Denmark's CPH:DOX cancels physical event, plans virtual stand-in (update)

220 films and directors ”have been sent home”.

By Ben Dalton 12 Mar 2020

Denmark's CPH:DOX cancels physical event, plans virtual stand-in (update)

MARCH 11 UPDATE: Top brass at Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) have cancelled the physical event due to concerns over the spread of the COVID19 coronavirus and are going ahead with a virtual stand-in.

The festival put out a statement on Wednesday evening (11) that read, ”In light of the current COVID19 crisis and in response to the Prime Minister’s recent press conference, the documentary film festival CPH: DOX has decided to cancel all events in and outside Copenhagen.”

The festival said 220 films and directors ”have been sent home” and added that festival staff would work from home to set up a digital version of the festival to focus on the major Danish and international films.

Work is underway to prepare a parallel digital version in which the six competition strands will be judged online by juries and reviewed by Danish and international film critics ”not in cinema, but again on screen”.

Plans are afoot to launch a digital version of the industry conference that it is hoped will include conferences, meetings and workshops.

The festival said, ”CPH: DOX is known for not only showing movies but also gathering people for talks and debates on the big issues of the time. This year we will talk together at home based on the films. And then we will be back again next year. Take care - we hope to see you online.”

ORIGINAL MARCH 9 STORY: Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) has cancelled its opening gala and any events with over 1,000 attendees, in the latest development in the battle to contain the new coronavirus.

In a statement on Monday, March 9, the festival said the rest of the programme will continue as planned, ’unless the public authorities change their guidelines to avoid Covid19 transmission among the population’.

It told Screen that it will not be looking for an alternative, smaller venue, and will run without an opening gala this year. It will also be providing daily updates on the coronavirus situation in the coming days.

The festival is due to start on Wednesday, March 18 and run until Sunday, March 29.

It had been scheduled to open with the mainland Danish premiere of documentary The Fight For Greenland, about Greenland’s right to independence and geopolitical interests in the Arctic.

The gala was to have taken place at Copenhagen’s Royal Danish Theatre on Tuesday, March 17, following a world premiere on March 13 at Katuaq Cultural Center in Nuuk, Greenland.

The Royal Danish Theatre has 1,600 seats. On Friday the Danish government followed the actions of several other governments worldwide by recommending the cancellation of any events with over 1,000 attendees, to limit the potential spread of coronavirus.

No further events are scheduled for the venue during CPH:DOX.

Danish-Greenlandic production The Fight For Greenland will play in the main competition, with further screenings taking place throughout the festival.

CPH:DOX is the latest film and television event to be affected by the virus, following the cancellation of SXSW and Beijing festivals and France’s MipTV, and postponement of Hong Kong’s Filmart and France’s Canneseries.

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