Just like the rest of the world, the team behind Moscow International Documentary Film Festival Doker is exploring this new, unfamiliar reality with both interest and concern.
We have the greatest sympathy for all who have suffered from the tragedy of COVID-19. We give our thanks to the doctors, healthcare workers, volunteers, and people of other trades such as couriers, salespeople, pharmacists, police officers, drivers, emergency response workers, street sweepers, teachers, and virologists, who are helping to save lives, making the lockdown easier to bear, and working 24/7 to find a vaccine. We wish the swiftest recovery to those whose health has been harmed by the pandemic, and strength and patience to everyone else.
Since the beginning of March, we have watched with genuine admiration as many of our colleagues — organizers of documentary film festivals in dozens of countries around the world — have, despite the difficult circumstances, managed to turn screenings into completely online events, with the streaming of hundreds of films, discussion panels, and industry programs. We have carefully considered this experience both as audience members and as professionals, and have truly been inspired by it.
However, we came to the conclusion that the only decision we can make for our own film festival is to wait for the opportunity to screen the documentaries on the big screen. Moving to the Internet would invalidate our original goals and dreams of discovering and promoting docs as an exciting, spectacular form of art that can be just as expressive and full of drama as fiction movies. Doker is the only documentary film festival in Russia — and one of only a few anywhere in the world — that presents awards of equal importance for directing, cinematography, sound, and editing. We believe that attempting to enjoy the workmanship of the filmmakers and to absorb the cinematographic language of their works on the little monitors that everybody has got so thoroughly sick of during the self-isolation period or on the screens of fiddly gadgets would be unfair to both the filmmakers and the audience.
That is why Moscow International Documentary Film Festival Doker is postponing to August 21-30, 2020. It is very important for us to present films on the big screen and to hold audience discussions, even if the foreign filmmakers will have to take part remotely.
The official selection for the film festival has already been made and will be announced in the nearest future, but even now the selection committee is delighted to announce that it is proud of this year’s films and is hugely looking forward to introducing them to Russian audiences.
Documentary is bigger than a document. And safety is bigger than anything. We truly believe that the crisis will end very soon if all of us keep treating each other with care and responsibility. Take care of yourself and your loved ones!
With all our warmth and affection,
MIDFF Doker Team