“They get born with that Scandinavian gene, you know…”

Report of the Doc Alliance Films team from our Danish festival partner CPH:DOX.

“They get born with that Scandinavian gene, you know…”

Before attending the Copenhagen film feast CPH:DOX, I would never have understood this sentence. However, after four days of intensive exploration of the cinematic, technological and social progress of the Danish metropolis, I am desperate to get hold of a test tube with that Nordic DNA which is sure to charm any visitor of the seaside festival. And there are many! Taking up 10 days, the festival attracts over 20 000 visitors from across the globe each year. Along with the fascinating variety of human faces, the scale of various professions from which your fellow sitters, fellow diners and fellow waiters are recruited keeps varying as rapidly. These include film producers, directors, distributors, journalists, architects, creatives and artists. Actually, primarily artists!

Although film is considered a traditional art discipline today, only a few documentary film festivals manage to attract representatives of other art fields. Contrarily, Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX seems to be their very nest. In a conference hall, mischievously intelligent duo of American artists The Yes Men introduce their current works while also curating a whole film block. Enthusiastic audiences further welcome the star of the contemporary conceptual art scene, postcolonial philosopher Renzo Martens who presents unconventional projects in Congo, Africa. Mingling with the visitors of The World 2.0 – Do It Together conference are film fans who have spent all of their previous days in darkened cinema halls, choosing among films from sections such as F:ACT (fact-based educational documentaries), local NORDIC AWARD, SOUND &VISION (documentaries focusing on music) and FOOD ON FILM (which I recall with a blissful memory of all the fish sandwiches which have sailed through and around me). After days full of discussions, Copenhagen nights are loaded with dining events and meetings in well-designed bars where you can start a collaboration, discuss the blurred lines of documentary film with unceasing zeal and even ask your American neighbour about all you would like to know about hamburger production.

CPH:DOX ignores all limits – be they in conversation themes, film genres, or art in general!

Andrea Průchová

of Doc Alliance Films team


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Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.