Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX: “a reflection, a comeback and a counter-attack”
by Jorn Rossing Jensen
- Taking place between 16-23 March, the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival will present more than 200 films, including 75 world premieres
15 months after its 13th edition, with a record audience figure of 91,400, and following the decision to move to March “to embrace new opportunities for international growth,” the CPH:DOX-Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival is back “to deal with the complete transformation of our common reality and current world order, which the election of Trump and Brexit have accelerated.”
Running between 16-23 March, the festival’s founder and director Tine Fischer will present “a reflection, a comeback and a counter-attack on behalf of art, our common reality and truth,” featuring 200 films (including 75 world premieres), a cultural summit on the political and social role of art, audio-visual concerts, interactive exhibitions and a special programme, Disrupt Their Lives, curated by UK visual artist and singer Anohni (aka Antony, of Antony and the Johnsons) and presented with the city of Aarhus, this year’s European Cultural Capital.
Copenhagen’s Charlottenborg Art Gallery is the new festival centre, with three cinemas (including one for virtual reality and another with designer sofas), but more than 100 screenings have been scheduled all over the country by DOX:ON:TOUR. And not all films are to be shown in theatres: UK directors Jerry Rothwell and Reuben Atlas’ Sour Grapes is set to be screened in a wine cellar, Belgian director Jérôme le Maire’s Burning Out, about stressful hospital work, will be hosted by Copenhagen’s main hospital, the Rigshospitalet, while German director Nicolas Humbert’s Wild Plants [+see also:
film profile], about urban gardening, will be followed by a talk and tasting session at the BRUS brewpub.
13 films have been selected for the main competition, the DOX:AWARD, including the Danish (Larm Film) production of Syrian director Feras Fayyad’s Last Men in Aleppo, which won the World Cinema Jury Prize at the US Sundance Film Festival. Local entries include Jeppe Rønde’s The John Dalli Mystery and Phie Ambo’s …When You Look Away. Other contenders are US directors Ashley Sabin and David Redmon’s Do Donkeys Act? narrated by Willem Dafoe, and Gray House, the first documentary by US director Austin Lynch (son of David Lynch).
Nine world premieres — films ranging from documentaries to visual art projects — are competing for The NEW:VISION AWARD, including Danish artist group Superflex’s The Mærsk Opera and UK director and former NEW:VISION winner Ben Rivers’ Urth. The F:ACT AWARD section, for films in the documentary and investigative journalism genres, will present six world premieres, and a further ten (out of 13 entries) are scheduled to feature in the NORDIC:DOX AWARD contest. Ten productions have been nominated for the NEXT:WAVE AWARD, a new international competition for emerging filmmakers.