Norsk filminstitutt

Four Norwegian documentary films are competing for awards at this year's CPH:DOX (March 13.-24). Award-winning documentarist Håvard Bustnes' new film Phantoms of the Sierra Madre is selected for the international main competition.

foto. to menn sitter i grønne busker foran et fjell og studerer et kart
​​​ Phantoms of the Sierra Madre. Photo: UpNorth Film

– We are very pleased that Phantoms of the Sierra Madre has been selected for the international main competition at CPD: DOX, says filmmaker Håvard Bustnes.

CPH: DOX in Copenhagen is one of Europe's leading festivals for documentary films. In recent years, Norwegian documentary films have made a strong impression at CPH: DOX, and this year Norway has four films in the competition programs.

– CPH:DOX is one of the most important documentary film festivals, and the strong Norwegian presence this year once again confirms the position of Norwegian documentaries internationally, says Elisabeth Aalmo, international relations mananager, documentary films at the Norwegian Film Institute (NFI).

  • Phantoms of the Sierra Madre has been nominated for the DOX: Award in the international main competition. 
  • Mina and the Radio Bandits is in competition for the Nordic:Dox Award 
  • Hybrid movie The Recovery Channel is in competition for the new Human:Rights Award 
  • Lie To Me is in competition for the F:act Award

Phantoms of The Sierra Madre and Mina and the Radio Bandits will have their world premieres at CPH:DOX, while The Recovery Channel and Lie To Me will have their international premieres at CPH: DOX.

– Over the years, the CPH:DOX-festival has evolved into a preferred venue for the international launch of documentary films in the spring season. The competition is tough, so we are incredibly pleased with the strong presence of Norwegian films in this year's program, says Elisabeth Aalmo.

About the movies: 

Phantoms of the Sierra Madre (International main competition/DOX:Award) 

Norwegian producer and director Håvard Bustnes has made several award-winning documentaries. His two previous films, Name of the Game (2021) and Golden Dawn Girls (2017), were both selected for world premieres at the IDFA documentary festival and were shown at festivals worldwide. The short documentary Behind The Mask premiered at DOC NYC in November 2023. 

Phantoms of The Sierra Madre is a collaborative project with Danish scriptwriter Lars K. Andersen, and has been in development for over seven years.

Synopsis: A Danish writer embarks on a quest to locate a disappeared Apache tribe in Mexico but becomes entangled in ethical dilemmas, wrestling with the moral complexities of pursuing a tribe that ardently seeks obscurity. His journey takes an unexpected turn with a shocking discovery in Oslo, reshaping the entire narrative. 

Foto: Bilde av en mann, regissør Håvard Bustnes. Han sitter med lydutstyr og en stor mikrofon-boom på fanget. Han har helt kort hår og kort skjegg. Han er iført olabukse og en blå jakke.
Documentary filmmaker Håvard Bustnes. Photo: Geir Mogen/UpNorth Film

– We have been working on this documentary for over seven years, and the world has changed a lot during these years. This led to significant changes in the project along the way, and we had to ask ourselves some difficult questions about our position as filmmakers, says Håvard Bustnes.

Producer: Christian Aune Falch/UpNorth Film AS. Screenplay: Lars K. Andersen and Håvard Bustnes. Director: Håvard Bustnes. Sales agent: DR Sales

The film has received a total of NKR 2.964.000 in development and production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.  

Mina and the Radio Bandits (Nordic Dox:Award)

MINA photo 01_1.jpeg
Mina and the Radio Bandits. Photo: Fuglene

Mina believes in two things: the power of words and the right to have a second chance in life. This has led her to create a groundbreaking prison-based show: The Bandit Radio. But it's one thing to believe, it's another thing to make it work in a society that couldn’t care less. Between the difficult rehabilitation of her beloved convicts, and bureaucratic roadblocks, Mina realizes that the task may prove impossible. But her determination makes her go on at the cost of her personal life. 

Producer: Gudmundur Gunnarson/Fuglene AS. Screenplay: Kari Anne Moe. Director: Kari Anne Moe. 

The film has received a total of NKR 2.602.000 in development and production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.

Lie To Me (F:act Award) 

lie to me bilde.jpg
Lie To Me. Photo: Hacienda Film

OneCoin launched in 2014 and was named the BitCoin Killer. Anyone could become a crypto-billionaire overnight! But OneCoin is not a cryptocurrency. It’s been called the biggest crypto scam in history, and the man who took them down is the Norwegian Bjørn Bjercke. 

Producer: Dag Mykland/Hacienda Film AS. Screenplay: Dag Mykland, Bår Tyrmi og  Ellen Morgenstierne. Regi: Bår Tyrmi. Director: Bår Tyrmi. Sales agent: Java Film   

The film has received a total of NKR 1.450.000 in development and production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.

The Recovery Channel (Human: Rights Award) 

Foto. En mann og en kvinne i et TV-studio hvor de er presentatører
The Recovery Channel. Photo: Twentyone Pictures

News anchor Randi Isaksen struggles to help her sister navigate a broken mental health system in The Recovery Channel. Told through a dueling prism of documentary and narrative storytelling, filmmaker Ellen Ugelstad exposes an oppressive system designed to control, not heal the human condition.   

Producers: Ellen Ugelstad and Tonje Alice Madsen/Twentyone Pictures. Screenplay: Ellen Ugelstad and Einar Sverdrup. Director: Ellen Ugelstad

The film has received a total of NKR 2.815.856 in development and production grants from the Norwegian Film Institute.