Denmark’s documentary festival, CPH:DOX, wrapped up over the weekend with the biggest award going to the Danish/Syrian documentary, Last Men in Aleppo.
Directed by Feras Fayyad and co-directed by Steen Johannessen, Last Men in Aleppo follows the remaining residents of the Syrian city as they prepare for a siege. Khalid, Subhi and Mahmoud, founding members of The White Helmets, a group of volunteers, have remained in the city to help their fellow citizens and experience daily life, death, struggle and triumph in a city under fire.
The jury said that Last Men in Aleppo is ‘a film whose devastating emotional immediacy plunges us into a Shakespearean tragedy of a people striving to retain their humanity in the face of impossible realities.’
Special mentions went to Gray House by Austin Lynch and Matthew Booth and The John Dalli Mystery by Jeppe Rønde.
The winner of the NORDIC:DOX award was Land of the Free, Camilla Magid’s portrait of South Central Los Angeles. The jury stated they were ‘deeply moved by a film that takes us into the depths of human vulnerability. Its well-chosen and poignant stories forcefully mirror each other. The film achieves an incredible intimacy with its protagonists and stays true to its cinematic choices.’
This was a relaunch of CPH:DOX after it moved to March from its November slot, and received rave reviews for its new festival hub at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. 200 films, including 75 world premieres, screened across Copenhagen.