the realization of innovative, experimental, artistic and creative film and media content, technologies, applications and formats as well as enhancing their quality. This counteracts the structural disadvantage compared to the possibilities of funding for graduation projects at other film and media locations at the federal level. In addition, it increases visibility in trans-regional networks (e.g. workshops, festivals, markets, fairs, conferences).

At this crucial stage of artistic development, the networking of the universities and their students via the hFMA with future funding institutions and the cultural landscape of Hesse can be enhanced. A high level of synergy is also expected for research and teaching at the universities. One example of this is the organised, cross-university forums of the funding recipients, who present their projects to each other, enter into a creative and substantive exchange and thus can find cooperation partners and build networks beyond their own university.

The Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences finances its HAB contribution through budget resources from the Media Department. The Kunsthochschule Kassel, the University of Art and Design Offenbach and the RheinMain University of Applied Sciences in Wiesbaden are to receive funds from the Hessian Higher Education Pact for the implementation of the HAB concept. An advisory board of high-profile film and media professionals will guide the HAB funding: Anna Schoeppe (HessenFilm und Medien GmbH), Anne- Kathrin Brinkmann (ZDF/arte), Stefan Weil (Atelier Markgraph GmbH Frankfurt).

In close cooperation with the universities from the hFMA network and with support from the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts, a groundbreaking promotion of creative talent is thus being established in Hesse. The Kassel Dokfest and the B3 Biennale of the Moving Image Frankfurt support this initiative with the presentation of the graduation projects of the participating universities and thus offer attractive platforms to establish sustainable connections between professionals from the various media and creative industries and young creatives, thereby promoting exchange between them.

The HAB – Hesse Degree Project Funding will start in the winter semester of 2021/22. Accordingly, no projects that have received this new type of funding in Hesse can yet be shown at this year’s Dokfest. But the festival will present a number of graduation projects that were completed last year at the four participating universities:

Jan Çapar: Fuchskind

Lydia Gavrileva: South Gate

Ada Gräff: Zwei Drittel

Zeno Gries: es gibt kein abschalten

Juliane Henrich: Vor Zeit

Sophie Hilbert: Strahlend grüne Wiese

Tanja Hurrle: Weil ich Leo bin

Malin Kuht: En-countering Cyberfeminism

Tobi Sauer: Die Kafka-Konferenz, oder: Dubček geht baden

Alina Schuster, Juliana Kralik, Lazaro Beckmann, Samuel Rassy: Plong

sriram srivigneswaramoorthy: Achsen des Guten

Karolin Twiddy: Soup

Maximilian Wagener: Das Paket

Noddy Werner: Bingo