Documentaries that demand change … This could be a slogan for 2013's CPH:DOX (7-17 November), with its emphasis on documentaries seen through the eyes of politically engaged artists Ai Weiwei and The Yes Men.
Ai Weiwei and new films from China
Showcasing more than 200 new films from around the globe, the 11th edition of the Copenhagen doc fest presents Chinese dissident artist Ai Weiwei through a programme of ten films selected by him that reflect upon the role and responsibility of artists. The films span several decades and continents, from Michelangelo Antonioni's "Chung Kuo, Cina" to Simon Klose's "TPB AFK: The Pirate Bay Away From Keyboard".
A producer and director of over 20 critical documentaries, Ai Weiwei is also competing in the main DOX:AWARD competition with "Stay Home!", marking the world premiere for his film about a 10-year-old girl with HIV who cannot get medical treatment as the second child in a country with a strict one-child policy.
As a reflection of Ai Weiwei's importance to the development of documentary filmmaking in China, the festival has a focus on new Chinese documentaries that have emerged within the last years describing the country's complex reality in a blend of vérité and activism.
The Yes Men urge us to reflect
The American activist duo The Yes Men bring the power of the media into focus with eight films that turn mainstream media and neoliberal news coverage on its head by simple means.
In this curated programme, Charlie Chaplin's "The Great Dictator" plays alongside Brian Springer's "Spin" that shows thought-provoking clips of journalists who think that the microphones are off and of politicians unaware that the camera is still rolling.
New journalism award and more
The festival is launching a new award, F:ACT AWARD, dedicated to investigative journalism. Twelve films are nominated, including Alex Gibney's "We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks" and Richard Rowley "Dirty Wars".
Highlights from Sweden, Norway, Finland and Denmark are competing for the NORDIC:DOX AWARD, new Danish documentaries are celebrated in a separate section (DANISH DOX) and, as always, the festival presents a rich programme of musical experiences in the dark (SOUND & VISION).