Despite a population of just over 5 million, Denmark has a long tradition of cinema greater than its size should allow, from pioneer of the medium Carl Theodor Dreyer, Jr. to more recent examples like Bille August, Susanne Bier, Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Lone Scherfig and Nicolas Winding Refn.
Over the last decade, that tradition has extended into documentary — in large part, thanks to the Danish Film School’s flourishing documentary program. Some of the past few years’ most award-winning docs have come from Denmark, including Anders Østergaard’s “Burma VJ,” Janus Metz Pedersen’s “Armadillo,” Mads Brügger’s “The Red Chapel,” Eva Mulvad’s “Enemies of Happiness” and Pernille Rose Grønkjær’s “The Monastery.” Many of those began their festival lives at the Copenhagen International Documentary Festival (aka CPH: DOX) and went on to win awards at IDFA, Sundance and dozens of festivals thereafter.
This year should prove no different, as numerous documentaries that premiered at CPH:DOX will find their way into heavy rotation on the coming year’s doc festival circuit. Indiewire will be profiling three of the filmmakers behind these films in the coming days (all of whom will see their films have international premieres at IDFA, which begins this week). Until then, take a look at these seven Danish docs to watch out for: