You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘The Look of Silence’ Takes Top Prize At CPH:DOX Fest

Joshua Oppenheimer's follow-up to 'The Act of Killing' emerged triumphant at the Copenhagen documentary fest.

COPENHAGEN – “The Look of Silence,” U.S. docmaker Joshua Oppenheimer’s follow-up to his Oscar-nominated critical favorite “The Act of Killing,” continues to look a likely awards magnet after taking top honors at the CPH:DOX documentary film festival in Copenhagen.

The film, which continues its predecessor’s examination of the Indonesian communist genocide of the 1960s, was named the best film of the headlining DOX:Award section at the fest’s awards ceremony on Friday evening. It beat out a heavyweight field of 13 other pics, including Laura Poitras’ “Citizenfour.” Before presenting the award, jury representative David Wilson declared that while the decision hadn’t been unanimous, such disagreement was “fitting for a film that melds provocation with aesthetic brilliance.”

A visibly moved Oppenheimer, himself a Copenhagen resident, expressed his delight at winning on home turf, and thanked the festival for initially introducing him to his Danish producer Signe Byrge Sorenson.

The award comes two months after “The Look of Silence” took the Grand Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival, where it premiered to major acclaim: Variety’s review declared it “an altogether stunning companion piece” to “Killing.”

The jury, which also included veteran filmmaker Kidlat Tahimik and Cannes Directors’ Fortnight programmer Laurence Reymond, also gave a special mention to another Danish production, Camilla Nielsson’s “Democrats.” The political doc, which had its world premiere at the fest, traces the three-year struggle to draw up Zimbabwe’s 2013 constitution.

Nielsson was a multiple honoree at the ceremony, also sharing the Reel Talent Award for up-and-coming filmmakers with another female helmer, Lea Glob. Glob’s debut feature “Olmo and the Seagull” — a doc-drama hybrid about a thespian couple’s turbulent relationship, co-directed with Petra Costa — also emerged triumphant in the festival’s Nordic:DOX section.

Other winners at the fest included Egyptian artist-turned-filmmaker Basim Magdy, whose experimental film “The Dent” took the innovation-focused New:Vision Award, while U.S. directing team Katy Chevigny and Ross Kauffman won the F:ACT section for their Sundance 2013 premiere “E-Team.” The Audience Award, meanwhile, went to eco-minded Canadian doc “Just Eat It: A Food Waste Story,” a film previously described by Variety critic Maggie Lee as a potential “international sleeper.”

CPH:DOX, which opened on Nov. 6 with a Europe-wide screening of Anders Ostergaard’s Cold War study “1989”, closes today.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Film director and scriptwriter Vojtech Jasny

    Vojtech Jasny, Award-Winning Czech Filmmaker, Dies at 93

    Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny, director of “All My Good Countrymen,” which won the best director prize at Cannes in 1969, has died. He was 93. According to the Associated Press, Slovacke divadlo, a theatre he frequently visited, said that Jasny died Friday, and a family representative confirmed his death to the CTK news agency. Jasny [...]

  • Noelle Anna Kendrick

    Film Review: 'Noelle' on Disney Plus

    What do you get when you toss together Christmas cheer, Christmas kitsch, a fish-out-of-the-North-Pole setup swiped from “Elf,” and a plot that turns on whether Kris Kringle’s daughter, played as a perky naïf by Anna Kendrick, has what it takes to step into her dad’s snow boots? You get a plastic icicle like “Noelle,” Long [...]

  • Scandalous

    Film Review: 'Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer'

    When grocery store shoppers snag a copy of Weekly World News (the rag responsible for the refuses-to-die “Bat Child” hoax), they know they’re getting fake news. But when they pick up the National Enquirer, it’s a far more ambiguous prospect. Enquirer headlines are deliberately provocative, shouting details of the private lives of real people — [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo

    Cynthia Erivo Almost Gave Up Singing to Become a Spinal Surgeon

    Before Cynthia Erivo went on to become a Tony and Grammy winner, she nearly gave up singing to be a spinal surgeon. In her “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” conversation with Alfre Woodard, the “Harriet” star said she had been singing since she was toddler. Her mother noticed she’d hum while eating her food when [...]

  • Alfre Woodard Cynthia Erivo Variety Actors

    How Cynthia Erivo and Alfre Woodard Found Deeper Meaning in ‘Harriet’ and ‘Clemency’

    Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) and Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here. Cynthia Erivo and Alfre Woodard are at the forefront of this year’s awards conversation for two prestige films directed by black women. In Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency,” a movie that won the Sundance Grand [...]

  • Rocketman Taron Egerton

    'Rocketman' Hair and Make-Up Artist Talks Transforming Taron Egerton

    Hair and make-up artist Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou sums up “Rocketman” as the story “of a great icon who hits rock bottom. You see the great things happen and he hits rock bottom. By the end, he’s pulled himself together and he’s still standing.” For the viewer, it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotion, but as Yianni-Georgiou says, [...]


    Box Office: 'Ford v Ferrari' Dashing to No. 1 While 'Charlie's Angels' Flounders

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon’s racing drama “Ford v Ferrari” is set to win the weekend box office by a long shot with an esimated $29 million from 3,528 domestic locations. Elizabeth Banks’ “Charlie’s Angels” reboot could land in a distant second in its debut weekend with about $8.2 million, but the second frame of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content