Copenhagen International Documentary (CPH-DOX) Film Festival was founded by Tine Fisher in 2003 and has quickly grew into one of the most successful film festivals. From 14,000 attendees in the first year to a record-breaking 114,000 in 2019, CPH-DOX has become a popular destination for film lovers everywhere. Their programs embrace everyone from international documentary filmmakers to young talents. They aim to build bridges and form new creative perspectives and cross-thinking between films and a wide range of related art and media forms. 

The Roadblock

As one of the first film events after the first wave of the COVID-19 pandemic, CPH-DOX had to think of an alternative way of showing their highly loved festival. “We made a fundamental decision: The festival would not be shut down but held digitally-with the same scope as the physical event.” CPH-DOX and Festival Scope made a deal enabling the streaming of 40 films from the original festival program. Working around the clock, the premiere was ready to be shown on Festival Scope’s platform. On opening night, the platform had many issues due to the heavy traffic. “That was the worst night of my DOX life because we had been publishing the online edition then immediately had problems with the streaming.” 

Overcoming the Roadblock

With the advice from Sten Saluveer (head of the NEXT innovation sidebar at the Marche Due Cannes festival), CPH-DOX called Shift72 to take over and create a new platform. We were able to set up a new branded platform in less than 18 hours, with the platform having the capacity to stream 150 films. 

“I was convinced we would lose our audience if our streaming platform crashed or was overloaded from day one. Shift72 came through from the get-go, saving us. Moreover, because the new platform enabled us to show an unlimited number of films…” - Tine Fisher, CPH DOX

The Outcome

CPH-DOX estimated a total audience of 113,000 and was able to reach a broader target audience. Previously, 90% of their audience was from the Greater Copenhagen area. After going digital, that figure changed to 70%, with 30% coming from the rest of the country. The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the festival world, and there is no doubt that film festivals and cinemas will exist both physically and digitally in the future. To offer a platform solution with the highest quality, Festival Scope has become a sales partner of Shift72.

Image: Emil Hartvig

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