CPH:DOX Announces Competition Lineup Packed With World Premieres

CPH:DOX, the prestigious documentary film festival in Copenhagen, has announced a competition program across six categories that features 47 world premieres.

The event, which has emerged as a rival to the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) as the biggest and most important all-documentary festival in the world, will unfold from March 13-24 in the Danish capital. The DOX:AWARD lineup – all world premieres – features films from the U.S., Canada, the Nordic countries and many other parts of Europe, including France, Ireland, and the U.K. Scroll for the lineups in all six competition strands.

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CPH:DOX signage
CPH:DOX signage

“We’re thrilled to present this year’s competition films, which span from global geopolitics to intimate, existential queries,” noted Niklas Engstrøm, CPH:DOX artistic director. “What unites these films is their ambition to engage with the world in a meaningful way. This year’s competition sharpens its focus on the most urgent issues of our time, from the wars in Ukraine and Gaza to gang violence in Sweden, exploring themes of identity politics, colonialism, and the foundational struggles for democracy and the fight against climate change. These films offer fresh perspectives, challenge aesthetic boundaries, and delve deeper into issues we thought we understood. We are delighted to unveil this program, which promises to enlighten and inspire.”

The 21st edition of CPH:DOX is distinguished by the addition of a new competition category: HUMAN:RIGHTS AWARD, created by the festival and the Institute for Human Rights to mark the 75th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “This new award underscores the ongoing relevance of human rights in challenging times,” the festival said.

Mads K. Mikkelsen, CPH:DOX head programmer, added, “In an era that demands solidarity with courageous filmmakers who champion equality and justice worldwide, we’ve established the HUMAN:RIGHTS AWARD. This year, we nominate 10 exceptional films that highlight pressing global issues, reflecting our commitment to fostering a deeper understanding of human rights.”

Copenhagen, Denmark
Copenhagen, Denmark

Along with considerable prestige, competition winners will receive monetary awards: The DOX:AWARD, sponsored by DR, offers €10,000. The NEW:VISION Award, which comes with a €5,000 prize, “delves into art films and boundary-pushing experiments.” The NEXT:WAVE Award, also valued at €5,000, spotlights emerging filmmakers. The NORDIC:DOX Award, another €5,000 prize, “highlights exceptional films from the Nordic region.” The F:ACT Award, supported by International Media Support and the Danish Journalist Union, also a €5,000 award, “celebrates the field between documentary and in-depth journalism.” The newly-introduced HUMAN:RIGHTS Award, sponsored by the Institute for Human Rights, also comes with a €5,000 prize.

“Last, but not least,” the festival comments, “the Audience Award, with a prize of €5,000, empowers festival-goers to vote for their favorite film, further enriching CPH:DOX’s commitment to engaging its audience across a spectrum of documentary filmmaking excellence.

“Together, these categories celebrate the documentary genre’s varied landscape and the festival’s inclusive spirit, offering a platform for stories that resonate on both a personal and global scale.”

Producer Sigrid Dyekjær attends National Geographic Documentary Films' New York Premiere Screening of THE TERRITORY at the CPC Summer Film Festival on August 16, 2022 in New York City.
Producer Sigrid Dyekjær

The full lineup for CPH:DOX, including films screening out of competition, will be announced on Feb. 21. Some of the competition titles are international premieres, including The Battle for Laikipia, Union, Power, and Realm of Satan, which held their world premieres last month at Sundance. Black Box Diaries, directed by Shiori Ito, will be holding its European premiere.

Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated producer Sigrid Dyekjær (The Territory, The Cave) is involved with two world premieres at CPH:DOX: Democracy Noir, directed by Connie Field (in the FACT:AWARD section), and Silent Trees, directed by Agnieszka Zwiefka (in the HUMAN:RIGHTS AWARD section).

Fellow Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated producer Kirstine Barfod (The Cave, Reunited) unveils her new film, Black Snow, holding its world premiere in the F:ACT AWARD category. The eco-thriller directed by Alina Simone was filmed over the course of four years in Russia and Eastern Europe.

Producer Kirstine Barfod
Producer Kirstine Barfod

“When residents of a remote Siberian coal mining city discover that an abandoned mine has caught fire, pushing toxic gas into their homes, they turn to homemaker-turned-journalist Natalia Zubkova for help,” explains the film’s logline. “But after her news coverage of the coal fire goes viral, the government launches a massive effort to cover up the truth. In the shadow of an increasingly authoritarian government, Natalia embarks on a dangerous quest to reveal the full extent of the environmental catastrophe unfolding in her midst.”

This is the full lineup of competition films:


Balomania (Sissel Morell Dargis, Denmark/Spain, World Premiere)

The Black Garden (Alexis Pazoumian, France/Belgium, World Premiere)

 E.1027 – Eileen Gray and the House by the Sea (Beatrice Minger, co-dir. Christoph Schaub, Switzerland, World Premiere)

The Flats (Alessandra Celesia, France/UK/Ireland/Belgium, World Premiere) Immortals (Maja Tschumi, Switzerland/Iraq, World Premiere)

Life and Other Problems (Max Kestner, Denmark/Sweden/UK, World Premiere) Motherboard (Victoria Mapplebeck, UK, World Premiere)

Night of Nights (Truman, USA, World Premiere)

Once Upon a Time in a Forest (Virpi Suutari, Finland, World Premiere)

Phantoms of the Sierra Madre (Håvard Bustnes, Norway/Finland/USA/Mexico, World Premiere)

Two Strangers Trying Not To Kill Each Other (Manon Ouimet & Jacob Perlmutter, UK, World Premiere)

Wilfred Buck (Lisa Jackson, Canada, World Premiere)


Preemptive Listening (Aura Satz, UK/Finland, European Premiere)

Ottu (Sandra Ignagni, Canada/France/Italy, World Premiere)

My Want of You Partakes of Me (Beny Wagner & Sasha Litvintseva, UK/Netherlands, World Premiere)

Familiar Phantoms (Larissa Sansour, Søren Lind, UK/Palestine, World Premiere)

And Still, It Remains (Arwa Aburawa, Turab Shah, Algeria/UK, World Premiere)

Look On the Bright Side (Yuyan Wang, France/Italy, International Premiere)

Dieseline Dreams (Max Göran, Sweden, World Premiere)

Trash The Musical (Loretta Fahrenholz, Germany, World Premiere) Two Suns (SUPERFLEX, Denmark, World Premiere)

You, My, Omma, Mama (Laure Prouvost, Belgium/ France/Austria, World Premiere)

Lichens Are The Way (Ondřej Vavrečka, Czech Republic/Slovakia, World Premiere)

Single File (Simon Liu, Italy/USA/UK/Hong Kong, World Premiere)

Silent Night (Philipp Schaeffer & Jonathan Schaller, Germany/Palestine/Israel, World Premiere)

Efforts of Nature (Morgan Quaintance, UK, International Premiere)

No Exorcism Film (Komtouch Napattaloong, Thailand, World Premiere)


The Battle for Laikipia (Daphne Matziaraki & Peter Murimi, Kenya/USA, International Premiere)

'Black Snow'
‘Black Snow’

Black Snow (Alina Simone, USA, World Premiere)

Can’t Feel Nothing (David Borenstein, Denmark/China/Russia/North Macedonia/USA, World


Daughter of Genghis (Kristoffer Juel Poulsen, Christian Als, Denmark, World Premiere)

Democracy Noir (Connie Field, USA, Germany/Denmark, World Premiere)

Lie To Me (Baar Tyrmi, Norway, International Premiere)

Limits of Europe (Apolena Rychlíková, Czech Republic/Slovakia/France, World Premiere)

Night of the Coyotes (Clara Trischler, Germany/Austria, World Premiere)

Stray Bodies (Elina Psykou, Greece/Switzerland/Italy/Bulgaria, International Premiere)

Union (Stephen Maing, Brett Story, USA, International Premiere)


Appearances (Nicolás Onischuk, Argentina, International Premiere)

The Base (Vadim Dumesh, France, International Premiere)

Blueberry Dreams (Elena Mikaberidze, Georgia/France/Belgium, World Premiere)

Death of a Saint (Patricia Bbaale Bandak, Denmark, World Premiere)

Eros (Rachel Daisy Ellis, Brazil, International Premiere)

G – 21 scenes from Gottsunda (Loran Batti, Denmark/Sweden, World Premiere)

Grand me (Atiye Zare Arandi, Belgium/Iran, World Premiere)

Invisible People (Alisa Berger, France/Germany, World Premiere)

KIX (Bálint Révész & Dávid Mikulán, France/Croatia/Hungary, World Premiere)

My First Film (Zia Anger, USA, World Premiere)

The Nights Still Smell of Gunpowder (Inadelso Cossa, France/Netherlands/Mozambique/Norway/Portugal/Germany, International Premiere)

Realm of Satan (Scott Cummings, USA, International Premiere)

Sting Like a Bee (Leone Balduzzi, Italy, International Premiere)

To be an Extra (Henrike Meyer, Germany, World Premiere)


G – 21 scenes from Gottsunda (Loran Batti, Denmark/Sweden, World Premiere)

Hard to Break (Anna-Maija Heinonen & Krista Moisio, Finland, International Premiere)

The Labour of Pain and Joy (Karoliina Gröndahl, Finland, World Premiere)

Life and Other Problems (Max Kestner, Denmark/Sweden/UK, World Premiere)

Mina and the Radio Bandits (Kari Anne Moe, Norway, World Premiere)

Once Upon a Time in a Forest (Virpi Suutari, Finland, World Premiere)

Our Father Wears a Sun (Jasper Spanning, Rosalinde Mynster, Denmark, World Premiere)

Phantoms of the Sierra Madre (Håvard Bustnes, Norway/Finland/USA/Mexico, World Premiere)

A Place in the Sun (Mette Carla Albrechtsen, Denmark, World Premiere) The Son and the Moon (Roja Pakari, Denmark/Iran, World Premiere)

'Black Box Diaries'
‘Black Box Diaries’


Black Box Diaries (Shiori Ito, Japan/UK/USA, European Premiere)

I Shall Not Hate (Tal Barda, Canada/France, World Premiere)

Limits of Europe (Apolena Rychlíková, Czech Republic/Slovakia/France, World Premiere)

Marching in the Dark (Kinshuk Surjan, Belgium/Netherlands/India, World Premiere)


Mediha (Hasan Oswald, USA, International Premiere)

A Poem for Little People (Ivan Sautkin, Lithuania/UK/Ukraine, International Premiere)

Power (Yance Ford, USA, International Premiere)

The Recovery Channel (Ellen Ugelstad, Norway, International Premiere)

Silent Trees (Agnieszka Zwiefka, Denmark/Poland/Germany, World Premiere)

The Sky Above Zenica (Zlatko Pranjic & Nanna Frank Møller, Bosnia and Herzegovina/Denmark, World Premiere)

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