CPH:LAB is CPH:DOX’s talent development programme that encourages creative risk taking, celebrates raw talent, facilitates collaboration across borders and business sectors and supports visionaries to push the existing boundaries of documentary filmmaking.

The lab is conceived as an incubator for documentary projects that seek to explore the potential of digital technologies and advance new visions of what a documentary can be in a digital age.
As a response to the current global situation caused by the pandemic, CPH:LAB 2020/2021 solicits submissions on the specific subject of Protopia, under the banner “Another World Is Possible”. While utopia describes an ideal state, perfect and unrealistic, and dystopia is a non-ideal state, unhealthy and devolving, protopia is a proactive bridge from our current state to an improved, rather than a perfect society.
CPH:LAB takes place online over four months, from mid-September 2020 to mid-January 2021 and at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen from March 23-25, 2021 (if allowed). 


CPH:LAB is for filmmakers, storytellers and creative technologists who are eager to work on a specific project between documentary and technologies, where interactivity supports the creation of a narrative universe exploring phenomena that affect individuals and society.
Projects must be in a development phase seeking to create a finished piece for both the physical and digital editions of the Inter:Active Exhibition at CPH:DOX in March 2021.
CPH:LAB has a natural emphasis on Europe but is open to projects from independent creatives worldwide.
We welcome projects from more experienced as well as emerging creators.
You must attend as a team which means finding the appropriate collaborator before the lab commences in September 2020. If you would need help in finding the right collaborator, we will help you to the best of our abilities.
A main criteria for selection will be the artistic quality of the project, the uniqueness of the content, the relevance of the subject matter, the originality of the storytelling format, and the estimated potential for the project to reach audiences internationally.
It is a requirement that the works must not be shown somewhere else before CPH:DOX 2021.
Projects that have not been part of other international training initiatives or development workshops will be given priority.


Project applications are only accepted via our online submission form. Please note that there’s an entry fee of 150 DKK (approx. 20 EUR) to be paid by credit card in order to complete the submission. Paid fees will not be refunded.
Only submissions that are duly completed and paid before the deadline will be considered.
Exemptions to the entry fee can be made for countries from the DAC list. Please e-mail the industry department staff – – to request a fee waiver.
All material must be in English and we urge you to have the following ready before you begin the online application process:

  • Working Title
  • Logline (max. 350 characters incl. spaces)
  • Synopsis/treatment (max. 3500 characters incl. spaces)
  • Thoughts about target audience and distribution (max. 2000 characters incl. spaces)
  • Thoughts about what will be gained from participation in the lab (max. 2000 characters incl. spaces)
  • Format
  • Main production company (if applicable, company name, contact info, short presentation of max. 600 characters incl. spaces)
  • Co-production company (if applicable, company name, country)
  • Core creative team (name, contact info, photo and short biography of max. 650 characters incl. spaces)
  • Producer(s) (if applicable, name, contact info, photo and short biography of max. 650 characters incl. spaces)
  • If applicable, participation in other workshops and assistance needed in finding creative partners
  • Visual material (moodboard or online link to moving images)
  • CV detailing work to date for participating creatives
  • Photos of core creative team

Further information and documentation may be requested at any time.


A maximum of 6 projects will be selected for CPH:LAB.
If selected, a core creative team of two must attend all sessions of CPH:LAB 2020-2021 and be able to commit to the process.
The participation is free of charge including transportation, accommodation and meals during the residential workshop as well as accreditation to CPH:DOX 2021.
If a project requires the presence of more than two team members, participation can be applied for and will be at individual negotiation if granted.
CPH:DOX requires the logo of CPH:LAB to be included in the credits of the work, once finalized, with the following sentence mentioned in the credit list: “[TITLE] has been developed at CPH:LAB of CPH:DOX – Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival [YEAR]”
After CPH:LAB, all participants are asked to participate in two questionnaires to help us evaluate the year’s edition.
The selection committee’s decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome. Feedback is not guaranteed if your application is unsuccessful.


Selected projects and participants will be presented on our website A public presentation of the project includes working title, logline, name, picture and short biography of the creators(s), production country.
By providing your clips and stills, you give CPH:DOX permission to use the material at and for promotional purposes for CPH:LAB 2020-2021.
Selected projects and participants will later be presented in the CPH:INDUSTRY catalogue with updated information submitted for the catalogue. The catalogue will be distributed to all CPH:INDUSTRY participants at CPH:DOX 2021.
Participants will be presented in the CPH:INDUSTRY catalogue with their name, portrait picture, professional title, country, professional profile and contact email. They will also be presented on the CPH:DOX website, where a public presentation includes name, portrait picture, professional title and country, while a password protected area in addition gives CPH:INDUSTRY delegates access to peoples’ professional profile and contact email.


Workshop sessions are conducted in English and take place on Zoom and in Copenhagen.
The first part of CPH:LAB is a continuous online development and production workshop for lab participants and mentors taking place over four months from mid-September 2020 to mid-January 2021. The programme will focus on story development and production of the work with input from the Head of Studies and an expanded team of international cross-disciplinary experts from the fields of documentary filmmaking, theatre, immersive media, game development, product design, art and interactive storytelling as well as the collective brains trust of peers.
In March 2021 the participants will attend CPH:DOX to present their work for both the physical and digital editions of the Inter:Active Exhibition as well as at our brand new event the INTER:ACTIVE FORUM.
CPH:LAB participants will have full access accreditation to CPH:DOX 2021 including CPH:FORUM, which includes:

  • Project presentations
  • Industry networking dinners
  • Lunch & coffee during CPH:FORUM 23-25 March
  • Access to CPH:MARKET on site (priority given to decision makers) & online
  • All regular festival screenings & seminars
  • Festival Center & Guest Desk services
  • Delegate bag
  • CPH:INDUSTRY catalogue
  • Profiles and contact information of accredited guests (online guest list)

Download the full logo package here.


Submission of application: 150 DKK (approx. 20 EUR)


Application opens: June 3, 2020
Application deadline: June 28, 2020
Notification of selection: August 2020
CPH:LAB Part I: September 7th-14th, 2020 / 6 full intensive days
CPH:LAB Part II: mid-September 2020 – mid-January 2021 / approximately 4 hours per week
CPH:LAB Part III: March 23-25, 2021


Create an account here and click on Submit a CPH:LAB project. 


By submitting a project, you accept our data policy in accordance with the GDPR.


Your application and participation implies unconditional acceptance of these rules and regulations.
The organisers reserve the right to change the rules and regulations or processes at any time and without notification.