CPH:DOX 2021 – Copenhagen’s Documentary Film Festival Boasts Some Great Female-Driven Films

Hey cinephiles! CPH:DOX is finally here, and the entire program is available for online streaming! Get a peek at a few of the female-driven films you can look forward to during this year’s (digital) festival!


Hey there, film-lover! We’re so excited that the annual CPH:DOX festival has finally arrived, with an amazing program that’s available for online streaming. There are a ton of incredible films, including five that jumped right out at us for being female-driven and female-centric. That can mean in terms of writing, direction, production, storyline and narrative, casting and performance… We just know it when we see it, and we love to see it! Read more about our picks below, and be sure to check out the entire program at the official CPH:DOX site!


Lisa Rovner / France / 2020 / 89 min / Danish Premiere


The history of electronic music from the point of view of the overlooked female pioneers in a film with style and substance, told by Laurie Anderson.

At the time when a computer with the processing power of a pocket calculator was still the size of a caravan, and electronic music hardly counted as music – let alone art! – composers such as Suzanne Ciani, Pauline Oliveros, Daphne Oram and Laurie Spiegel embarked on creating the sounds of the future with tape reels, scissors and sticky tape as their instruments. They were all women, and when electronic music was finally recognised, they were almost forgotten. Lisa Rovner rectifies this imbalance in ‘Sisters with Transistors’.

With style and substance, and through a gold mine of rare clips of buzzing synthesisers and wild artistic creativity, the story of the female pioneers is rolled out for the first time. The energy, curiosity and enthusiasm for the medium is not just present in the sounds and the music, but in every image of Rovner’s stylish and uncompromising film about the liberating potential of art. Laurie Anderson has lent her voice to the narration, which ties it all together.

Tickets Here | Watch the Trailer


Shelly Silver / Germany / 2020 / 71 min / Danish Premiere


A group of young girls take a renewed look at the female body and art history in a simple but original guided tour through the world of culture.

Old norms and truths are being re-evaluated, even in museums. A group of girls and women aged between 7 and 19 comments on the paintings and sculptures at a German museum. The female body in art history, power and authority, and beauty ideals – it all changes with the times. The girls’ immediate reactions and thoughts are both profoundly insightful and full of surprises. But more than attitudes are at stake in a film that uses professional depth to explore the contemporary in (art) history – and vice versa. The approach is simple, but Shelly Silver’s original guided tour has a broad reach.

Tickets Here


Tuija Halttunen / Finland, Danmark / 2021 / 77 min / World Premiere


She has 3 years to make it rain in the desert. But at what cost? A Finnish scientist is caught in a dilemma between research, finance and freedom.

Hannele Korhonen has sky-high ambitions. When the Finnish scientist receives 1.5 million USD from the United Arab Emirates for a project, she sees the opportunity to give her vision a try and bring about the impossible: to make it rain in the desert. Science and technology are, in fact, in the process of interfering with nature’s order and inducing artificial rain over the arid but very wealthy oil state. But on the other side of the laudatory speeches, Hannele gradually sees that her generous sponsors are harbouring their own agendas.

Politics and research are hard to separate, and soon the scientist from the far north is faced with an ethical dilemma, heralded by the quote by Goethe at the beginning of Tuija Halttunen’s highly topical film. Has Hannele, in fact, entered into a Faustian pact and put her scientific integrity at risk? And should we really tinker with ecosystems on such a large scale? She is not the only person who has to confront the diabolical dilemma at a time when research based on private funds is gaining ground.

Tickets Here | Watch the Trailer


Corinne van der Borch, Tone Grøttjord-Glenne / Norway, United States / 2021 / 94 min / World Premiere


A coming-of-age story set in Brooklyn, about hope, sisterhood and belonging as three young homeless sisters race against all odds towards a brighter future.

Sisters on Track is a coming of age story following the three Sheppard sisters, Tai (12), Rainn (11) and Brooke (10) from the 2016 media storm that propels them into the national spotlight, when all three are chosen to be the Sports Illustrated Kids of the Year, into their final years of Junior High. The film offers a rare intimate glimpse into a tight-knit Brooklyn family’s journey to recover from trauma and tragedy moving away from their life in a shelter.

Guided by coach Jean Bell, who inspires them to beat the odds, dream big and aim for higher education the girls are finding their voices as athletes, students and young adults. At the heart of the story is the bond between sisters and a whole community of women, passing the baton of self-empowerment through track and field, from generation to generation of hopeful young girls.

Tickets Here


Alison Kuhn / Germany / 2020 / 81 min


Performative MeToo film, where young actresses meet to reconstruct the systematic abuse they suffered during a casting.

Five years ago, several hundred German women took part in an audition for an art film about incestuous relationships. Many of the young actresses were manipulated in a systematic abuse of a both sexual and violent nature. And now they discover that the footage from their audition has been used in the finished film. Alison Kuhn was one of them, and while a lawsuit is underway between the victims and the filmmakers, she invites five of the women to reenact the experience in a safe setting at a theatre. A highly topical film about MeToo and the abuse culture in the film industry, where young women are reclaiming power.

Tickets Here


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