Deadline’s Doc Talk Podcast: CPH:DOX Artistic Director Niklas Engstrøm On Taking Copenhagen Festival To No. 1

What’s the biggest documentary festival in the world? The International Documentary Festival Amsterdam. For now.

Upstart CPH:DOX in Copenhagen aims to overtake IDFA as the top showcase for nonfiction film worldwide. On the new episode of Deadline’s Doc Talk podcast, we sit down with CPH:DOX Artistic Director Niklas Engstrøm for a conversation about the growth of the festival in the Danish capital and how he aims to make it No. 1.

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Engstrøm argues that CPH:DOX has been central to the emergence of Denmark as one of the most important hubs for documentary on the planet. It’s a country of less than 6 million that has produced a remarkable number of Oscar-nominated documentary directors and producers in recent years, including Signe Byrge Sørensen, Monica Hellström, Simon Lereng Wilmont, Jonas Rasmussen, Sigrid Dyekjær and Kirstine Barfod.

In our report from the field at CPH:DOX, we also talk with filmmaker Benjamin Ree about Ibelin, his documentary about a Norwegian teenager named Mats Steen who developed a profound connection and identity in the online role-playing game World of Warcraft. His fellow players had no idea the avatar they knew as Ibelin was in fact a young man with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a degenerative condition that would take Steen’s life at age 25.

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And director Connie Field joins Doc Talk to talk about the world premiere of her documentary Democracy Noir, which examines resistance to the autocratic rule of Viktor Orbán in Hungary. Orbán has become a darling of the right-wing in the U.S. for his campaign against “elites,” but Field says his systematic efforts to seize control of the media and the judiciary in his country make the Hungarian leader a dangerous role model. And she discusses political developments in Hungary and the European Union that could be welcome news for Donald Trump as he attempts to re-take the presidency.

That’s on the new episode of Doc Talk, co-hosted by 12 Years a Slave Oscar winner John Ridley and Deadline’s Documentary Editor Matt Carey. Doc Talk is a production of Deadline and Ridley’s Nō Studios.

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