The NatFilm Festival was founded in 1990. It was known for its sharp focus on recent international releases targeting certain genres and regions. The Copenhagen International Film Festival (CIFF) was created much later, in 2003. It was dedicated primarily to European cinema. These two festivals weren’t direct competitors because they were too different Besides, they occurred half a year apart.
Despite this, in 2008 it was decided to merge Copenhagen’s two festivals and create a brand new event for all cinema lovers. The newly created organization called Copenhagen Film Festivals took charge of the CPH:PIX international film festival, the CPH:DOX documentary film festival and the BUSTER Film Festival for children and youth.
In 2016, CPH:PIX merged with the BUSTER Film Festival to create one big festival for audiences of all ages. Originally held in spring, it was moved to autumn (late October and early November).
The name CPH:PIX consists of two parts. CPH is the international letter-code for the city of Copenhagen. PIX is an abbreviation that stands for “pictures” (in this case, motion pictures). According to the organizers, a passion for feature films is the heart of the festival. PIX can also refer to the word “pixel”, which is the smallest significant element in a raster image. This emphasizes the festival’s devotion to new technology, including digital screenings and 3D technology.
As we’ve already mentioned above, the inaugural CPH:PIX film festival attracted about 36,500 people, which was the biggest attendance ever recorded for a film festival in Copenhagen. Over the years, the attendance have grown even more and exceeded 55,000 visitors.
CPH:PIX is a competitive film festival. It presents two main awards: the New Talent Grand PIX and the Politiken Audience Award. The New Talent Grand PIX is awarded by an international jury to the best first-time filmmakers. The Politiken Audience Award is awarded by a popular vote.
The main competition features ten films by first-time film directors from different countries. The films have varying genres and themes, the only thing they have in common is that they are directorial debuts. The winner of the competition gets 10,000 Euro, which can support them in making their next film.
Photo by Yann Houlberg Andersen / CPH PIX