CPH: FORUM 2020 unveils programme

Democrats II, Nelson Chamisa / PHOTO: Final Cut For Real

CPH: FORUM 2020 unveils programme

Democrats II, Nelson Chamisa / PHOTO: Final Cut For Real

A total of 34 documentary projects and six Nordic works in progress will be unveiled to key decision makers.

CPH:FORUM takes place between March 24-26 in Copenhagen, parallel to CPH:DOX Festival. Major companies attending include Disney+, Netflix, Arte, ZDF, BBC, DR and POV.

The 34 projects from 17 countries, with a 50/50 gender representation, were picked from a record 470 submissions, looking for co-financing and development support.

Among the projects are the latest works by the Oscar-nominated Syrian/Kurdish Talal Derki (Of Fathers and Sons), Golden Bear Romanian director Adina Pintilie (Touch Me Not), Sweden’s Carl Javér (Reconstructing Utøya), Finnish/Bulgaria’s Tonislav Hristov (The Good Postman), Denmark’s Pernille Rose Grønkjær (The Monastery) as well as new talents, tackling hot societal and political issues.

The selected projects split in the five categories Fiction non Fiction, Cinema, FACT, Art and Science, will be introduced to potential co-financiers, ranging from streaming platforms Disney+, Netflix and MUBI, broadcasters such as ARTE, ZDF, BBC, CNN, Nat Geo, POV and DR, movie studios Participant Media, Topic, HHMI Tangled Bank Studios, and philanthropic foundations such as Science Sandbox, Freedom of Speech Foundation, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Open Society Foundation.

All pitched projects will vie for the Eurimages Co-production Development Award and its €15,000 cash prize.

Katrine Kiilgaard, Head of Industry and Deputy Director to CPH:DOX, said: “CPH:FORUM is a curated market that reflects an overall vision. We take pride in supporting the continued existence of a variety of voices and aesthetic expressions as is presented at our festival, even as that becomes increasingly difficult in a European market with less public funding available and less courage to take risks. With our new ventures such as our Science strand, we aim to expand the boundaries and possibilities for documentary film and filmmakers and grow the role of art as an active voice in civil society.”

Due to an increasing number of participants, CPH:DOX will move this year to a bigger venue. “Over the past five years, our platform has doubled its attendance resulting in almost 2,000 industry delegates last year. It’s a big responsibility and a huge pleasure to meet the expectations of so many people who are fighting for the documentary genre in all its forms and believe CPH:DOX is the place to be”, said Tereza Simikova, Head of CPH:FORUM.

The eight Nordic projects among the 34 international titles to be pitched are the following:


  • Compassion on Prescription by Louise Detlefsen (Denmark)
    Nurse May Eiby wanted to turn dementia treatment upside down. She opened her own retirement home and became controversial when she took away all medicine. Instead, the 11 inhabitants enjoy a treatment of care, hugs, kisses, talks and community.
  • The Roulette Project by Pernille Rose Grønkjær  (Denmark, US)
    In the early 1970s, two world-class physicists developed a betting system based on Chaos Theory. With it, they broke the bank in Las Vegas and used the same system on Wall Street. The very same system is now ingrained in every aspect of the global financial market.


  • Hanne Korea by Frederik Sølberg (Denmark, South Korea)
    Hyorin is a newly arrived North Korean refugee, in her transition to becoming an independent woman in South Korea. But are the sacrifices really worth it?
  • Looking Back at Love by Carl Javér (Sweden)
    David and Jane both in their 70s, are hippies, artists, activists and lovers, living off grid in California. They are looking back at their lives in a series of staged scenes.
  • Stayers by Julia Dahr and Julie Lunde Lillesæter (Norway)
    A vanishing island community in Virginia fights for a sea wall to save them from flooding - but they don’t believe in man-made climate change. Framed by the divisive 2020-election the film explores how to deeply understand someone you differ with.
  • The Last of the Seagulls by Tonislav Hristov (Finland, Bulgaria)
    Ivan is an old seagull, a Bulgarian man hooking up with foreign ladies at Sunny Beach resort. Now Russians and Ukrainians come to find Bulgarian men in order to get married and earn permission to stay in the EU.



  • Lost Diamond by Andreas Rocksén, William Johansson Kalén (Sweden, Denmark)
    A nation is shaken by a paedophile case when a father suspects that his daughter –Diamanthe- is being sexually abused. When the suspected perpetrators are killed, the father is found dead soon after. Suspicions rise again when a mass of police come and take the girl away.
  • Votes for Sale by Niels Borchert Holm (Denmark)
    Amid the US presidential election, the film dispels myths of Cambridge Analytica’s psychographic black arts of 2016 and finds the real data wizard, still leading Trump’s online war, in a sleepy Texas suburb.

The six Nordic works in progress, looking for gap financing or festival and distribution have been selected in collaboration with the Nordic film institutes.

Three of them have received support from Nordisk Film & TV Fond.

  • Democrats 2 by Camilla Nielsson (Denmark, Norway, US) 
    Produced by Signe Byrge Sørensen (Final Cut for Real) and Joslyn Barnes (Louverture Films). 
    After the fall of Mugabe in a military coup, Zimbabwe is at a crossroads. Opposition leader Nelson Chamisa challenges the old guard in the ruling party ZANU-PF. How will they interpret democracy in a post-Mugabe era - in discourse and in practice? 
  • School Shooters by Frida Barkfors, Lasse Barkfors (Denmark, Sweden, France)
    Produced by Anne Köhncke of Final Cut for Real.
    The third instalment in Frida & Lasse Barkfors’ trilogy on social stigma (after Pervert Park and Death of a Child), examines guilt and shame. We meet parents from different areas in the US with different backgrounds and experiences, but who have one thing in common: they have a child who has committed a school shooting.

CPH: FORUM 2020 unveils programme

School Shooters / PHOTO: Lasse Barkfors
  • The Red Ring by Joonas Berghäll (Finland, Germany)
    Produced by Satu Majava and Joonas Berghäll of Oktober Production.
    A silent epidemic in a globalised world: director Joonas Berghäll seeks a cure to his illness and answers to why efforts are not made to stop this global epidemic before it is too late.

The three other Nordic works in progress are:

  • Acts of Deception by Ola Waagen (Norway, Denmark)
    A teacher gets caught up in a dangerous double life when she decides to go undercover in the industrialised meat industry.
  • Internet of Emotions by David Borenstein (Denmark, Netherlands, US)
    The film explores companies and individuals who use emotions to control our decision-making via the internet, from trolls in the USA that harness the power of anger, to Chinese live-streamer girls that study how to make men fall in love.
  • The most beautiful Boy in the World by Kristina Lindström, Kristian Petri (Sweden, Denmark)
    Björn Andresen who played in Luchino Visconti’s Death in Venice, was proclaimed by the director the world’s most beautiful boy. A shadow that today, 50 years later, still weighs on the Swedish actor and musician’s life.