Source: Courtesy of CPH:DOX


Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) has revealed its line-up of competition titles for 2021, set to run April 21 to May 2.

The programme includes films that focus on the dominance of tech giants, new democratic movements, decolonization and climate change among other topics.

The competition programmes consist of 64 titles with 47 world premieres, nine international premieres and six European premieres. In total, 58% of the titles (37 films) are directed by one or more women. This increases to 66% when including films co-directed by male and female directors.

The main DOX:AWARD competition includes the world premiere of Our Memory Belongs To Us, co-directed by Signe Byrge Sørensen, the two-time Oscar-nominated Danish producer of The Act Of Killing and The Look Of Silence.

The documentary, which marks the feature debut of co-director Rami Farah, centres on three exiled journalists who reunite 10 years after the Syrian uprising to watch footage from the beginning of the revolution. The film is a Syria-Denmark-France-Palestine co-production.

Sørensen also produces another film in competition, President by Danish director Camilla Nielsson, which takes place in Zimbabwe during the weeks around the country’s first elections after the dictatorship. The film premiered at Sundance in January, where it won the special jury award for verité filmmaking.

Nanfu Wang’s In The Same Breath, which investigates Covid-19 and the global health crisis it sparked, will also receive its international premiere in competition at CPH:DOX, after debuting at Sundance. Chinese filmmaker Wang previously won the grand jury prize at Sundance with One Child Nation, which was also selected for CPH:DOX in 2019.

Also set for its international premiere at the festival is The United States Vs. Reality Winner, directed by Malaysia-born, US-based Sonia Kennebeck, which centres on a 25-year-old whistleblower who became an enemy of the Trump administration after leaking a document allegedly showing Russian interference in the US elections. The film debuted at SXSW and follows Kennebeck’s young hacker portrait Enemies Of The State, which premiered at Toronto 2020 and was recently acquired by IFC Films for North America.

Other world premieres include A Man And A Camera, Dutch director Guido Hendrikx’s follow-up to refugee documentary Stranger In Paradise, which won the special jury award at IDFA in 2016 and played in competition at CPH:DOX in 2017.

The main competition also includes Phie Ambo’s climate change documentary 70/30, which was previously announced as the opening film of the 18th edition of CPH:DOX, which is set to take place as a hybrid of physical and digital screenings and events.

This year’s edition has moved into April from its original dates of March 17-28, as a result of Covid-19 restrictions in Denmark. The decision has been made to provide a better chance of staging physical events and screenings in theatres, while plans continue for a digital programme that will be available to Danish audiences.

CPH:DOX Competition 2021


15 films including 10 world premieres, four international premieres and one European premiere

70/30 (Den)
Dir: Phie Ambo

A Man And A Camera (Neth)
Dir: Guido Hendrikx

Children Of The Enemy (Swe-Den-Qatar)
Dir: Gorki Glaser-Müller

Gabi, Between Ages 8 And 13 (Swe)
Dir: Engeli Broberg

Life Of Ivanna (Rus-Nor-Est-Fin)
Dir: Renato Borrayo Serrano

Our Memory Belongs To Us (Syr-Den-Fr-Pal)
Dirs: Rami Farah, Signe Byrge Sørensen

Passion (Swe)
Dir: Maja Borg

Skál (Den-Faroe Islands)
Dirs: Cecilie Debell, Maria Guldbrandsø Tórgarð

The Last Shelter (Mali-Fr-S Afr)
Dir: Ousmane Samassekou

The Mushroom Speaks (Switz)
Dir: Marion Neumann

In The Same Breath (US)
Dir: Nanfu Wang

Lost Boys (Fin)
Dirs: Sadri Cetinkaya, Joonas Neuvonen

President (Den-US-Nor-Zim)
Dir: Camilla Nielsson

The United States Vs. Reality Winner (US)
Dir: Sonia Kennebeck

White Cube (Neth-Bel-DR Congo)
Dir: Renzo Martens


All Of Your Stars Are But Dust On My Shoes (Leb)
Dir: Haig Aivazian

Best Year Ever (US)
Dir: James N. Kienitz Wilkins

Industries Of Freedom (Den)
Dirs: Freja Sofie Kirk, Esben Weile Kjær

Listen To The Beats Of Our Images (French Guiana-Fr)
Dirs: Maxime Jean-Baptiste, Audrey Jean-Baptiste

Look At Me (Den)
Dir: Christian Falsnaes

My Favorite Software Is Being Here (US)
Dir: Alison Nguyen

Night Splitter (US)
Dir: Kaari Upson

Re-Dit-En-Un-In-Learning (Fr-UK)
Dir: Laure Prouvost

Shadow Codex (Fin)
Dir: Saara Ekström

Shelly Belly Inna Real Life (Fr-Arg)
Dir: Cecilia Bengolea

Summer Night By The Beach (Den-Nor)
Dirs: Kirsten Astrup, Maria Bordorff

Two Minutes To Midnight (Isr-Ger)
Dir: Yael Bartana

F:ACT Award

Behind The Headlines (Ger)
Dir: Daniel Sager

Invisible (Greece)
Dir: Marianna Kakaounaki

Room Without A View (Ger- Austria)
Dir: Roser Corella

Sabaya (Swe)
Dir: Hogir Hirori

The Gig Is Up (Can)
Dir: Shannon Walsh

All Light, Everywhere (US)
Dir: Theo Anthony

The Other Side Of The River (Ger-Fin)
Dir: Antonia Kilian

The Tiger Mafia (Switz-Kenya)
Dirs: Karl Ammann, Laurin Merz

Too Fast To Be True (Den)
Dirs: Anna Thyrri, Stine Uldbjerg Hansen

When A City Rises (HK)
Dirs: Han Yan Yuen, Cathy Chu, Iris Kwong, Ip Kar Man, Huang Yuk-kwok, Jenn Lee, Evie Cheung

Writing With Fire (India)
Dirs: Rintu Thomas, Sushmit Ghosh

Nordic:DOX Award

Elsewhere (Den)
Dir: Vibeke Bryld

Follow You Home (Den)
Dir: Kathrine Ravn Kruse, Denmark, World Premiere)

He’s My Brother (Den-Nor)
Dir: Cille Hannibal / co-dir. Christine Hanberg

How To Kill A Cloud (Fin)
Dir: Tuija Halttunen

Julia&I (Swe-Den)
Dir: Nina Hobert

Oh, It Hertz! (Nor)
Dir: Gunnar Hall Jensen

Raising A School Shooter (Den-Swe-Fr-Bel)
Dir: Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors

Seyran Ateş: Sex, Revolution And Islam (Nor)
Dir: Nefise Özkal Lorentzen

Solutions (Den)
Dir: Pernille Rose Grønkjær

The Banality Of Grief (Den)
Dir: Jon Bang Carlsen

The Hero’s Journey To The Third Pole – A Bipolar Musical Documentary With Elephants (Ice)
Dirs: Andri Magnason, Anní Ólafsdóttir

Trust Me (Nor)
Dir: Emil Trier

Next:Wave Award

A Story Of One’s Own (Fr)
Dir: Amandine Gay

All-In (Bel-Neth-Fr)
Dir: Volkan Üce

Cannon Arm And The Arcade Quest (Den)
Dir: Mads Hedegaard

Captains Of Zaatari (Egy)
Dir: Ali El Arabi

Dark Blossom (Den)
Dir: Frigge Fri

Eastwood (Iran)
Dir: Alireza Rasoulinejad

Fiasco (Leb-Neth)
Dir: Nicolas Khoury

Holgut (Bel)
Dir: Liesbeth de Ceulaer

Reconciliation (Slo-Ser-Mont-Kos)
Dir: Marija Zidar

So Foul A Sky (Col-Sp-UK-Ven)
Dir: Álvaro F. Pulpeiro

The Soldier (Den)
Dir: Nikolaj Møller

You And I (Indo)
Dir: Fanny Chotimah

Politiken:Danish:Dox Award

Cannon Arm And The Arcade Quest (Den)
Dir: Mads Hedegaard

Dark Blossom (Den)
Dir: Frigge Fri

The Soldier (Den)
Dir: Nikolaj Møller

Raising A School Shooter (Den-Swe-Fr-Bel)
Dirs: Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors

Too Fast To Be True (Den)
Dirs: Anna Thyrri, Stine Uldbjerg Hansen

70/30 (Den)
Dir: Phie Ambo

President (Den-US-Nor-Zim)
Dir: Camilla Nielsson

Skál (Den-Faroe Islands)
Dirs: Cecilie Debell, Maria Guldbrandsø Tórgarð

Loves Me, Loves Me Not (Den)
Dirs: Andrine Moland, Caroline Mathilde Salic, Kathrine Skibsted

From The Wild Sea (Den)
Dir: Robin Petré