Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX unveils “reflections of a world gone mad”
by Jan Lumholdt
- 200 films, over 100 premieres, music, science, art and social experiments are all part of the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, unspooling between 15 and 25 March
For its 15th edition, the CPH:DOX - Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, these days successfully reoccurring in March after the 2017 move from November, presents a grand and explosive 2018 programme from its headquarters at Copenhagen’s Charlottenborg Art Gallery, which since last year has served as the new festival centre.
In the course of its run between 15 and 25 March, Niklas Engstrøm, programme head, promises a CPH:DOX 2018 “reflecting a world gone mad – with fake news, radicalism and attacks on the basic foundations of our democratic societies”. In all, 200 films, including over 100 premieres, are lined up, “celebrating a number of methods to the madness, whether it be interventionist filmmaking, social experiments or the personal standpoint in a world of competing truths".
These days, CPH:DOX presents six international competition programmes: Dox:Award, the main competition; F:act Award, dedicated to investigative and socially committed films; New:Vision Award, featuring visual artists; Next:Wave Award, for new and emerging talents; Nordic:Dox Award, focusing on the Nordic region; and the Politiken Audience Award.
Titles in the main competition, an even dozen this year, include Karim Aïnouz’s Central Airport THF [+see also:
interview: Karim Aïnouz
film profile], an exploration of Berlin’s legendary Tempelhof Airport, defunct since 2008 and currently serving as a refugee shelter; Marcus Lindeen’s The Raft [+see also:
interview: Marcus Lindeen
film profile], a unique first-hand account of a radical Atlantic expedition in the early 1970s; and Lost Warrior [+see also:
film profile], the harrowing story of a radicalised Somalian-born teenager in search of a decent future. The film was co-directed by Nasib Farah and Søren Steen Jespersen, producer of last year’s Dox:Award winner, the subsequently Oscar-nominated Last Men in Aleppo [+see also:
Assorted picks in other sections include Weapon of Choice [+see also:
film profile] by Fritz Ofner and Eva Hausberger, a noir-like documentation of the Austrian Glock pistol (F:act); Bing Liu’s four-years-in-the-making story of three Illinois skater friends growing into young men, the Sundance hit Minding the Gap (Next:Wave); and, particularly curiously, Slow Graffiti, New Jerseyan Alex Da Corte’s interpretation of Danish documentary doyen Jørgen Leth’s seminal 1967 short The Perfect Human, substituting the main characters with Boris Karloff and Frankenstein’s monster (New:Vision).
Among other promised treats are a guest-curated programme by English band The xx, an increased focus on science, a new programme on justice and the constitutional state, and last but not least, an art exhibition and film programme dedicated to social experiments.
As for elements of grandeur and explosiveness, both should be plentiful at the opening ceremony held at the Royal Danish Theatre's Old Stage. On the screen, however, a highly contemporary item will be exhibited, devoted to the #MeToo and #TimesUp movements: The Abused Child Actors, a new Danish documentary by Cecilie Frydenlund and Peter Vesterlund, will have its world premiere on the night. The work was developed in cooperation with daily newspaper Politiken and television channel TV2, which teamed up two years ago to launch an investigative journalistic initiative that has brought to light sexual abuse within the Danish film community.
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