CPH:DOX 2023 Scores Biggest Audience Ever

The 20th anniversary of CPH:DOX became a record breaking year for Denmark’s largest film festival. During the festival, the audience number reached 125,680 – in total. Audiences flocked to the cinemas – both in Copenhagen and in the 28 municipalities that were part of the festival this year.

With an audience of 125,680, CPH:DOX 2023 became the most visited edition of the festival ever. Over the past 20 years, CPH:DOX has grown from a small Copenhagen event with just under 12,000 visiting guests to one of the world’s leading documentary film festivals with a large and engaged audience, both in the cinemas and online on the festival’s new streaming platform PARA:DOX.

Niklas Engstrøm, Artistic Director of CPH:DOX, said:
“With this year’s edition of CPH:DOX, we have finally stepped out of the shadow of the Covid-19 pandemic which has left its mark on the festival and its ability to reach a live audience every year since 2020. The 20th anniversary of CPH:DOX was really a celebration – of documentary cinema and of the film festival as a social event. The most wonderful thing is that the massive interest by our local crowd goes hand in hand with rising international attention, and I’m happy to see how so many of the films premiering at CPH:DOX are now continuing their journey in the international festival circuit and market”.

The most popular film in the cinemas during CPH:DOX 2023 was ‘A Storm Foretold’, Christoffer Guldbrandsen’s long-awaited film about Donald Trump’s former adviser Roger Stone, while ‘After Work’ by Erik Gandini became the most streamed film at the festival’s online platform, PARA:DOX. Both films were screened in the festival’s world premieres-only main competition DOX:AWARD.

International attention on the raise
CPH:DOX 2023 not only offered a strong film program with +100 world premieres. The festival also offered a wide range of activities for professionals, including the ever more popular pitching forum for the international film industry, which moved to a bigger venue to accommodate the demand. This part of the festival has made headlines and received praise in a large number of leading international media, including VarietyScreen International and Deadline among others.

Katrine Kiilgaard, Managing Director of CPH:DOX, said:
“Since 2017, CPH:DOX has worked purposefully to develop the industry activities, and we are very happy to see that it is really bearing fruit. We have presented more projects, welcomed more professionals, conducted more individual meetings and given out more awards than ever before. But more importantly, CPH:DOX has attracted a critical mass of the most important players in the industry to meet the most talented filmmakers, making Copenhagen a hub for the further development of the documentary genre and a place not to be missed by the industry”.

Facts about audience interest in CPH:DOX
Overall, the film program at CPH:DOX 2023 was seen by an audience of 125,682.
The first edition of CPH:DOX in 2003 attracted a total of 11,706 visitors to the cinemas, but since then interest has been steadily increasing to 51,800 in 2012 up to the previous audience record of 117.720 in 2020. During the corona pandemic in 2020, CPH:DOX was quickly transformed into a digital festival – in a time of crisis when large parts of Denmark were shut down. In 2021 and 2022, CPH:DOX continued as a hybrid festival with film screening in cinemas and online as well.

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Tue Steen Müller
Tue Steen Müller

Müller, Tue Steen
Documentary Consultant and Critic, DENMARK

Worked with documentary films for more than 20 years at the Danish Film Board, as press officer, festival representative and film consultant/commissioner. Co-founder of Balticum Film and TV Festival, Filmkontakt Nord, Documentary of the EU and EDN (European Documentary Network).
Awards: 2004 the Danish Roos Prize for his contribution to the Danish and European documentary culture. 2006 an award for promoting Portuguese documentaries. 2014 he received the EDN Award “for an outstanding contribution to the development of the European documentary culture”. 2016 The Cross of the Knight of the Order for Merits to Lithuania. 2019 a Big Stamp at the 15th edition of ZagrebDox. 2021 receipt of the highest state decoration, Order of the Three Stars, Fourth Class, for the significant contribution to the development and promotion of Latvian documentary cinema outside Latvia. In 2022 he received an honorary award at DocsBarcelona’s 25th edition having served as organizer and programmer since the start of the festival.
From 1996 until 2005 he was the first director of EDN (European Documentary Network). From 2006 a freelance consultant and teacher in workshops like Ex Oriente, DocsBarcelona, Archidoc, Documentary Campus, Storydoc, Baltic Sea Forum, Black Sea DocStories, Caucadoc, CinéDOC Tbilisi, Docudays Kiev, Dealing With the Past Sarajevo FF as well as programme consultant for the festivals Magnificent7 in Belgrade, DOCSBarcelona, Verzio Budapest, Message2Man in St. Petersburg and DOKLeipzig. Teaches at the Zelig Documentary School in Bolzano Italy.

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