ARRI at DOK.fest Munich

Munich’s DOK.fest 2018 has ended after twelve days of documentary screenings and related events, with ARRI playing important supporting roles. The organizers say 45,000 people visited, which they describe as “an excellent result given the beautiful summery weather” in the city during the festival.

May 16, 2018

DOK.fest audiences saw a total of 154 films from 50 countries in 19 venues across Munich. More than two thirds of the documentaries were world or German premieres, and more than half of the films were personally presented by the directors. Subjects ranged from cannibalism to the Israel-Palestine conflict, and from in intimate portrayal of a Russian rhythmic gymnast, to the life and work of the artist Joseph Beuys.

“Beyond the Images – Camera Day presented by ARRI” was a highlight of the festival, attracting hundreds of visitors to HFF, Munich’s TV and Film school. The program included workshops, forums, panel events, a master class, and the presentation of the ARRI AMIRA Award for camerawork in documentaries.

Director and cinematographer Richard Ladkani gave a fascinating master class and talked in detail about the making of his acclaimed wildlife-crime investigation "The Ivory Game," which he shot on an AMIRA. “I’m an enthusiastic ARRI user,” he told the audience, “the AMIRA is sturdy and perfectly balanced, and when it’s fitted with Master Grips the camera and I become a single unit.” 

Richard is using the AMIRA with Master Grips on his latest film – a wildlife-based project in Mexico which involves filming at sea. “Focus pulling in difficult conditions is much easier with the Master Grips, and they enable me to control the camera with my right hand while holding on to the boat with my left,” he said. 

The Camera Day concluded with the presentation of the ARRI AMIRA Award, which honors outstanding camera work in a documentary film. This year, Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor won for "Caniba," which Véréna Paravel also directed. The film tells the disturbing story of a Japanese man who raped and murdered a fellow student, and ate parts of her body.

The award jury acknowledged that the film asks a lot of its audience. “Our own need to distance ourselves becomes ever greater, we feel pressed, we literally squirm in front of the screen, but we cannot escape,” it said. “Véréna Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor create this inescapable confrontation through their clever and consistent image design. They force us to trace our own limits and cross them at the same time.”

In presenting the AMIRA Award Stephan Schenk, Managing Director of ARRI Cine Technik and General Manager of Business Unit Camera Systems, told the audience that the company has been involved in supporting documentaries throughout its long history. “Documentaries are part of our DNA,” he said “and what we bring to our high-end cinema cameras, we also bring to our AMIRA which has been successfully used in award winning documentaries like `The Ivory Game` or `Fuoco A Mare.` AMIRAs offer the same best overall image quality and reliability. But they are designed to address the demands of single-users.” He also pointed out the addition of important accessories for single-users like the Master Grips, and confirmed further developments for AMIRA including ARRIRAW support.

There were Camera Day sessions devoted to storage and workflow and ARRI Media sponsored the production and postproduction of the three official trailers. It also provided the cloud service Webgate for the whole festival.

The organizers hailed the festival as a success, and thanked ARRI and other partners. “Cinema has an increasingly difficult time against the competition of streaming offers,” said Daniel Sponsel, the festival’s director. “But the great popularity of our festival proves that viewers still want to see documentary films in the cinema. Festivals like DOK.fest are better at providing this than regular cinema distribution.” 

He was very upbeat about this year´s DOK.fest: “The festival attracted many important national and international industry representatives to Munich. They visited the marketplace, where new projects are being initiated, and our new event ‘Beyond the Images – Camera Day presented by ARRI’. We are very satisfied with their response.”

For more information about the DOK.fest visit

Photos: DOK.fest (4); Malaika Pictures (1)