Marcus Lindeen’s The Raft and Elizabeth and Gulistan Mirzaei’s Laila at the Bridge were among the winners of the 15th edition of CPH:DOX.
Films were nominated in six different competitions at the Copenhagen-set festival, which ran March 15–25, with all winners receiving US$6,200 (€5,000), with the exception of the winner of the Politiken Audience Award, which will receive $8,300.
Winners were selected by jury, except for the Politiken Audience Award.
Lindeen’s The Raft took home the Dox:Award, the festival’s top prize, beating out 12 nominees in the festival’s main competition for the year’s best international documentary film.
The Raft (97 minutes) tells the story of a 1973 social experiment in which 11 strangers lived without privacy as they sailed across the Atlantic aboard a raft. The jury perceived the film as “a unique record of time and culture, of aging and ultimately, a monument to the courage of people formerly known as the weaker sex, who embark on a journey into the unknown.”
Receiving special mention in the category was Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside’s América, a vérité family portrait of two Mexican brothers and their 93-year-old grandmother.
Feted with the F:ACT Award were Elizabeth and Gulistan Mirzaei’s Laila at the Bridge, which chronicles a former child bride who risks everything to save heroin addicts in the face of overwhelming odds. The award celebrates auteur filmmaking that touches on research-based, investigative journalism, activism and documentary cinema.
Elsewhere, the New:Vision Award – honoring “groundbreaking experiments in the area between documentary and artistic reflection” – was handed out to Jumana Manna’s Wild Relatives, exposing the exchange of ecological currency between two of the world’s grain banks.
Special mention was given to Tinne Zenner’s Translations, a 16mm film “in which the vistas of Greenland create a space for free thinking.”
Lasse Lau’s Lykkelænder, meanwhile, picked up the Nordic:Dox Award, given to a standout doc from the Nordic countries. The 80-minute film examines the relationship, fantasies and myths between Greenland and Denmark.
Special mention went to Steffan Strandberg’s animated doc The Night, about two brothers and their upbringing with an alcoholic mother and musician father.
The Next:Wave Award, dedicated to emerging filmmakers, was presented to Giorgio Ferrero and Federico Biasin’s Beautiful Things. The project, according to the filmmakers, “describes the hidden mechanical liturgy within four different remote locations where… men work in complete isolation without any interference from the outside world.”
Bing Liu’s Minding the Gap, which chronicles a group of three young men who, over the course of a decade, bond together through skateboarding, was awarded special mention in the category.
Finally, picking up the Politiken Audience Award was Katrine Philp for False Confessions, a 93-minute legal thriller about a pro-bono Danish-born defense attorney’s work to prevent false confessions in the U.S.
Winners were announced at an awards ceremony tonight (March 23) at the Kunsthal Charlottenborg, the official exhibition gallery of the Royal Danish Academy of Art, in Copenhagen, Denmark.