What Is It & What’s On: CPH:DOX

CPH:DOX is an annual international documentary film festival that takes place this year from 6-16 November. The largest of its kind in Scandinavia, the festival began in 2003 has has grown steadily ever since. Because of it’s worldwide appeal, a significant number of the over 200 films shown are in English, and almost all have English subtitles.

Because we like you, we’ve gone through the entire program and have created a list of the best! You’re very welcome.

You may not know this, but Creative Director Freya is not only good at creatively directing, she also has a degree (and years of work experience) in film. So we’ve asked her to put that knowledge to good use and make a few recommendations; enjoy!


Category 1 - Arty Farty
Ahhh, art docos, probably my favourite.


20,000 Days on Earth

Nick Cave documentary. ‘Nuff said.

Nick Cave - 20,000 Days on Earth | Scandinavia Standard



An obscure cult film that was a sensation when it finally had an international re-premiere a few years ago. Two young Italian filmmakers meet a pregnant 16-year-old drug addict on the street and invite her to live with one of them. A freaky gang of long-haired bohemians and dandies orbit around the trio, talking about revolution in cafés where the air is thick with tobacco and Marxist theory.

Anna - Documentary Film 1975 CPH DOX | Scandinavia Standard


Burroughs: The Movie

This film from 1983 explores the life and times of controversial Naked Lunch author William S. Burroughs. Want to find out more about Burroughs’s unique literary style and his wildly unconventional life? This one’s for you.


Dior & I

This fashion doco chronicles the creation of Raf Simons’ first Haute Couture collection for the House of Dior. When Simons was hired to replace disgraced John Galliano at Dior, he only had eight weeks (as opposed to the usual four to five months) to pull the collection together. Gasp.

Dior & I - CPH DOX Copenhagen Documentary Film Festival | Scandinavia Standard


Good Girl

Described as a bold, feel-good film about depression. I can’t wait to see this one. The Norwegian director Solveig Melkeraaen is suddenly and inexplicably hit by depression. What to do? Solveig decides to make a film about the experience. The film comically explores gender, social and self-expectations, and its connection to depression as a social taboo that few people want to talk about.

Good Girl CPH DOX Copenhagen Film Festival | Scandinavia Standard

Category 2 - What's happening in the world?
Struggling to keep up with world events in a foreign country? Or in your own country? I hear you. Documentaries are a great way to explore current affairs and maybe even gain a new perspective.



Do you know much about what the Greek crisis means to everyday citizens? It’s time to take a look. Angora means ‘market’ in Greek. The connotations of this word have transformed from its ancient meaning as a gathering place that was the centre for political, economical, athletic, artistic and spiritual life. It was the heart of Democracy.

Agora Film Greek Economy CPH DOX | Scandinavia Standard


Children 404

This is one film I can’t get out of my head. It’s heartbreaking to see how Putin’s new anti-LGBT laws affect children and teenagers that have already identified themselves as homosexual and who come together in the social network ‘Children 404’ in the struggle for the right to be themselves. It’s a jaw-dropper. Highly recommended.


Concerning Violence

A success since Sundance and Berlin, this is an 85-minute glimpse into the aftermath of the European colonisation in Africa in the 1960s and 70s, where modern, stubborn resistance fighters and both cynical and shockingly naive colonialists collide. Some consider it to be an unofficial sequel to the Swedish director Göran Hugo Olsson’s ‘The Black Power Mixtape 1967-1975’. Narrated by Lauryn Hill.



Meet Edward Snowden, the NSA surveillance whistleblower that enlightened us to our role as “the watched” in a global surveillance system that knows no boundaries. Critics said: “its 114 minutes crackle with the nervous energy of revelation”. This film is fresh from its premiere at the New York Film Festival and was co-produced by Laura Poitras and Steven Soderbergh, among others.

Category 3 - Where are we going?
Docos to keep you up to date with the latest technology, and what the future has in store:

Collaboration – On the Edge of a New Paradigm?

This doco explains the philosophical development from the isolated geniuses of the Renaissance to the knowledge-related challenges – and opportunities – that society is facing in the age of the internet, where we are on the threshold of a revolutionary paradigm shift.

Collaboration - On the Edge of a New Paradigm? CPH DOX Documentary Film Festival | Scandinavia Standard


The Rise and Rise of Bitcoin

Great viewing for novices and experts alike. Could an anarchist and transparent currency that nobody ‘owns’ be a bulwark against future financial crises? Or does it undermine the essential foundation on which all solid monetary standards are based: trust?


Capital C

Want to learn more about crowd funding? This is a film for you. This doco looks into the ways that websites like have allowed creative entrepreneurs to turn their wild ideas into reality. At the end of the day, capital isn’t enough.

Capital C - CPH DOX Documentary Film Festival | Scandinavia Standard

To see the full CPH:DOX program, click here.

Is there a documentary you’re especially excited about? Or one you’ve already seen and would recommend? Leave it in the comments!

We're all stories in the end - on index card | Scandinavia Standard

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Freya McOmish

Freya McOmish is a co-founder and Creative Director at Scandinavia Standard. Half Danish, half Australian. Background in law, film and philosophy.