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CPH:DOX: a film festival without cinemas

Copenhagen-based host Stella recalls her experiences with COVID19, CPH:DOX, and the deep waters of the digital world.

CPH:DOX: a film festival without cinemas

Copenhagen-based host Stella recalls her experiences with COVID19, CPH:DOX, and the deep waters of the digital world.

Rethinking social togetherness with no restrictions
Images: CPH:DOX poster / Still from The Fight for Greenland

“T he last few months are to remember. Individually and collectively it’s a period that will change the way we live, co-exist, get gathered and create experiences and events”.  

As CPH:DOX was scheduled to kick off in March 2020 – meaning that it was strongly affected by restrictions to public gatherings due to COVID-19 – either it had to be canceled, or be reimagined in an entirely new way. Driven by its leading figures, including the project manager and Human Hotel community host Stella, and with a lot of courage by accepting the risk, the festival jumped into the deep waters of the digital world. 

The mission was successful, the cinephile community – as well as a wider audience – responded, engaged, and supported this huge effort all over Denmark as, for the first time, it was able to reach beyond Copenhagen: a true audience development splash!

“The steepest learning curve for me, as I work for the physical part of the festival and its volunteers, was finding a way to exist in this adapted-non-physical-festival and to not waste all the effort. Our 450 volunteers were now digital ambassadors and it was proven once more to me that adaptability and not taking things for granted when you work for events is a key success factor.”

Stella’s learnings and reflections as an event manager for CPH:DOX Online.
Images: Stella Ntavara

Not having physical spaces and meeting points in which to connect with an audience is difficult; it will put your audience’s loyalty to the test and challenges the event’s ability to adapt, innovate, and stay true and loyal to its value.

“It’s challenging to have social-togetherness that all of a sudden has to become social distancing. But simultaneously, it triggers the part of the creative brain that will generate great new ideas. It might be a new, radical idea – experiencing events while keeping yourself in a huge bubble, or reviving old ideas of drive-ins. But one thing is certain, the days and years to come will find the event industry in a creative fever!”

 

  • Visit Copenhagen to wander through this highly sustainable city filled with parks, wide cycle lanes and perfect ‘hygge’ spots around the waterfront.

  • You can even stay at Stella’s place in this beautiful nordic city of eco design, canals, cycling culture, and happy locals.

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