The Winners of 2015 CPH: DOX Festival

On Friday the 13th the winners of (also) 13th edition of Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival were announced. The jury worked hard on reaching the unanimous decision. This year the films were divided into seven categories and competitions: DOX: AWARD,  F: ACT Award, NEW: VISION AWARD, NORDIC: DOX Award, DOC Alliance Award, Politiken Publikenpris (Audience Award) and DR Talent Award 2015. The jury reflected on 4 main competitions: DOX: AWARD, F: ACT Award, NORDIC: DOX and NEW: VISION. During the closing ceremony for the Festival, Politiken (the Danish daily newspaper) announced the winner of Politiken Audience Award and the Reel Talent Award was presented.

The winners:


God Bless The Child by Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck (read more about the movie by clicking here)

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Jury statement:

“Establishing an otherworldly tone of extraordinary realism and a near-magical evocation of family dynamics, the winning film reveals a mastery of observational rigor, and an uncanny willingness to expand the limits of documentary form. More simply, this is a film that immediately inspired us to spread the film as far and wide as possible, and in that spirit, we’re thrilled to present the Dox: Award to God Bless The Child, by Robert Machoian & Rodrigo Ojeda-Beck.”

Special mention to Uncertain, by Ewan McNicol & Anna Sandilands (read more about the movie by clicking here);


“The jury is pleased to recognize this lyrically composed, structurally innovative exploration of the documentary imperative to shed light on unseen corners. Beautifully investigating the relationships between people and place, physical and emotional environment, past, present, and future, the special mention goes to Uncertain by Ewan McNicol & Anna Sandilands”.

The jury for DOX:AWARD consisted of Elena Fortes, the director of Ambulante, a non-profit organization working to support and promote a documentary film culture in Mexico; Miguel Valverde, Festival Director and Programmer at IndieLisboa; Jim Kolmar, Film Programmer for SXSW; Bernie Krause, professional musician turned soundscape ecologist, author; and Katja Adomeit, producer and freelancer for Coproduction Office Denmark.


Among The Believers by Hemal Trivedi & Mohammed Ali Naqvi


Jury statement:

“For its ability to show us a country with complex political situation, for unprecedented access to part of its educational system with far-reaching consequences and to the dedication the filmmakers have shown in the following the story the jury has decided to give CPH: DOX F: ACT Award to Among the believers by Hemal Trivedi & Mohammed Ali Nagvi.

Special mention goes to (T)error, by Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe

“The jury would also like to give a special mention to (T)error (by Lyric R. Cabral & David Felix Sutcliffe) because of the way it raises awareness of the invasion of civil liberty that is going on in the western world lately, and more so due to its exceptional access.”

The F:ACT Award jury consisted of Sean McAllister, director, and cinematographer; Veton Nurkollari, photographer, producer, programmer Co-Founder and Director of DokuFest; Nagieb Khaja, journalist, filmmaker and producer for The Guardian, Vice News & BBC; and Hanna Attalah, Palestinian filmmaker and founder of Film Lab: Palestine.


Return of the Atom by Mika Tania & Jussi Eerola

Jury statement:

“The winner of the 2015 CPH DOX Nordic award is Return Of The Atom, directed by Mika Taanila and Jussi Eerola. Shot over eight years by the Finnish duo, Return Of The Atom looks at how the bureaucratic might of a massive scale European construction project impacts on the inhabitants of a small community. With clarity and sense of purpose, Return Of The Atom convincingly travels through the broad scales and global registers of the ramifications of building nuclear power stations in a post-Chernobyl world where decisions made by one nation or group can be potentially fatal for everyone else on our shared planet. From the individual characters who are confronted with a choice to either embrace the financial rewards of living in a nuclear town or try to resist the environmental and health dangers harnessing the atom brings, to the lazy and entropic bureaucratic labyrinth that accompanies such a megalithic project, Return Of The Atom is in turns sensitive, satirical, critical and bemused, taking a complex, rarely discussed topic and creating a serious but engaging, subtle and poised film.”

Special mention goes to Time Passes by Ane Hjort Guttu: “We want to give a special mention to Time Passes by the Norwegian artist and filmmaker Ane Hjort Guttu. Insistent and calmly dramatic, Time Passes uses students at an art school in Bergen preparing for their graduation exhibition to look at broader ideas about how the individual is so often formed, developed and changed by the institutions they belong to – or are prohibited from – and the social and ethical anxieties we all grapple with in our day-to-day lives, as we dream and hope, change and transform.”

The jury consisted of Paolo Moretti, film festival director of La-Roche-sur-Yon; Johan Blomqvist, programme coordinator at Göteborg Film Festival; Anne Eborn, film director; Nathan Budzinski, filmmaker; and Francesco Giai Vai, head of the programme at CinemAmbiente and film critic.


The NEW: VISION Award is shared between Bending to Earth, by Rosa Barba, and ‘The Digger’ by Ali Cherri.

Jury statement:

“There are many ways a vision tells the story of how we never cease to be haunted by the pervasiveness of a landscape or human ritual that, notwithstanding its ancient history, prove strikingly timeless. This is why this year’s New:Vision jury has decided to offer the award to two films in view of their thought-provoking ability to deal with the notion of time powerfully and coherently, to define a multi-layered and poetic archaeology of surrender to time through investigating the marks and traces that we leave behind at carefully selected and controlled, remote sites.

In Rosa Barba’s Bending to Earth, we are simultaneously transported to the past and the future as the present lurks in their shadows. A clinic but strange timelessness comes out of this folding together of time. Dinosaurs and drones could meet in this entropy. The layering of the brilliant soundtrack, the evocative script and the beautifully dizzying 35mm imagery construct a cinematic gem about our present’s perpetual confusion and the future’s uncertainty. Rosa Barba’s film Bending to Earth will keep on haunting us.

A highly-reduced formalism and precise composition of sequences deprived of dialogue characterise Ali Cherri’s The Digger. The enigmatic lyricism of the opening quote about the grave before becoming a grave speaks of absence and its unsettling eternal presence, highly evident in the arid landscape and the mirrored civilization on its horizon. Cherri’s tightly constructed portrait of a man and the desolate emptiness of which he is the caretaker is a perfect reflection of many contemporary realities.”

The jury consisted of Tine Colstrup, curator at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art; Basim Magdy, artist and filmmaker and winner of NEW: VISION in 2014; Diana Baldon, director and curator of Malmö Konsthall; and John Skoog, award-winning filmmaker.

Politiken Audience Award

The Fear of 13, by David Sington


Elvira Lund

The Association of Danish Film Directors and CPH: DOX hand out the Real Talent Award to a documentary director, who has shown an exceptional cinematic vision at an early stage.

Jury statement:

“On behalf of Danish Directors and CPH: DOX it is my pleasure to announce the winner of the Real Talent Award of 25.000 Dkr.

The director who is to receive this recognition has a short but impressive filmography that gives hope for future work. She – yes, it is she – has demonstrated that she is able to get close, to deal with sensitive matters in a gentle and respectful way, to build a story so it comes out as an engaging drama that is much stronger than many feature films. I guess that many of you watched the film at CPH: DOX last year. She is in the process of making a new film that was presented recently on the Nordisk Panorama it was very well presented. Also, that film will have an international career. Let me give you the titles – the finished film is “Songs for Alexis”, the one coming up is “Bobby Jene”. So ladies and gentlemen, the winner, a true documentary talent – Elvira Lind. “

The jury consisted of Tue Muller, a freelance journalist for; Fredrik Geerten, filmmaker, and journalist; Klaus Kjeldsen, film director; Mette-Ann Schepelern: cand.phil, Danish director and creative producer; and Tine Fischer, festival director at CPH: DOX.

The winners of CPH: DOX’s main competition receive a prize of 5000€

The winner of Politiken’s Audience Award receives 50.000DKK (approx. 6500€)

The winner of Reel Talent Award receives 25.000DKK (approx. 3250€)

Special thanks to Katrine Ravndal for contributing to this article.


© 2018 Anna Jozwiak. All rights reserved.

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