A gala screening of a restored print of Alexander Medvedkin's silent classic Happiness (Stschastje) from 1934 will open this year's International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animation Films (October 17-22).

The festival will also feature a retrospective dedicated to the East German film-maker Juergen Boettcher and a special programme of animation from Australia. A spotlight will also be cast on documentaries from the legendary film studio in Sverdlovsk, and the Diagonale festival from Graz will present a special programme of experimental films "made in Austria".

Innovations this year will see the festival's competition for animation films becoming an annual feature rather than alternating with Stuttgart. In addition, the International Jury will award a prize for the first time this year for the best camerawork in a documentary. The $2,340 (DM5,000) award is being sponsored by the private cable operator primacom which will also be serving as the festival's chief sponsor from this year.