DokfestChannels – Festival Opening

The plannings for the 37th Kassel Documentary Festival focused on the motto: Back to the cinema  – to be understood as an instruction and invitation for us and the audience. The current development of the Corona pandemic has dramatically changed this idea and almost the entire Kassel Dokfest has been moved into virtual space. With the opening, we want to demonstrate a clear stance, which is vividly illustrated by the campaign Without art and culture it will be quiet. We go without the usual rituals and words. The programmatic title of the work The Artists Are Not Present is bridging the gap to the exhibition Monitoring, which does not take place in real space, and humorously points out the current shortcomings. The original planned opening, streamed simultaneously in 8 cinemas in Kassel, would have brought together the work of Frank Thöner and Raymond Ley – they both studied film at the HbK Kassel and founded the Filmladen Kassel with other colleagues in 1981. It also would have shown the continuity in the artistic and creative involvement with right-wing radicalism and neo-fascism in northern Hesse. With this homage to Frank Thöner, we honor our colleague who co-founded the Kassel Dokfest in 1982 and died suddenly and unexpectedly last year. In 1980 at the age of 20, he documented – as part of an anti-fascist initiative – with the film Gerockt und Nazis abgeblockt the prevention of the party conference of the NPD (National Democratic Party of Germany) in Philippsthal in northern Hesse. A shortened version, embedded in a conversation with Irmhild Scheuer and Ralf Wenzel, is available here (in German language) until November 27. Raymond Ley returns to his hometown with "Schuss in der Nacht" and tries to find out what environment and events led to the murder of Walter Lübcke. This film is not available online due to the upcoming TV broadcasting. As of November 18, the first films will be available as DokfestStreams