The nominees for Next:Wave Award 2018 are..

Take a walk on the wild side! In 2017, together with our main sponsor Normann Copenhagen, CPH:DOX announced the new international competition, Next:Wave. The competition received overwhelmingly good reviews from both national and international press and festivalgoers. This year the competition returns and today we announce the nominated films!

Our Next:Wave Award is dedicated to emerging filmmakers with the courage to take chances. The winner of Next:Wave will be found by a jury and announced at CPH:DOX’s Award Ceremony on March 23 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg.

Tickets, screenings and more information can be found here. 

A Moon Made of Iron

Francisco Rodriguez, Word Premiere (Chile, France)

A macabre mystery from Chile’s coastlines, where the bodies of Chinese fishermen appear without explanation.

A gorgeous film that starts tragically with a mysterious and macabre discovery of the bodies of three Chinese octopus fishermen on a flat beach near the Strait of Magellan, on the southern tip of Chile. They were malnourished and show signs of scurvy and typhus. In February, another body appears. And in June, Carmen’s cousin tells her that he has seen a malnourished Asian man hide in a lighthouse for three days, only to disappear again. Canned soup, passports and prosaic messages on the mobile phones that were in the life jackets of the deceased are the only clues of the mystery that rests heavily on the windswept coastal region. Like an uncomfortable elderly gentleman, who suffered the trauma of finding one of them, asks: ‘Why me?’ I’ve always been good to everyone!’ Francisco Rodriguez makes his entry as a phenomenal filmmaker. With exceptional colours and elliptical statements from ageing mussel gatherers and village children, his graduation film from Le Fresnoy dedicates its images to these unexplained human tragedies, which are otherwise just highlighted names on the crinkled reports of the coast guard.

DOEL

Frederik Sølberg, World Premiere (Denmark, Belgien)

Don’t miss the world premiere of Frederik Sølberg’s tragi-comic debut film ‘DOEL’ and a following Belgian afterparty with french fries and strong beers during this year’s CPH:DOX. The ticket sale is on in the event.

26 people live in the Belgian ghost town Doel, and they aren’t moving anywhere – even though people are busy telling them how hopeless their town is. Visitors are making fun of the town that is squeezed in between an industrial port and a nuclear power plant, which the government has been wanting to shut down for the last 50 years. But the citizens won’t give up. Frederik Sølberg’s fun, quirky and slow cinematic film from the outskirts of Europe shows 26 stubborn citizens who are trying to hold on to the dream that their town is a town and their home is a home.

Entrance to the End

Maria von Hausswolff, Anne Gry Friis Kristensen, World Premiere (Denmark, Sweden)

Hausswolff and Kristensen’s dark, audiovisual work is the subconscious’s answer to an ultra-violent Italian cannibal film from the 1970s.

A trippy and brutal psycho-ethnographic expedition into the tropical jungles of the subconscious. The dense, tropical motifs in ‘Entrance to the End’ are immortalised on analogue 16mm film in Panama’s jungles by Maria von Hausswolff during a trip to Panama, and all the film’s sound is recorded on a cassette tape by the co-director Anne Gry Kristensen. Title cards set the tone and define the evolutionary law of the jungle: ‘We didn’t come to dominate the world because we were the smartest or the fittest… but because we were the craziest, baddest motherfuckers around.’ Hausswolff and Kristensen’s dark, audiovisual work is the subconscious’s answer to an ultra-violent Italian cannibal film from the 1970s, and to every romantic notion of nature as a harmonic place that is in balance with itself and its inhabitants. A work between reality and fantasy, and one of the most uncompromising films this year.

Harmony

Frederick Paxton, World Premiere (United Kingdom)

Beautifully photographed and dark film from a heavy industrial fringe of Russia, where youths struggle to live up to masculine and feminine ideals.

With one of Russia’s most industrially brutal and polluted cities as a backdrop, ‘Harmony’ explores the self-understanding and gender roles of Russian youth through the country’s two proudest sports: ice hockey and rhythmic gymnastics. Frederick Paxton has a photographer’s eye for the vulnerability of the young bodies and faces, as they eagerly fight to live up to the sports’ immense masculine and feminine ideals, and which are often their only hope to get away from Tjeljabinsk – a city the size of Copenhagen located in the Ural Mountains, close to Siberia. The winter cold transforms the heavy industrial landscapes into a dark and poetic universe through Paxton’s lens, and places the film itself in the field between cinema vérité and photo art. But ‘Harmony’ is also a snapshot of a Russia that is both in the shadow of the greatness of its past, and where a young generation is heading towards an unknown future.

Independent Boy

Vincent Boy Kars, International Premiere (Netherlands)

Vincent takes over his friend Metin’s life for a month. An experiment that aims to get him out of the couch and into the big wide world.

Metin is too funny. He is in his mid-20s and could be your best friend. Witty, smart and with a techno beat. But still, things are not quite working out for him. He still lives with his mother, and never really manages to accomplish anything. So to get him away from the couch, Vincent takes over his friend’s life for a month. A new apartment, a membership of a scout association and a DJ gig at a nightclub are part of a project, where Vincent makes all the decisions for Metin. And he documents the experiment in the meantime. It turns out to be something of an upheaval – and an opportunity to start afresh – for the young layabout, who would prefer to just hang around, smoke cigarettes and enjoy himself. But who really sets the criteria for success? ‘Independent Boy’ is a film about friendship and (self-)confidence at a time in life when, ideally, you should prove something to be someone.

Minding the Gap

Bing Liu, International Premiere (United States)

From skateboard video to documentary ‘Boyhood’. Three young friends grow up, become young men and make life choices in front of rolling cameras.

What starts off as a skateboard video turns into a documentary ‘Boyhood’ over several years, where three teenagers grow up and become young men, while one of them films it all as it happens. Freedom makes way for responsibility and adulthood makes itself known. We are in Rickford, Illinois – in the heart of the American rust belt – where Zack, Keire and Bing kill time skating around the city and partying. The deep friendship of the small trio is the core of Bing Lui’s formidable debut and Sundance darling, where every choice in life – both right and wrong – closes one door and opens a new one. For even though their friends feel more like a family than their own families, all three of them have their own demons to fight with on the home front. Fathers die, others become fathers without wanting to, and the years go by and more doors close behind them. ‘Minding the Gap’ is a film created with youthful energy, but with an impressive level of maturity and insight. Bing Liu will not be one of the great filmmakers in the future. He already is one.

Tarpaulins

Lisa Truttmann, International Premiere (Austria, United States)

Los Angeles’s smallest inhabitants are on the attack in a wonderfully inventive and imaginative film about termites.

When a house in Los Angeles is attacked by termites, the pest control patrol comes and packs the entire house in candy-coloured tarpaulins, which are meant to keep the alien insects inside, but which at the same time celebrate their ravaging presence with festive colours and stripes. A phenomenon which Lisa Truttman’s original and imaginative film uses to find new and unexpected connections between urbanity and nature. And between the very big and the very small. The megapolis’s smallest inhabitants are also creating their own microcosm, which produces new networks between work and decay, control and chaos. They are surrounded by a human microcosm of experts, who all have an opinion about termites and the meaning of it all. ‘Tarpaulins’ is a film that immediately convinces you that even the smallest things are exciting as long as you approach them in the right way. An adventurous and eccentric work of ‘termite art’ with a wonderfully original idea at its core.

Unsettling

Iris Zaki, World Premiere (United Kingdom, Israel)

A pop-up film studio becomes a social laboratory for encounters with camera-shy (but not conflict-averse) Israeli settlers on the West Bank.

Tekoa is trendy. A hipster colony for Israeli settlers on the West Bank, where none of the controversial residents want to speak to the media. From the moment Iris Zaki arrives, tension fills the air. She sets up a small pop-up film studio in the middle of the small town, and stays put for over one month in order to meet the young settlers face to face. A simple intervention, which creates a complex chain of reactions from those who eventually agree to talk to her. From a woman who in the middle of an interview admits to being a fascist, to another who has survived a knife attack by a young Palesitinian – and forgiven him. ‘Unsettling’ is made by Iris Zaki alone, and is a social experiment, which highlights the contrasts and contradictions of the settlers’ self-perception, but which does so in something as rare as an active conversation with them. A conceptual ploy that places Zaki’s film in the field between artistic practice and political activism, and which reaches beyond blind criticism.

Conventional Sins

Anat Zuria, Shira-Clara Winther, International Premiere (Israel)

Docu-noir about sexual abuse in the ultra-orthodox environment in Jerusalem, where the now adult Meilech finally confronts his ‘sugar daddy’.

When he was 15 years old and still a part of the ultra-orthodox milieu of Jerusalem, Meilech had a ‘sugar daddy’ 15 years his senior. A relationship that – like so many others of its kind – was filled with sexual abuse, blackmail and psychological violence. But now he is looking back to find out what actually happened. And to confront his old tormentor. Through diaries and photographs, he decides to reconstruct the affair in an unusual taboo-breaker of a documentary, which moves around like a film noir in the city’s dark and labyrinthine streets, where the inhabitants’ stares at Meilech and the small film team are hostile at best. A friendship ensues between Meilech and the young man whom he casts to perform the reenactments, and who himself has his own traumas – and together they set out to confront their status of being a victim of pedophile abuse, which has defined their life until now. ‘Conventional Sins’ won the main prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival.

What Remains

Humberto Giancristorafo, World Premiere (Brazil)

Tropical surrealism, erotic dreams and role play in an improvised adaptation of Thomas Mann’s ‘The Magic Mountain’.

In Thomas Mann’s novel The Magic Mountain, the young Hans Castorp arrives at a mysterious sanatorium in the mountains, where the boundaries between normality and deviation are blurred. The Brazilian ‘What Remains’ is a free and improvised adaptation of Mann’s book. A collective experiment, entirely in the spirit of the book, and a visually lavish and darkly romantic experience, bordering on the erotic and surreal. It is based on a complex set of rules, which the participants were free to respond to during the week when they shot the film on a farm in the dense, tropical setting. And they did so with improvised performances, masquerades and role playing. There is – of course – an unhappy love story at the heart of it all. But the film we see is the result of a social experiment, where the participants’ personal memories and experiences contributed to creating one of this year’s strangest, most beautiful and free-minded films.

Little Pyongyang

Roxy Rezvany, World Premiere (United Kingdom)

This stylised documentary with exclusive access unveils the depths of lost longing and legacy in the rich array of stories amongst North Korean defectors who have escaped their homeland to live in a leafy London suburb.

Beautiful Things

Giorgio Ferrero & Federico Biasin, International Premiere (Italy)

Socialist science-fiction and man’s search for meaning in life, beauty and a full-time job. Visually stunning film with humorous undertones from a young Italian talent with already a Venice Fim Festival award in his back pocket.