Veteran German documentary film-maker Volker Koepp’s latest project Berlin-Stettin will open the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film tonight (October 26).

The film, a biographical journey through the countryside east of the River Elbe, is one of 16 works selected for the International Competition alongside Peter Kerekes’ Cooking History (Austria-Slovakia-Czech Republic), John Akomfrah’s The Genome Chronicles (UK), Shira Avni’s Tying Your Own Shoes (Canada), and Manfred Vainokivi’s Jolly Old Farts (Estonia).

There are 11 world premieres in the 12-strong line up for the German Documentary Competition. This includes Jean Boue’s Being Kohl, which follows five men who share Helmut Kohl’s name; Dana Linkiewicz’s novelist portrait in Anne Perry - Interiors and Marian Kiss’s Space Sailor, about the cosmonaut recruited by the Soviet Union from each socialist state in the 1970s.

Meanwhile, five films have been selected for this year’s Doc Alliance Selection:

Martin Marecek’s Auto*Mat,

Havard Bustnes’ Big John,

Peter Liechti’s The Sound Of Insects,

Bettina Haasen’s Hotel Sahara

Ester Martin Bergsmark/Beatrice Maggie Andersson/Mark Hammarberg’s Maggie In Wonderland

The winner will be announced at the closing ceremony on October 31.

Alongside the competition programme, there are a number of industry events including the DOK Leipzig Co-production Meeting, which will see 40 producers from around Scandinavia, Eastern Europe and Germany pitch new ideas to international TV commissioning editors, sales agents and distributors.

German Day is a new event for this year and it aims to give foreign producers and up-and-coming German film-makers an opportunity to meet the commissioning editors responsible for documentaries at Germany’s public channels.

International TV buyers and distributors will also have an opportunity to view new German productions in exclusive closed screenings at the so-called Leipzig Screenings, which are organised by AG DOK with support from German Films.