The Fight for Greenland’ to open CPH:DOX 2020

CPH:DOX dedicates its opening night to new, distinctive voices from Greenland’s young generation when the festival kicks off the 17th edition with the world premiere of ‘The Fight for Greenland’.

From March 18-29, one of the world’s largest documentary film festivals, CPH:DOX will unspool with an ambitious programme of 200 films, debates, conferences, concerts and art exhibitions. The world premiere of the new Danish documentary, ‘The Fight for Greenland’ is set to open the 17th edition of the festival.

The film shines a light on the important and highly relevant debate about Greenland’s right to independence, the future of the Unity of the Realm and the significant geopolitical interests in the Arctic – told by the new, young generation of Greenlanders. According to Festival Director Tine Fischer, the festival could not have asked for a more important opening film:  

“It is less than six months ago, the President of the United States showed a straightforward interest in Greenland. The public awareness of Greenland exploded – not only in Denmark but worldwide. “Greenland is not for sale” was the public statement, but behind the unequivocal answer lies a political reality, where greater acknowledgment of the fight for self-determination arises. Today, more than 60% of the population in Greenland favours independence from the Unity of the Realm. Greenland is not only interesting politically. Greenland is moving – and a new generation has grabbed the mic. This year, CPH:DOX opens with a brand new and incredibly relevant film from within the eye of the storm. A clever and complex film that not only contributes to insight but also contributes to a human presence which is necessary to understand the need for freedom and the long historical connection to Denmark. We could not have asked for a more important film to open with.”

The Opening Gala will take place on Tuesday March 17 at the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen and is presented in collaboration with the festival’s main sponsors, Normann Copenhagen and TV2.

On the following day, the ‘The Fight for Greenland’ will screen at CPH:MEETINGS followed by a panel discussion with participation of Aki-Mathilda Høegh-Dam, Member of the Danish Parliament for the Siumut party, Søren Espersen, member of the Danish Parliament for the Danish People’s Party and member of the Greenland Committee and two cast members: Tillie Martinussen, member of the Greenland Parliament and Paninnguaq Heilmann, activist, and pro-independence advocate.

Independence or strengthened ties?

The ‘Fight for Greenland’ gives a unique insight to the debate about independence, the Unity of the Realm, language and identity, which is dominant in today’s Greenland: What does the future hold for Greenland? Should Greenland establish independence or strengthen its ties to the former colonial power?

We follow four young, strong and dynamic Greenlanders, who – despite their disagreement on the way forward – are all fighting for a better Greenland.

Director, Kenneth Sorento, has worked as a documentary filmmaker and film photographer since 1999 and has been to Greenland and the Arctic on numerous occasions, including the Galathea expedition in 2006 and two icebreaker expeditions to the North Pole. About the choice of ‘The Fight for Greenland’ as opening film, he says:

“Across the world, independence movements appear to be gaining ground. Personally, I think ‘The Fight for Greenland’ is essentially about belonging. Being selected as the opening film at CPH:DOX, and with its subsequent screenings, I hope ‘The Fight for Greenland’ will contribute to a more nuanced dialogue and perspective between Greenland and Denmark and between those who are pro and against independence.

‘The Fight for Greenland’ will have a gala premiere at Katuaq Cultural Center in Nuuk a few days before the Opening Gala on March 13, where the director and cast will be present. The film is selected for the festival’s main competition DOX:AWARD and will have several screenings during CPH:DOX 2020.

Danish-Greenlandic co-production

‘The Fight for Greenland’ is produced by Ulrik Gutkin for Copenhagen Film Company kort og dok. with support from the Danish Film Institute and DR. It is co-produced by Jørgen Chemnitz (Greenland) and Beneditke Bredesen (Norway).