Democracy is under threat around the world, but people are fighting for their rights like never before. How can audiovisual storytelling help to reclaim the digital public sphere by challenging disinformation, documenting injustices and lifting up marginalized voices?

Programme curated and presented in partnership with             


Welcome Address and Curatorial Statement


Tine Fischer, Founder & CEO, CPH:DOX, Denmark

Katrine Kiilgaard, Deputy Director / Head of Industry & Training, CPH:DOX, Denmark

Donata von Perfall, Director, Documentary Campus, Germany

AC Coppens, Conference Co-Curator, The Catalysts


Hacking Democracy

A radically different approach to digital technology shows us how we can tackle the biggest global crises of our time by empowering citizens. In their Introductory Keynote, Audrey Tang sets the basis for our reflections of the CPH:Conference, bridging Democracy, Empowerment and Resilience.


Audrey Tang, Digital Minister of Taiwan, Executive Yuan, Taiwan


Re-storying Democracy

How do we define democracy in a digitised world? The Internet, hailed as an unprecedented democratising force, has become a new source of inequalities. Can audiovisual storytelling help reshape a democratic culture that redistributes power and rebuilds trust?


Astra Taylor, Documentary filmmaker, writer, activist, USA/Canada

Tobias Rose-Stockwell, Writer, Designer, Technologist, USA


Post-truth or post-vérité? An anthropological perspective on "President"

Is the post-truth era a struggle for documentary? Or does a contemporary cinema vérité hold more power than ever before? We explore unique challenges and opportunities of the anthropological lens for filmmakers and viewers, as both grapple with reality in its multiplicity and information density.


Camilla Nielsson, Documentary filmmaker, Final Cut for Real, Denmark

Yoruba Richen, Director of the Documentary Program, Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism, USA


Ai Weiwei: Future of the Political Documentary

Between censorship and profit-oriented platforms, political documentaries face unique challenges. Could new distribution models help filmmakers to speak truth to power? This session explores possible futures of political documentary with Ai Weiwei, taking his recent film Coronation as a case study.


Ai Weiwei, Artist, Activist, Filmmaker

Tine Fischer, Founder & CEO, CPH:DOX, Denmark

AC Coppens, Conference Co-Curator, The Catalysts


Democracy in the Age of Mass Personalisation

First, the power of social media to revolutionise democracy was revealed to be a myth. Then, attention turned to ‘filter bubbles’, a notion that soon proved misleading and counter-productive. Can a more expansive concept of mass personalisation help us begin to grasp the digital public sphere?


Hossein Derakhshan, Media Researcher, London School of Economics and Political Sciences, Canada


Beyond The Social Dilemma: taking action on Big tech

Social networks have shown they can’t be trusted to regulate themselves. What is the role of documentaries to create awareness – and to call to action for change? We analyse The Social Dilemma, its Action Page, and hear voices of the most impacted target group in a world ruled by Big Tech: Youth.


Moderator: AC Coppens, Founder, The Catalysts, Germany

Jeff Orlowski, Director of The Social Dilemma, Founder, Exposure Labs, USA

Nani Jansen Reventlow, Founding director, Digital Freedom Fund, The Netherlands

Youth Testimonial: Fuad Gumas, Denmark

Youth Testimonial: Husna Mukhtar, Denmark

Youth Testimonial: Anouk Fischer Andersen, Denmark


Behind the Headlines: Speaking Truth to Power with Investigators

Open source investigation has emerged as a unique and powerful form of journalism. What can digital investigators and documentary filmmakers learn from each other? What are the risks and ethical dilemmas that come with unveiling the secrets of corporations and governments?


Moderator: Julia Köberlein, Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director, Kontextlab GmbH, Germany

Daniel Andreas Sager, Director of Behind the Headlines, Germany

Charlotte Godart, Investigator and Trainer, Bellingcat, USA


Reconnect! Networking with Curators, Speakers and Festival Friends

In this informal networking session, we celebrate reconnection within the documentary filmmaking community and beyond. Learn more about the conference from the curators and organisers themselves, and reflect on the day’s discussions and films with speakers and fellow participants.