cph:dox Awards

Awards were given at the cph:dox festival in Copenhagen and juries motivated their choices, this is the press release from the festival:

In the main competition, DOX:AWARD, Ben Rivers’ ‘Two Years at Sea’ was awarded for its convincing depiction of the euphoric feeling of being immersed in an elemental environment. “An enigmatic work that emanates from another place and time and justifies its own existence,” the jury said.

The DANISH:DOX AWARD went to Christian Sønderby Jepsen’s warm and humorous family drama ‘The Will’. The jury said: “A potential freak show turns into an emphatic social commentary and a touching story of neglect – going beyond mere exploitation and the current, somewhat fashionable white trash romanticism, presenting real humans of flesh and blood, with whom you laugh and cry as they try to make their family work.”

Furthermore, Omar Shargawi’s ‘½ Revolution’ (PHOTO) received a special mention from the jury. Especially emphasized was the immediacy and presence of the film. “The circumstances might have been unpredictable, but the film feels as concise and well-structured as any scripted film by a director who has had time and money to do his homework,” the jury further said.

The NEW:VISION AWARD that aims at promoting the experimental documentary in the field between documentary and art was given to Philippe Grandrieux’s ‘It May Be That Beauty Has Strengthened Our Resolve – Masao Adachi’ about the Japanese filmmaker Masao Adachi. The jury highlighted the film’s interweaving of Adachi’s aesthetic concerns with the social and political histories he lived through. “Rather than a typical director/subject relationship, this is a collaboration between both directors, where authorship moves back and forth,” the jury’s motivation said.

Additionally, René Frölke’s film ‘Führing’ received a special mention for its depiction of the absurd play between art and politics.

The NORDIC:DOX AWARD jury viewed fifteen films which, according to the jury, “all offer an impressive look into the rich spectrum of Scandinavian documentary filmmaking”. This year’s prize was given to Thomas Østbye’s ‘Imagining Emanuel’ – an elegant and powerful film that reframes current

discussion around identity, race and place,” the jury said. They added: “Through a poetic and formally innovative structure, the film takes the experience of one man, caught between the burdens of history, certainty and representation and creates a quietly powerful and engaged critique of the politics of migration and the image itself.”

For its creative storytelling and objective tone, Anca Damian received this year’s AMNESTY AWARD for the animation film ‘Crulic – the Path Beyond’ about the Romanian Claudiu Crulic who is unjustly accused of theft and dies after going on hunger strike in a Polish prison. The jury said: “The film represents a tragic, real story of human injustice told through an extraordinary imaginative and creative animation. The animated reality together with the objective tone of the narration creates an untraditional storytelling. This allows the viewer to identify with the character without feeling imposed.”

In the series SOUND&VISION AWARD, the jury awarded ‘Grandma Lo-fi: the Basement Tapes of Sigridur Nielsdottir’ by Kristín Björk Kristjánsdóttir, Orri Jónsson and Ingibjörg Birgisdóttir. The film is a portrait of an Icelandic lady who, despite her old age, cannot help but make music and does so with both passion and soul. The jury said: “A quirky film about an unlikely subject. Charming and innovative, the film reveals the pure joy of raw creativity.”

The DOC ALLIANCE AWARD – the price awarded to the best of the five documentaries that can be streamed for free at DAFilm.com and ibyen.dk/cphdox on November 13th and 14th – was awarded to Eva Mulvad’s ‘The Good Life’. “The director’s negotiation and rapport with her subjects has led to that degree of seamless observation where we sometimes forget there is a camera there at all. These confessionals, silent moments of despair and bitter bouts of vitriol, seem to be played out for us directly, as confidantes,” the jury said.


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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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