#05 | shortfilm.de x Indiefilmtalk | Festivals in times of crisis, war and confrontation – Part 2

For about a year now, we have been cooperating with Indiefilmtalk, the podcast about filmmaking, to discuss (short) film-related topics that are particularly close to our hearts.



Today’s cooperation episode is once again about film festivals. Susanne Braun met Victoria Leshchenko, curator from Ukraine (formerly Docuday UA, currently DOK Leipzig) for an interview. This is the second installment of a multi-part series on “Festivals in times of crisis, war and confrontation”.

Film festivals bring people together and offer a platform to address current social and political issues. But how are the films selected? Who decides which films make it to the festival and which do not? And above all, what criteria are used to make the decision?

More openness for change in the German festival landscape

Victoria Leshchenko is not only an experienced film festival coordinator, she also brings a valuable external perspective to our local festival landscape. Her experience in film festival work in Ukraine (before the Russian war of aggression) allows her to compare two very different festival landscapes. For example, she talks about how German film festivals are well organized and of high quality, but offer little openness to change. She often finds that changes and innovations are only implemented slowly, whereas in Ukraine there is much more willingness to change.

Accepting helplessness – there are no easy answers to war and crises

Victoria also brings her experience to bear when it comes to finding an appropriate approach to sensitive topics that can trigger strong controversy. As a Ukrainian and therefore as someone whose homeland is at war, she understands the complexity that such a conflict can have for those affected. In Germany, people would always look for clear answers and secretly wish to always do the right thing. For Victoria, the question of what is right or wrong is not one that can be answered so easily. On the contrary, the premise with which she approaches her work is the realization that film festivals cannot and should not provide the answers to complex conflicts – they should on the one hand impart knowledge and on the other hand create a space for exchange and discussion.


Hompage Docudays UA – LINK

Homepage DOK Leipzig – LINK


Other episodes (in German only)
#01 | shortfilm.de x Indiefilmtalk | Kurzfilm in der Schule ist machbar!
#02 | shortfilm.de x Indiefilmtalk: Neue Richtlinien für die moderne (Kurz)filmförderung
#03 | shortfilm.de x Indiefilmtalk | Festivals in Zeiten von Krisen, Krieg und Konfrontationen – Teil 1
#04 | shortfilm.de x Indiefilmtalk | Was darf Film? Kreative Freiheit oder Political correctness im Bewegtbild