Normally festivals award films and film directors, but festivals can also be awarded, and the Danish documentary festival CPH:DOX has received two recognitions lately, the most important (also important for future funding one can hope, sorry for being so materialistic) to be “The Cultural Event of Year” named by the organization Wonderful Copenhagen and the Municipality of Copenhagen, from the jury statement: In 2003 CPH:DOX had 12.000 visitors. Throughout the last decade this number has risen to over 50.000 admissions in 2012. In itself an impressive achievement, but the effect of CPH:DOX goes deeper than that. Today, viewing documentaries is no longer a niche activity for the selected few. It is an artform that has found a wide and dedicated audience both in cinemas and on TV, and CPH:DOX can claim a good deal of the responsibility for this turn.
The second award came from the readers of the daily newspaper Politiken, that every Friday publishes “I Byen” (a kind of weekly parallel to “What’s On”). Five cultural events were nominated with CPH:DOX as the winner and CPH:DOX got the “I Byen” prize. Politiken, by the way, has a weekly (every thursday) supplement on film, popular it is and much writing on documentaries there is and that helps the cinemas to take the chance to screen documentaries.
Politiken writes about CPH:DOX that it has made the documentary mainstream. That is not right. CPH:DOX has made an audience come to watch films which are not mainstream.