CPH:DOX Lineup Features Films By Werner Herzog, Errol Morris, Spike Lee, Gianfranco Rosi

Leo Barraclough
·4-min read

Copenhagen Intl. Documentary Film Festival, better known as CPH:DOX, has unveiled its full program, which includes the screenings of 180 films, interactive art, and 40 live debates and talks with artists, experts and opinion-makers.

The festival offers new films from a number of leading directors. Werner Herzog, Gianfranco Rosi, Shelly Silver, Errol Morris, Ulrike Ottinger, Spike Lee and Sergei Losnitza all participate in the festival with their films, as does Muppet master Frank Oz, who is back with “In & Of Itself.”

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As previously reported, Marina Abramovic, David Byrne, and Slavoj Zizek will feature in the discussion program “An Evening With.”

The digital festival will be available on CPH:DOX’s digital platform from April 21 to May 5. From May 6-12, a selection of films will be screened in movie theaters in Copenhagen.

Tine Fischer, CEO of CPH:DOX, said: “The lineup includes films focusing on new platform economies, the dominance of tech giants, new democratic movements, decolonization and climate change.”

The digital live events “will give our audiences a chance to meet and listen to great artists, innovative scientists, politicians, opinion makers and a number of important marginalized voices that normally wouldn’t get a chance to be heard,” she added.

Among the films screening in the five official competition categories are 47 world premieres, nine international premieres and six European premieres. Among the films world premiering are controversial titles such as “When a City Rises,” about the protests in Hong Kong seen from the inside, and Gorki Glaser-Müller’s “Children of the Enemy,” which tells the touching and topical story about seven Swedish children caught in the Syrian refugee camp Al Hol with their IS supporting mother, while European countries discuss whether to let the radicalized mothers and their children return.

As well as forcing the festival to adopt a digital format, the COVID-19 crisis has also inspired the overall theme of this year’s program, “RESET!”

Fischer said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the world into a crisis of historical proportions, but it has also made it clear that we – as a society – can make a huge difference when needed.

“This year, we are presenting a special program entitled ‘RESET!’ that focuses on a number of the most significant structural crises the world is facing today, but also on opportunities that arise and new solutions that present themselves.”

The theme “RESET!” characterizes not only the film program, but also the festival’s international conference, CPH:Conference, presenting a five-day digital program. This will “rethink the role of the film and media industry and find new solutions to some of the largest global challenges we face today,” the festival said in a statement.

With the themes democracy, economy, representation and climate the audience – both the public and the industry – would “participate in a discussion on the role of the arts in a world post-corona.”

Speakers will include Taiwan’s digital minister Audrey Tang, fake news expert and Iranian blogger Hossein Derakhshan, founder of Fridays for Future Uganda Hilda Flavia Nakabuye, economic commentator Grace Blakeley and the producer Ted Hope. The conference will run April 26-30.

The five competition sections, which will all be evaluated by an international jury, are:
● DOX:AWARD, the festival’s main competition with films distinguished by artistic quality, cultural relevance and strong personal expressions.
● NEW:VISION AWARD, characterized by filmic experiments in the area between documentary and fine art.
● F:ACT AWARD, dedicated to films blending documentary, investigative journalism and social activism.
● NORDIC:DOX AWARD, consisting of the best new Nordic documentaries.
● NEXT:WAVE AWARD, celebrating young, talented and up-and-coming filmmakers.

In addition, 10 Danish films are nominated to the critics award Politiken Danish:Dox Award, a collaboration between CPH:DOX and the Danish newspaper Politiken.

Besides the competition program, audiences can also experience the Science Program with 10 international documentaries and live talks featuring some of the most skilled researchers, zooming in on new technology and science. Danish director Pernille Grønkjær is one of the filmmakers featured in the Science program with her new documentary “Solutions,” which follows a number of researchers while they try to develop new solutions to everything from the threats against democracy to the climate crisis.

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