Joshua Oppenheimer and Christine Cynn’s “The Act of Killing” topped the winners of the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) this past weekend, taking the festival’s DOX:AWARD prize. Other winners at the ceremony — held at the Bremen Theater in downtown Copenhagen — included Bill & Turner Ross’s “Tchoupitoulas,” Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel’s “Leviathan” and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s “Searching For Bill.”
Full list of winners below with jury statements.
DOX:AWARD: The Act of Killing, Joshua Oppenheimer
“The Jury would like to award a film for its ability to show the construction of fear in a society and for its courageous re-enactment of the madness of the past, still echoing in the present.”
Special mention to Tchoupitoulas, Bill & Turner Ross
“The Jury wants to give a special mention for its freedom and chaotic romanticism to Bill and Turner Ross’ film Tchoupitoulas.”
NEW:VISION AWARD: Leviathan, Lucien Castaing-Taylor & Véréna Paravel
“Fully immersing the viewer in a powerful experience of the sea, this film renews the alchemical power of cinema, fusing sound, colour, darkness, light, and movement into a forceful document of the threshold between man and nature. The innovative camerawork feels liberating, offering radical and unique perspectives on the cruel realities of the fishing trade.”
NORDIC:DOX AWARD: Searching for Bill, Jonas Poher Rasmussen
“The NORDIC:DOX: award goes to an enigmatic road movie that shows the other side of the American dream in a peaceful but adventurous way. Its complex narrative structure links the film to the mythology of quests through the American landscapes searching for the right place to be.”
SOUND & VISION AWARD: Beware of Mr Baker, Jay Bulger
“Beware of Mr Baker is an instant classic. It is a musically inspiring, multi-layered and well told biography of an impetuous brave musician and his lifelong battle with destiny. This story takes us from the eccentric habits to the deeply personal almost spiritual belief in music. From surprising and gripping animation sequences to archive material with “once-in-a-lifetime” musical performances. It’s an overwhelming collage of material and interviews that never gets stale or boring.”
Special mention for Kidd Life, Andreas Johnsen
“With an honest and heartfelt approach, we’re told the story of a character who is both immediately understandable and intensely fascinating, and an almost mythological story of a fast forward Rise and Fall, Kidd Life is both fresh, hilarious and sad. Its singular structure is admirable and its execution is virtually flawless.”
AMNESTY AWARD: Tomorrow, Andrey Gryazev
“After a vigorous debate, by majority vote, the jury grants the amnesty award to the film “Tomorrow”. This is a film where storytelling reigns supreme. The film tells an extraordinary story about the courage of a group of young art activists in Russia who show us how creativity and humor, as much the documentary film itself, are an extraordinary strong weapon against the oppressive state.”
SONIC:DOX AWARD: White Black Boy, Camilla Magid (Sound: Peter Albrechtsen)
“Sound is elusive, but in the hands of a talented sound designer even a whisper can be a powerful statement. Peter Albrech tsens work on “White Black Boy” is ingenious without being flashy and is always working in the best interests of the story. The sound is fully integrated and is essential for pulling the audience into the story and drawing us close to the main character, Shida, in this strong and moving tale from an Africa that is at the same time modern and ancient.”
REEL TALENT AWARD for Daniel Dencik “a director who dares”
“The Danish film directors and CPH:DOX present Reel Talent Award that goes to a director who has shown an exceptional cinematic vision in his first films.
The Award is given as collegial pat on the shoulder to a director on his way to the star and as an encouragement to continue working towards realizing the cinematic vision of the director to fulfill the promises of his first films.
We have chosen to hand out the award to a director, who in his film illustrates a human being in battle. A battle with the surroundings, with his will and with his own mind. Already in the first frames we feel like we are in the head of the protagonist. The audience is placed in the middle of a battle. We are there in the extreme situations, where there is not only sympathy left for the main protagonist. We both like and have disrespect for Rasmus Quaade.This is a film that joins the ranks of Danish sports films that manages to talk about the mythical moments that occur through suffering in the saddle.”
POLITIKEN AUDIENCE AWARD A Normal Life, Mikala Krog