DOKUARTS was founded in 2006 at the Berlin Academy of Arts upon the initiative of the festival director, Andreas Lewin. Since then, the festival has become in demand by filmmakers, producers and cultural institutions. As such, from 2008 to 2010 it was invited to the EYE Film Institute of Amsterdam, the Netherlands. José Carlos Avellar invited the festival to the Instituto Moreira Salles in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where it has been a regular guest with a part of its film selection since 2012. In the same year, DOKUARTS returned to Berlin and presented the festival’s first edition at its current venue, the Zeughauskino of the Deutsches Historisches Museum.


The artistic creative process and its aura of secrecy have always been both mysterious and fascinating to filmmakers. Films about art and artists form an integral part of the filmography of many important filmmakers, such as Agnès Varda, Johan van der Keuken, Albert Maysles, D. A. Pennebaker, Chris Marker, Martin Scorsese, Manoel de Oliveira, Claire Denis and Wim Wenders. Even young filmmakers often devote their first films to art or artists.


Especially in times of comprehensive upheaval in media and technical acceleration, forms of memory in the arts are increasingly gaining importance. The changing media landscape usually only reports on art and artists in the form of prefabricated series and magazine articles. A deeper "second look" by documentarians on the arts remains a rarity, which stands in inverse proportion to the continuing popularity of films on art.

DOKUARTS shows the strengths, diversity, imagination and experimental nature of the documentary genre: from long-term observation to filmic essays, from compilation to homage films, creative documentaries by filmmakers and film documents are presented, which are characterised by their artistic or documentary quality. DOKUARTS promotes this valuable genre, and is unique in Europe for its stringent conceptual orientation.

The international symposium held in parallel with the festival programme is developed from lines of inquiry innate to film and conceived with the aim of reflecting and matching art, science and philosophy – as it has done during the Recycled Cinema (2014), Architectures in Motion (2015), Essaydox (2016), Beyond Format (2018) and Nuances Now (2019) symposia.

Every year DOKUARTS shows around 25 films from 15 countries, of which almost all are German premieres. The festival neither awards prizes nor includes a competition. DOKUARTS invites a number of filmmakers to Berlin to discuss their films.

Previous Festival Guests (Selected)

Agnès Varda, Shirin Neshat, Olivier Assayas, Wim Wenders, Mark Lewis, Johan Grimonprez, Phyllis Lambert, Thomas Elsaesser, William Uricchio, Thomas Schadt, Helmut Lachenmann, Grant Gee, Jennifer Baichwal, Aliona van der Horst, Hans Helmut Prinzler, Stan Neumann, Julie Ahrens, Bruno Monsaingeon, Rania Stephan, Christoph Hübner, Gabriele Voss, Bettina Ehrhardt, Frank Scheffer, Tony Cragg, and many others.

DOKU.ARTS screens documentaries on the arts and by artists. Films of a minimum length of 60min may be submitted for selection. DOKU.ARTS is a non-competitive festival.
We invite all filmmakers to present their films.

Please take a look at our programs from previous years at our web archive to get an idea wheter your film would fit into the festival’s concept:

This years festival theme will be VISUAL ALTERITY.

Films that have premiered after June 1st, 2020, are eligible.

Doku.Arts presents only films, which have not been shown to the public in Berlin or broadcasted on public TV in Germany prior to Doku.Arts 2023.

- The festival’s screening format is DCP or Bluray. We are not able to project other files/media.

- The festival offers to cover the expenses for inbound and outbound shipments of screening media, unless the DCP/Blu-ray/film is being forwarded to another festival/screening venue, which is then expected to cover the expenses for the outbound shipment from Berlin.

- Film makers, whose films are selected, will be notified immediately. All submissions will receive a response no later than August 1st, 2023. Please note that the festival is not able to respond with reviews and feedback to individual films.