It is the first time that the festival opens with an animated feature.
Following Claude Barras' own short film presentation at DOK Leipzig in 2012 (with his short film Room 69), the German festival has decided this year to screen the celebrated feature (and Switzerland's entry as the Foreign Film Language at the 2017 Academy Award) as its opening film.
My Life as a Courgette ("Ma vie de courgette") will open this year's DOK Leipzig festival on 31 October, a first for animated feature. Based on the novel "Autobiographie d'une courgette" by Gilles Paris, and using stop-motion (puppets), the film tells the story of 9-year-old Icare, nicknamed Courgette, who ends up in a children's home after his mother dies. There he meets a group of children in whom he comes to find a new family.
Festival director Leena Pasanen comments on the way the puppet animation of the film lovingly puts across real-life truths and makes it easy for us to put ourselves in the children's shoes. During the festival and at the Opening Ceremony, My Life as a Courgette will be shown in its original French version with subtitles
The cinema version that has the film dubbed into German will be shown in the train station (7pm in Leipzig Central Station,East Hall, free admission) to be followed by a repeat screening on the Saturday of the festival for children and families.
DOK Leipzig will be showing around 300 films during the festival, which runs from 31 October to 6 November 2016.