Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival (CPH:DOX) is highly regarded as one of the world’s leading documentary film festivals. The 2019 edition saw 114,400 attendees walk through the doors of the Kunsthal harlottenborg, their internationally acclaimed festival palace, which houses everything from film screenings and concerts to international industry activities. The venue itself is an impressive drawcard for attendees who get to experience Films in laid-back surroundings designed in partnership with leading Danish furniture brand Normann Copenhagen. Behind the Festival’s growing success is Founder and Festival Director, Tine Fischer, whose vision is to grow CPH:DOX into the best film festival in and for the world. Unfortunately, like most of the film industry, the event was forced into full closure amid the Coronavirus outbreak.
A Pioneer In Hybrid and a Hero Emerges
Covid presented a major crisis for Fischer and her team who had limited options at their disposal. After all, what is an event-based business supposed to do when visitors aren’t allowed to gather together due to public safety concerns? The timing of this whole ordeal wasn’t great either. CPH:DOX was just days away from opening and the Coronavirus was knocking harder and harder on Denmark’s door. The Danish Government was also due to announce additional Coronavirus containment measures on the opening day of CPH:DOX. Alternative plans were needed and fast. The most popular course of action appeared to be launching a virtual version of their film festival that enabled visitors to participate from the safety of their home, as demonstrated by SXSW just one week earlier.
It was less than a week till CPH:DOX was scheduled to open when they announced they were following the trend and going entirely digital for 2020. They had found a solution from a European based provider; however, it was clear from launch that this provider could not cope with the streaming demands.
Fischer and her team were left to reconsider their actions. She turned to her wider network and team for council. It was in these discussions that Shift72 was mentioned as a suitable solution. Fortunately, one of the appointed conference urators, Sten Saluveer, had already connected with Shift72 as part of his role at Marché du Film. Introductions were made, plans were discussed and so the race began - 24 hours to launch an online film festival.
“As an event organizer, the key resources at this difficult time are fast replies, out-of-the-box solutions, and most importantly stability and scalability of digital infrastructure when the nternet pipes are getting clogged. If you’re a festival or arts organization needing to stream or monetize your assets in premium grade stability, great UX and payment options - turn to David his and his team at Shift72.”
Sten Saluveer, Festival Programmer, Marché du Film
CPH:DOX’s online film festival has proven to be a big success with 119 documentary films being made available for screening, as well as a number of live industry debates hosted by the festival. CPH:DOX has also been able to push forward with their six film competitions, films are also available for review by Danish and international critics, and those films in markets will also be available for accredited delegates to view on Cinando, another Shift72 powered platform. CPH:DOX has also used Shift72’s solution to link and drive traffic to their ecommerce store, where visitors can buy festival merchandise.
“I have just had one of the most crazy weeks of my life. You literally saved it from turning into a disaster. I will forever be extremely grateful for the way you came onboard.”
Jemima Robinson, Founder and CEO, Adventure Reels