With 65 world premieres, 25 international premieres and audience figures expected to be in the region of 50,000, CPH: DOX, the largest documentary festival in Scandinavia, is continuing to grow.
Underlining its commitment to art-driven documentary, CPH: DOX is to partner with International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) and IFFR’s CineMart on new project “Art FIlm,” due to be launched next week. The idea is for the two festivals to set up a platform “to support and develop a new version of how you produce films in this new area between art and film.”
“Our opening night film and our closing night film are the two strongest films that will come out of Denmark this year,” Festival director Tine Fischer declared of The Act Of Killing and The Expedition To The End Of The World.
Festival opening film The Act Of Killing has been picked up for international sales by Cinephil, who earlier this week closed a US theatrical deal with Drafthouse Films.
The film, directed by Joshua Oppenheimer, Christine Cynn & Anonymous, is about the Indonesian death squads of the 1960s who killed and tortured communists. In the doc, the murderers recreate their own atrocities on screen. Werner Herzog and Errol Morris are the executive producers of the film, which received rave reviews in Toronto earlier this autumn.
Meanwhile, closing gala Daniel Dencik’s The Expedition To The End Of The World is winning plaudits for its unflinching gaze at climate change and ecological decay. This was produced in association with broadcasters: BBC, WDR, DR, SVT, NRK and YLE
The Copenhagen-based festival, running Nov 1-11 and now in its 10th year, also has several high-profile international guests in attendance. Turner Prize winning artist Douglas Gordon (Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait) will be back at the Festival to programme some of his favourite docs and to present a compilation of short docs by young artists at the internationally acclaimed art academy Städelschule in Frankfurt. Peter Mettler will also be back at the festival with his new film, The End Of Time. Other guests include James Murphy of LCD Soundystem and Animal Collective.
Meanwhile, Ulrich Seidl (who will be giving a masterclass) and Ben Rivers are among the well-known directors presenting new projects in the CPH:DOX Forum, which showcases projects which fall into the “art/hybrid” bracket.
Fischer added that most of the leading European broadcasters (among them BBC, ZDF, Channel 4, ARTE, SVT and NRK) will be in Copenhagen this week as will all the leading Scandinavian commissioning editors and such US outfits as Cinetic and Magnolia.
Fischer has said that CPH:DOX, which runs on a budget of around €1.8 million a year, is not looking to usurp the place of other leading doc festivals like IDFA, Sheffield and Hot Docs.
“These are great festivals with another profile,” Fischer noted, adding that CPH: DOX isn’t trying to replicate “what is already being done very, very well elsewhere.”
The event, which Fischer said started out “almost as an underground event,” retains its focus on younger audiences and is continuing to explore the increasing overlap between docs and feature films. At the same, it showcases art and music docs and also reaches out to the “politically engaged.”
When Fischer helped launch CPH: DOX in 2003, she stated, her intention was both “to widen up the space when we talk about documentary but also to see documentary in dialogue with fiction.”