Source: CPH:DOX

‘Silent Night’

Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX, March 13-24) has unveiled the full programme for its 2024 edition, including seven films about the ongoing Israel-Palestine conflict.

The titles include the world premiere of Tal Barda’s I Shall Not Hate in the new Human Rights Competition, in which Nobel Prize-nominated Palestinian author and doctor Izzeldin Abuelaish continues to work for peace despite the loss of his three daughters in an Israeli attack on Gaza.

Also spotlighting the conflict are world premieres of Larissa Sansour and Soren Lind’s UK-Palestine co-production Familiar Phantoms and Jonathan Schaller and Philipp Schaeffer’s Silent Night, both in the New:Vision strand.

The Gaza war is part of one of the themes at this year’s festival, with a festival focus under the headline ‘Conflicted’. Other topics featuring under that headline include Russia’s war in Ukraine; the conflict between China and Taiwan; and the dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave.

It also features conflicts that have now moved further towards resolution, in Alessandra Celesia’s France-UK-Ireland-Belgium co-production The Flats, about Belfast youngsters accessing their memories of the Troubles.

“The intention of ‘Conflicted’ is not to equate the conflicts – each of them is different and has its own unique characteristics,” said a festival statement. “But across the board, they all deal with identity, culture, and territorial disputes, and none of them have easy solutions.”

The overarching theme for the 2024 edition is ‘Body politics’, looking into how human understanding of the body plays a key role in our times. The Social Cinema space at the festival’s main Kunsthal Charlottenborg venue will open with a special focus on bodily accessibility and inclusivity.

HousewifeApollo 13 films

The 2024 festival will feature 84 world premieres, 32 international premieres and nine European premieres.

The 84 world premieres include 57 feature-length launches – the highest-ever number across its 21 editions.

Guests confirmed to attend the event include The Libertines rock star Pete Doherty, for a screening of Peter Doherty: Stranger In My Own Skin directed by Doherty’s partner Katia de Vidas on March 18. Doherty will give an acoustic concert following the screening.

The festival’s competition line-up was unveiled earlier this month.

New out-of-competition titles include world premieres of Peter Middleton’s Apollo Thirteen: Survival, about the 1970 lunar mission that was aborted after two days; and Housewife Of The Year, an exploration of the Irish television programme, a favourite from the 1960s to 1990s, that celebrated the role of the housewife. The film is from Ciaran Cassidy, director of Jihadi Jane and writer of 2020 sports drama The Racer.

As well as playing in cinemas around Copenhagen, festival titles will screen in 42 municipalities around Denmark, as part of CPH:DOX’s expansion of its Danish film distribution efforts.

A selection of festival films will be screen on the festival’s online platform Para:Dox from March 22-31.

“Our primary focus is on tackling the most crucial and pressing contemporary issues,” said artistic director Niklas Engstrom. “In a world increasingly marked by polarization, we must be willing to challenge our own established truths and engage in meaningful dialogues with those holding different opinions and perspectives.”

Engstrom added that an ”ethos of openness and curiosity guides us at CPH:DOX as we navigate the complexities of the world – even during tumultuous times, as we are experiencing at the moment.”