Here are the nominees for F:ACT Award 2018

F:ACT Award is dedicated to films in the field between documentary filmmaking and investigative journalism. This year, 10 films are nominated in this prestigious competition, consisting of four World Premieres, five International Premieres and one European Premiere.

The winner of F:ACT Award will be found by a jury and announced at CPH:DOX’s Award Ceremony on March 23 at Kunsthal Charlottenborg. Today we announce the line-up.

Tickets, screenings and more information can be found here. 

False Confessions

Katrine Philp, Denmark, Germany (World Premiere)

Trained interrogators can make innocent people confess to almost anything in the United States. A Danish lawyer works for justice in a hair-raising and cynical system.

During an interrogation in the United States, it is both legal and commonplace to use special psychological techniques to make the suspect confess, no matter if he or she is guilty or not. In a closed room, coached interrogators can not only get anyone to confess to anything – they can also make innocent people believe that they have actually committed crimes such as murder and child assault. In New York, the Danish-born defence attorney Jane Fisher-Byrialsen is working to prevent false confessions, so that less people end up in prison for crimes they have not committed. Through four of her cases, we meet those involved, the previously accused and the family members of those incarcerated. And through video footage from the interrogation room, which makes our hair stand on end, we experience what the suspects go through in terms of brutal, psychological manipulation by police officers, who are more interested in maintaining their high success rate than in upholding justice. Danish Malthe Thomsen was himself acquitted of a baseless accusation, but the suspicion lingers on. ‘False Confessions’ is a legal thriller about a pro-bono idealist’s work for justice in a cynical justice system.

The China Hustle

Jed Rothstein,  European Premiere (United States)

Wall Street’s adventure in China in the wake of the financial crisis in no-bullshit interviews with both journalists and speculators.

The meltdown of the global financial markets in 2008 sent shock waves around the world. But did Wall Street become any wiser as a result of the disaster? Not according to ‘The China Hustle’, which unravels a shocking but entirely unknown story from the time after the crash, when speculators turned their sights eastwards: to China. Here, dubious financiers were ready to create artificial companies to suck up new investments. Companies, which bulged on paper, but which were little else than a confidence trick. The recipe: short selling. The price: the savings of ordinary people. Through honest no-bullshit interviews with journalists, economists and speculators, you become both wiser about what happened – and why it happened. Even though the financial crisis can today celebrate its 10th birthday, there is no prospect of the market forces behind it learning from their mistakes: Trump has recently announced a radical deregulation of the banks.

Weapon of Choice

Fritz Ofner, Eva Hausberger, International Premiere (Austria)

A dark study of American gun culture, which ends with an incredible true crime story of contract killers and billion dollar fraud.

Guns are big business in USA. But American gun culture reveals its darkest sides in ‘Weapon of Choice’, which starts with a single weapon and ends with an incredible story of contract killings and billion dollar fraud. The Glock is not just the world’s most popular handgun. It is a pop-cultural reference in everything from gangster rap to action films. But the Glock empire itself is off limits, and the man behind it is a mystery, whom the film slowly digs its way into through meetings with former employees and people on the periphery of the cult surrounding him. A dark trail of power, money, violence and politics, which leads to Glock’s previous tax advisor, who is now spending his 13th year in prison for murder. The Austrian filmmaker Fritz Ofner and producer Nikolaus Geyrhalter have created a dark and atmospheric study of a cynical billionaire who has countless lives on his conscience – not just in the United States. Nonetheless, it is both shocking and upsetting what they uncover in a true ‘slow burner’ of an investigation.

Alt-Right: Age of Rage

Adam Bhala Lough, International Premiere (United States)

Behind the ultra-right-wing movement that with Trump as an unofficial frontman has conquered the world’s most powerful country.

In the 1st year of Trump’s presidency, Daryle Lamont Jenkins, a modern day Civil Rights leader fights to squash the rapid rise of the new Alt-Right movement while Richard Spencer, an Alt-Right leader fights to gain ground and ride the sudden wave of attention, culminating in a tragic showdown in Charlottesville, Virginia.


Karen Winther, World Premiere (Norway)

Director Karen Winther puts on a personal journey through her past and up to present time, in search for answers to what has caused a handful of violent extremists to choose violence and hatred. Throughout her journey, Karen meets unpleasant truths linked to her own extremist past. What opportunities are there for people who want to break out of violent extremists?

Our New President

Maxim Pozdorovkin, International Premiere (United States, Russia)

This is how Donald Trump got elected, seen exclusively through the eyes of Russian propaganda. Equal parts biting satire and frighteningly topical journalism.

There is no doubt about who Russia wanted to win the American elections in 2016. And there is no doubt either about how things turned out. But how it happened is another matter, which still divides opinions. ‘Our New President’ presents Trump’s election victory through the exclusive use of Russian propaganda footage. The absurdity is served in razor-sharp amounts in Maxim Pozdorovkin’s masterfully edited film, which balances between satire and an insightful, journalistic analysis of the system of fake news and misinformation, which gave the whole world a new and completely erratic president. Only time will show if the Russians and their troll factories were actually involved in the American election or not. But Pozdorovkin’s film shows with perfect clarity that Putin’s people got what they wanted. At a time when propaganda has returned to the internet’s echo chambers and the public debate, ‘Our New President’ is a film that everyone should see and learn from.

Laila at the bridge

Elissa Mirzaei og Gulistan Mirzaei, World Premiere (Canada)

A fight against the Afghan heroin mafia with the most ‘badass’ woman in Kabul. A powerful film about a woman who is willpower in its purest form.

Afghanistan is the country with the world’s largest opium export and most heroin addicts. Under a bridge in Kabul, hundreds of men and women with murmuring voices and blurry eyes are left to their own destiny by a corrupt government, which has economic interests in the opium trade. And Laila has decided to do something about it. Day after day, the charismatic and strong-willed woman puts on her small ballerina shoes and colourful scarves and heads under the bridge to take them to her private rehab centre, where the aim is to get them out of their addiction with ice-cold baths, communal prayers and motherly reprimands. It is not a miracle factory. Many experience a relapse, and Laila has to struggle with constant financial problems. When the Taliban’s arrival in the city scares customers away from the restaurant she is running to finance her centres, things start looking bleak. But Laila is willpower in its purest form, as she threatens corrupt ministers in their marble offices, shoots mafia thugs in her bedroom with a shotgun and with equal measures of care and indignation has a serious word with the opium-addled men under the bridge. For as she ways: I am more badass than all of you put together. One of this year’s most powerful films.

A Woman Without a Name

Farzad Khoshdast, World Premiere (Iran)

Four young women share their thoughts from behind the bars at the prison for women i Teheran, in a film rich of both contrasts and nuances.

This is the Gharchak prison in Varamin, Tehran, Iran…
There are four wards in this prison…Each ward has a door which opens to a woman’s intimacy. From behind the door of each ward, a woman comes out, faces us, and tells us her story.
The first door: a woman who burnt and killed a man with acid.
The second door: A woman who killed her two children.
The third door: A woman who killed her lover.
The fourth door: A woman who killed one of her cellmates.
However, the last door opens to freedom and a woman happily steps out of the prison without knowing that…

A Mother Brings Her Son to be Shot

Sinéad O’Shea International Premiere (Ireland, UK)

What does it take for a mother to bring her son to be shot? Sinéad O’Shea uncovers a community like no other in a film that is shocking, fascinating and darkly humorous.

One night Majella O’Donnell took her teenage son Philly to be shot in both legs.
Majella, Philly and his shooters all live within an extraordinary community in Derry, Northern Ireland.
The “Troubles” officially ended in 1998 but this community is still at war. They do not accept the government or police.
All this happens within the jurisdiction of the United Kingdom.


Derek Doneen, International Premiere, (USA)

The story of how Kailash Satyarthi launched a built a global movement to rescue children from slavery.

Some people have a special ability to live their life to the fullest and to be present in everything they do. One of them is the 74-year-old artist Maj Doris, who has travelled around the world and today lives on her own in a small house in the beautiful northern Swedish wilderness, where the northern lights undulate across the mountains. Alone, and yet. As a sought-after artist with exhibitions and a genuine interest in young people, it is natural for her to be surrounded by people. A young, Afghan man helps her out on the farm. To show her gratitude, she entertains him and his friends at the local burger bar about the time when she discovered rock n’ roll! The passing of time and of life in general in the frosty expanses follows its own rhythm in Jon Blåheld’s sensual and beautiful film. One almost feels a form of gratitude for being able to join her in her living room, when she with deep concentration lies in her bed and smokes a cigarette, while listening to a young woman singing on a record. A fantastic person in a gorgeous, close-up portrait.