With 91,400 admissions the thirteenth edition of CPH:DOX was a huge success, conclusively establishing the festival among the world’s largest and most important of its kind. In order to further grow internationally, CPH:DOX moves its next edition from November to March. The fourteenth edition of CPH:DOX will thus take place March 16-26, 2017.
Since CPH:DOX took place for the first time in 2003, the festival has set new audience records every year. But in the last four years the number has exploded, increasing from 47,000 in 2011 to this year’s total of 91,400.
CPH:DOX is not only a growing audience success, but also an international industry event which this year attracted more than 1,400 industry delegates and more than 300 journalists. The growth, not least on the international platform, is the main reason for CPH:DOX to move away from the busy festival month of November to re-establish itself in March.
Festival director Tine Fischer says: “This year’s festival has been outstanding. We have once again had great response from our audiences, and the interest from the international film industry is now so significant that we have decided to move the festival to March to give ourselves the space it takes to develop the international ambitions of the festival further. CPH:DOX has taken place in the week before IDFA since the very beginning without too many overlaps and complications, but with the latest year’s growth in international industry attendance we need more space around us.”
CEO of Copenhagen Film Festivals, Steffen Andersen-Møller comments: “Moving from the current position in November to the spring is more than just a change in the calendar. The ambition of CPH:DOX to be a leading international documentary event is intact and will require more space to unfold its potential. Ideally, it will ensure that CPH:DOX opens the year, and IDFA closes it.”
Leading international platform
Both the Danish Film Institute and the Danish producers are enthusiastic. Sigrid Dyekjær, producer, Danish Documentary says: “CPH:DOX has taken an international position that is not only challenging the world’s largest documentary film festivals, but is also offering the international film industry a unique platform focusing on innovation, new partnerships and a new standard for documentary today. For the Danish film industry it is fantastic to have such a strong home field, and moving the festival to March is the best news for the Danish industry as it will strengthen the festival’s position.”
Henrik Bo Nielsen, CEO of the Danish Film Institute comments: “CPH:DOX has had great ambitions from the very first year with a strong focus on pushing the boundaries of the documentary genre and reaching out to audiences in new ways. Alongside this they have managed to get the most innovative and influential people from near and far to attend the festival. It is impressive that a Danish festival in relatively few years has managed to attract a large and broad local audience while at the same time having placed itself as a leading international platform . With this new position it makes sense to move CPH:DOX to spring, and I look forward to follow the festival’s further development.”
CPH:INDUSTRY – the dream team of all editions
As an international industry event CPH:DOX 2015 has experienced its best year so far. The well established financing forum CPH:FORUM had a lineup of projects which according to Festival Director, Tine Fischer was “the dream team of all editions” with a unique mix of leading documentary filmmakers as Jehane Noujaim / Karim Amer (The Radicals), Lucy Walker (SlumGods), Leonard Retel Helmrich (The Camp) and Peter Mettler / Emma Davie (Becoming Animal). Combined with new talents as Wired Innovation Fellow, Nelly Ben Hayoun’s new project and a particular strong line-up of projects in the ART:FILM section of the FORUM including, among others, the multi award winning team Verena Paravel and Lucien Castaing-Taylor from The Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard (SEL) and their new project ‘The Story of the Eye I & II’.
2015 also saw the launch of two new industry initiatives. CPH:CHANGE, an event created to support film and media projects at the intersection between art, technology and social entrepreneurship. The aim is to connect some of the most innovative and impactful cultural projects with like-minded companies and organisations, applying their power and marketing reach to inspire and accelerate social change. Five hand picked projects were presented in front of a panel composed of forward-looking CSR professionals, foundations, NGOs, communication, marketing and social storytelling experts.
Another new initiative was the brand new training and lab initiative VR:LAB developed in partnership with Danish media entrepreneurs Makropol. VR:LAB invited 20 carefully selected filmmakers / artists to explore virtual reality during a ten day production workshop. The main focus was to challenge the dogmas of filmmaking, to develop a voice within virtual reality and to experiment with new forms of storytelling. In short: An experimental exploration of authenticity in virtual realities. The results of the workshop was shown to the industry delegates on the last day of the workshop.
VR:LAB follows the success of the well established CPH:LAB, which ran in it’s seventh edition joining some of the world’s leading new talents among others Danish filmmaker Thomas Daneskov, Laurin Federlein (Germany), Johannes Gierlinger (Austria) and also new and upcoming American indie-talents Malik Vitthal & Khalik Allah.
Supporting documentary as an artform
The mission of the festival continues to be to present challenging and critical works of documentary cinema – and other arts – in an original and intelligent context. CPH:DOX aims to set a high cultural standard and to stimulate critical thinking, while insisting on documentary as an artform across different practices. And with more than 100 premieres, of which almost half were world premieres of new feature length films, there was plenty to discover at this year’s edition, which also presented exclusive film programmes guest curated by Olafur Eliasson and Naomi Klein & Avi Lewis.
Once again in 2015, CPH:DOX has been aiming to expand on the notion of documentary. This year’s DOX:AWARD winner, the American hybrid film ‘God Bless The Child’ (dir. Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck) is thus the latest in a growing line of winning films that challenge and expand our ideas of contemporary nonfiction (earlier award winners include among others genre-bending films like Harmony Korine’s ‘Trash Humpers’, Ben Rivers’ ‘Two Years at Sea” and Joshua Oppenheimer’s ‘The Act of Killing’).
Facts: Audience figures at CPH:DOX