The annual Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, CPH:DOX, will move from March 2021 to the end of April, due to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) shutdown in Denmark.
The decision has been made to better allow for physical events and screenings at film theatres, particularly as restrictions are expected to continue in the upcoming months. At the same time, CPH:DOX is planning an ambitious digital programme for national audiences as well as the international industry.
CPH:DOX CEO Tine Fischer said, “CPH:DOX was one of the first international documentary film festivals to go online and become digital, in March 2020, when Denmark and most of the world were closing down completely.”
Fischer added, “Our hope in 2021 is to become one of the first major film festivals to once again open the doors to cinemas, and invite our audiences back into a collective and actively shared experience.”
Apart from relaunching the physical festival, CPH:DOX will once again in 2021 provide audiences and visitors with new digital opportunities and film screenings from the festival’s online platform.
“2020 was a year that taught us so much and pushed us into thinking new formats, new ways of reaching people and new ways of creating social and cultural impact,” Fischer added, “Needless to say, the digital experience and the democratic potential in reaching a much larger and diverse audience has been and will be central in the new version of the festival.”
She said that the festival is preparing an ambitious programme to be experienced theatrically as well as online and digitally live.
The organisers are curating in a more inclusive way by bringing a new, more diverse and younger group of programmers on board. They are also working in close partnership with a long list of organisations and institutions to strengthen the actual reach and impact of each film.
“We will highlight some of the most powerful and critical issues that affect the world today: new democratic movements, the role of technology, the fight for climate justice, the role of science in our societies, and many other important issues,” Fischer added.
She noted that the festival will work to prolong the impact of the films in new partnerships, not only during the festival, but in a longer and deeper perspective.
The CPH:INDUSTRY programme is being developed in a hybrid form to equally serve film professionals, who will be able to attend personally in Copenhagen, and the large professional community.
This will ensure that the latter is connected remotely from their home countries all around the world. The programme is designed to enhance the opportunities of both distinct environments, while making an effort to make the online and on-site communities interact and enrich each other.
CPH:DOX is scheduled for 21 April to 2 May, with its industry activities unspooling between 26-30 April. The full festival and industry programme for CPH:DOX 2021 will be announced at the end of March 2021.
Currently, the COVID-19 situation in Denmark has resulted in a complete lockdown that also affects cultural institutions, including cinemas. The decision to move CPH:DOX from March to April in 2021 will provide better options for hosting a festival that offers physical events, concerts and film screenings in theatres around Copenhagen.
CPH:DOX was founded in 2003 by the festival’s current CEO, Tine Fischer. Supported by film professionals as well as the national press, CPH:DOX grew from 14,000 admissions in its first year to a record-breaking total of 114,400 admissions in 2019.
In 2020, all physical events were cancelled due to the COVID-19 crisis, with the organisers deciding to roll out in a digital version a week before the festival’s opening. CPH:DOX was the first documentary film festival in the world to go online and had a large engaged audience.