Award Winners 2021

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen

worth 7,000 €

Yuri Muraoka

2020, 11'36"

Statement of the jury
We see the sea, pictures of the sky taken in backlight, and hear the narrator tells us about a failed suicide attempt. What follows is a personal story about life, its difficulties and its beauty. A story that is told by pulling out all the cinematic registers, using different animation techniques, found footage and still images. By doing this she creates a nonlinear narrative making space for the viewers and their interpretations and imagination. The filmmaker dives into her own history, both in terms of imagery as well as storyline. It feels like a moment of reflection, a visual artists’ statement in which she turns inward. The film celebrates life and celebrates film, the result is stunning and – like life – incredibly rich.

Principal Prize

worth 3,000 €

Su Zhong

2021, 8'28"

Statement of the jury
A continuous shot with no end or beginning and that seemingly catches us in a random moment. It shows us, in 8 minutes and 28 seconds, how violence is interconnected with machines, technology, and labour. With humour, which is always close to despair, the filmmaker mixes both Western and Eastern mythologies and depicts them as future leaders of a humanless world, with only industrialised mechanical movement. Making a film like this, coming out of the guts, directly onto the screen after a very long and patient digital work is a huge accomplishment. Thank you, Su Zhong, for reminding us that even before the pandemic we could already make a film about a world full of violence and despair.

Special Mentions of the Jury of the International Competition

More Woman, More Cry
Anne Haugsgjerd

2021, 24'3"

Statement of the jury
More Woman, More Cry
by Anne Haugsgjerd is a stunning film that captures the beauty and fragility of life. With vivid clarity, great imagination, and sly humour, Haugsgjerd provides thought-provoking reflections on family, art, ageing, and the fluidity of time in a humorous and poetic way. Without embarrassment, but full of doubts, the film shows an emancipated filmmaker contemplating her life and asking the question: What next?

Sensory Overload
Ganza Moise

2020, 6'57"

Statement of the jury
At the other end of this spectrum, the jury sees Sensory Overload, a poetic film by Ganza Moise, that takes a poem by Natacha Muzira as its guide. A seemingly featherweight film with an existential underlayer, in which time, form and space run into each other, in a search for a way out of reality, not through destruction, but through the poetry of life.

Prize of the Jury of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

worth 5,000 €

A terra de não retorno
Patrick Mendes

2020, 19'59"

Statement of the jury
In an indeterminate time, women wash clothes by the river, a stone ear becomes porous. Out of the blue, a motionless body falls headfirst into the riverbed. The screams of the working undead pierce the mysterious silence. This work positions ’’film as ritual” in the style of magical realism. The blazing fire forges new eyes that let us see the beauty of an analogue mystery of tears, earth, light and shadow. The unsettling absence of dialogue sharpens our senses to the highest alertness, only to sweep us out of earthly hell with ’’heavy metal”. You are invited to join the order of cinema.

Special Mentions of the Jury of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

Divided by Law
Katie Davies, Emma Agusita

2021, 26'11"

Statement of the jury
“I miss you.” Analogue black-and-white images show chats of anonymous lovers which are supposed to serve as testimonies of a valid partnership for the British government. ’’Hostile Environment Policy’’ is the name of the UK Home Office's attempt to make immigration into Great Britain as unbearable as humanly possible. This film lets us experience the impact of these drastic measures on binational families and relationships in personal accounts, combined in an unpretentious montage with 16mm film, Google Street View and found footage.

Before the fall there was no fall. Episode 02: surfaces
Anna Dasović

2020, 20'13"

Statement of the jury
In her haunting film Before the fall there was no fall. Episode 02: surfaces, Anna Dasović recounts how traces of history manifest themselves in places where cruel contemporary history was written, how the fading graffiti of terror evoke a mural of testimonies of genocide, and how even small businessmen profit from war. In addition, she masterfully combines archive material and authentic found footage to ask the question: What remains?

The International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

{if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves
Lucy Davis

2021, 27'57"

Statement of the jury
The film offers an artistic and investigative exploration resulting in a fascinating perceptive experience. While creating a cinematic atmosphere, it reflects on urban and eco-social transformations from human and more-than-human relationships. In this way, {if your bait can sing the wild one will come} Like Shadows Through Leaves allows us to think of cinema as an aesthetic tool that questions, resists, and reimagines the relationships between culture and climate change.

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury

worth 1,500 €

Zoom sur le cirque
Dominique Margot

2020, 14'26"

Statement of the jury
A clown is grimacing into the webcam from his living room; an aerialist is trying to stay in shape on her balcony; a circus director is suffering from the cold in his caravan because he cannot afford the heating costs: Zoom sur le cirque brings together the social, political and aesthetical aspects of the current Corona pandemic in an accurate yet heart-wrenching way: the human desire or even the human need to laugh even in times of crisis; the hardship suffered by artists and people engaged in the cultural sector who are threatened by losing their means of existence; the art of improvisation that the circus as well as Zoom require equally and therefore the technical and social possibility of decreasing the distance by means of humour.

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury

ངའི ནང
Ngima Gelu Sherpa

2020, 20'11"

Statement of the jury
nga’i nang
is a film about a son who returns to his family home in Nepal to say farewell to his dying dad. The son films these last days, the passing and the death of his father which appear just as simple and natural in the everyday life of this poor farmer family as the tiny things that usually happen to them. Even though all this is sad, this is the order of life. While the film is very modest, it tells its story in a distanced but very personal and emotional way. Similar to the way the mother, who escapes to religious rituals, experiences mourning internally and in silence and similar to the son, who, after leaving his Home and his lonely mother behind again, will later reminisce alone on the beach of the ocean on another continent. Even though all this is sad, this is the order of life.

ZONTA Prize for a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition

worth 1,000 €

Zara Zandieh

2021, 17'36"

In the beginning was the work of a great futurist writer, which the filmmaker translates into a many-layered, poetic and pioneering film experience that resonates for a long time.

Grand Online Prize of the City of Oberhausen

worth 5,000 €

Yudhajit Basu

2020, 19'54"

Statement of the jury
For creating a dialog between past and present through its lyrical ethnography; and for exploring with a gentle distance a remarkable mythology empowering non-traditional ways for women to live.

Principal Online Prize

worth 2,000 €

Trampa de luz
Pablo Marín

2021, 8'30"

Statement of the jury
For giving us a breath of fresh air and allowing us to rediscover nature; and for showing its light and its wonders through the photochemical materiality of celluloid, continuing to explore the possibilities of analogue methods.

e-flux Prize

worth 3,000 €
For an exceptional film and video work which reshapes the poetic and electric potential of moving images in the age of planetary circulation of information.

Un très long temps d'exposition
Chloé Galibert-Laîné

2020, 7'0"

Statement of the jury
For its astute and poetic exploration of time, recording technologies, and erasure of workers and Indigenous identity from a perspective both personal and critical; and for uniting these expressive themes through compact and modest means.

Prize of the Online Jury of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

worth 3,000 € 

Un très long temps d'exposition
Chloé Galibert-Laîné

2020, 7'0"

Statement of the jury
It is only logical that the film awarded by us renounces sound, since it is an exploration of the conditions of visibility. Un très long temps d´exposition discovers, layers and combines images and narratives from global and personal history. Chloé Galibert-Laîné’s both analytical and personal composition of chains of visual motifs reveals the political and ideological dimensions of technological imaging methods and questions media visibility as the ultimate legitimization and proof of existence.

Special Mention of the Online Jury of the Ministry of Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

Peixuan Ouyang

2020, 17'56"

Statement of the jury
The unlimited availability of the world, just a click away – and yet the shabby papier mâché models of famous monuments in a small amusement park ignite quite original ideas of freedom and the future. Our Special Mention goes to a film which shows us the ephemeral stuff that dreams are made of, and those strangenesses that even global digital communication can’t abolish.

Prize of the Ecumenical Online Jury

Kristin Johannessen

2020, 13'32"

Statement of the jury
How do you remember how you used to be in the past? Minnen is an authentic documentary where we look back on the filmmaker's mental illness as she soberly traces her life. Animated sequences display what was in her mind at that particular time of her life. With original footage of her youth added to a recent interview with her own parents, Kristin Johannessen shows, through accurate memories, the difficulties of being different, of raising a child you can’t always understand but never want to leave behind. Minnen talks about the hope of recovery that must be held on to when facing sickness.

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Online Jury

Yudhajit Basu

2020, 19'54"

Statement of the jury
Kalsubai explores the history of the goddess Kalsu and her meaning for the women of Bari. The film relies on strong visual and acoustic images that neither explain nor falsify. The almost photographic compositions and their expressive simplicity make the film accessible to everyone and invite you to reflect on your own cultural influences and to question them.

Cântec de leagăn
Paul Mureșan

2020, 4'0"

Statement of the jury
Unfortunately, even today, many families are hiding dark secrets. The animated short film Cântec de leagăn investigates the innermost depths of a family devastated by domestic violence and alcoholism. In such a climate of terror, we see life still existing with a mother taking care of her new-born, trying to protect him and his big brother from being bullied. The animation technique reflects the different states of mind of the characters perfectly and raise our awareness of the difficulties every family could struggle with at one time and must overcome. Particularly effective is the way in which the song ’’Cântec de leagăn” – a traditional Romanian lullaby performed by Maria Tanase – Is grafted onto the animation.

Prize of the German Competition

worth 4,000 €

Adrian Figueroa

2021, 30'0"

Statement of the jury
A film about the ones at the bottom. The low-paid, the stressed, the overlooked. The outstanding camera follows them closely, often intimately; we feel the pressure, see the sweat and the fear. And yet the protagonists remain at a distance from the viewer. The film does not manufacture sentimental commonalities where there are none. A film about the loneliness of our time.

3sat Emerging Talent Prize

worth 2,500 €
In addition, the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcasted on 3sat.

Genosse Tito, ich erbe
Olga Kosanović

2021, 26'34"

Statement of the jury
A summer in the countryside, the interplay of daily chores in the house and garden and casual reflections about how best to stage the idyll. In front of and behind the camera, the filmmaker looks for answers to how we should deal with our political and material heritage. But neither the conversations with her family nor memories re-discovered on the Internet, nightly tales or the unanswered letters to her über-father help. A local inspection and an analysis of the present day.

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Shine and Frustration
Shira Orion

2020, 4'10"

Statement of the jury
Excessive demands, letting go, experiencing everything at once and having to learn everything anew time and again; a relentless juxtaposition, no discernible patterns – life with its open ends as a cinematic principle.

Prize of the German Online Competition

worth 2,500 €

(Steve) Temple
Tanita Olbrich

2020, 6'3"

Statement of the jury
Come along on a tour through a mysterious world, located somewhere between the 1980s and a utopian idea, between industrial chimneys and Jurassic Parks. Playful, honest and sensual, the director invites you into her admirably personal cosmos full of music and freedom.

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Online Competition

Levantado do Chão
Melissa Dullius, Gustavo Jahn

2020, 11'11"

Statement of the jury
In a situation where we are all forced to become flâneurs, the beauty of this somnambulistic stroll, shot on analogue material, is comforting beyond time and constraints.

Prize of the NRW Competition

worth 1,000 €
sponsored by SAE Institute Cologne and Bochum

Christian Becker

2021, 21'10"

Statement of the jury
Do we succumb to the charm of the material or is it the multi-faceted story of a class, a life, or a relationship – parts of which even seem familiar? A story in which we find ourselves? In-between, the courage of the black screen. We experience a subtle cinematic sense of verbal and visual narrative. We learn about the value of fulfilling work in human life – that, too, seems familiar. Time and again, the outside invades the private sphere: documentary television images of the war in Yugoslavia and burning buildings – we almost forgot how long ago right-wing violence resurfaced in the German Republic. In the beginning we hear the pulse of life, followed by fast and hard cuts of portraits of a man and woman in 1970s aesthetics. The couple grows older and we take part in their leftist liberal bourgeois life, but also in processes of change, interspersed with red light, radiation therapy and introspections, self-questioning caused by a serious illness. A narrative film about life is distinguished here, a touchingly revealing portrait, drawn so intimately, so excitingly, as an existential story that happens at all times and that in the end leaves many questions open for us, the audience, and thus continues in our minds.

Promotional Prize of the NRW Competition

worth 500 €
sponsored by SAE Institute Cologne and Bochum

Trübes Wasser
Elena Wiener

2020, 9'54"

Statement of the jury
The protagonist of this film suffers – her suffering is individual and personal. But it would also be visible to others, this suffering, and she therefore avoids the public. It forces her into quarantine (quarantine – the very mention of this word shows that the film describes current conditions and evokes very contemporary associations). In this quarantine, this isolation, her suffering spreads from the outside to the inside – and becomes terrible fear – and fear, as we all know, can literally eat you up. We, the audience, literally feel the pain. The award-winning film is – an animation. An animation in which simple lines are wrapped in a meaningful colour dramaturgy. An animation into which motivic live film snippets are mixed. An animation which, in combination with an atmospheric sound and music concept, creates psychological thrills and emotionality. An animation that is convincing both in terms of narrative and dramaturgy and in terms of formal aesthetics.

Special Mention of the Jury of the NRW Competition

Hoch Sitzen
Oliver Gather

2021, 24'37"

Statement of the jury
We want to give a Special Mention to a film that operates at the intersection between research and documentation. Right at the beginning, the starting point and perspective of this observation is revealed. We then gradually experience a whole cultural cosmos in strict order: traditions, gender roles, songs. We learn of a special language, that objectifies, legitimizes and exaggerates. And we come to understand the point of view involved. This film is about nothing less than the act of killing. About the decisions of life and death when hunting – completely without need. The starting and ending point of this illuminating dense description is a sculpture: two raised hides facing each other.

Prize of the WDR Westart Audience Jury

worth 750 €
sponsored by WDR Westart

Bis zum letzten Tropfen
Simon Schnellmann

2020, 5'46"

Statement of the jury
A blackly humorous look at the bitter struggle against a deadly disease. It’s about life and death, about brokenness. It’s about weakness, strength, courage and coping with setbacks. And: it’s about hope. Black-and-white lines, no words. An urgent subject, lightly packaged. We find the way the filmmaker tells of existential things like cancer, chemotherapy and the fight for survival with wit and intensity absolutely worthy of an award.

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition

worth 1,000 €
sponsored by Wirtschaftsbetriebe Oberhausen (WBO)

Kiki la plume
Julie Rembauville, Nicolas Bianco-Levrin

2020, 5'47"

Statement of the children's jury
We thought the animation in this film was very beautiful. We also liked the music. The end was a bit sad, we thought, because the bird didn’t fly back to the woman. Still, it was a happy ending for the bird.

Promotional Prize of the Children’s Jury

worth 1,000 €
sponsored by Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

찾아라 달팽이!
Dayoon Kim

2020, 19'57"

Statement of the children's jury
We liked the fact that this film was about friendship. The idea that the girl found a snail and became friends with it was brilliant. It was funny when the girls set out apples to make the snail return. We liked it that they set the snails free at the end so they could stay with their friends.

Special Mention of the Children's Jury

Oxana Kuvaldina

2020, 7'6"

Statement of the jury
We liked the music in this film very much. And the polar lights that could change. We also found it nice that the Husky found a friend at the end.

Prize of the Youth Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition

worth 1,000 €
sponsored by the Rotary Club Oberhausen

Dọlápọ̀ Is Fine
Ethosheia Hylton

2020, 15'0"

Statement of the youth jury
Our winning film expressed very strongly that one doesn’t have to twist and bend and can take one’s own decisions. But it also shows clearly: This doesn’t apply to everyone under the same conditions. Racism can also be hidden in well-meant advice – the young woman in the film showed us that you don’t have to assimilate at all costs. This short film really brings that everyday situation for anyone affected by racism home to us, the audience.

Special Mention of the Youth Jury

Material Bodies
Dorothy Allen-Pickard

2020, 4'22"

Statement of the youth jury
We want to distinguish an extraordinary film with an important message: many things can be normal! We don’t need pity! We really liked the choreographies – they make us understand in a few minutes that a prosthesis is more than just a replacement or a deficit.

ECFA Short Film Award

The award consists of a nomination for the ECFA Short Film Award 2022.

Shower Boys
Christian Zetterberg

2021, 9'20"

Statement of the jury
The ECFA Short Film Jury decided to give their award to a film with a daring story about different aspects of masculinity. Through the nuanced script, the outstanding acting and editing the film reflects the complexity of growing up as a boy and freely exploring your emotions and desires. The main characters are being taught that they can be either “man or mouse”, but the story of the film gradually deconstructs this kind of stereotypes.

Certificates of the Ecumenical Jury

in connection with a recommendation to Matthias Film and Katholisches Filmwerk to buy the film for their educational work

Luca Meisters

2020, 10'39"

Statement of the jury
About looking and finding for love and the difficulty of dealing with it. 14-year-old Nova takes on responsibility for her little sister and in this process goes on a journey to discover her feelings. Nova is a film that was perfectly staged and wonderfully photographed. The script works without pathos and heavy content and yet does not remain on the surface. A coherent and profound film at the same time.

Brúsi Ólason

2020, 16'11"

Statement of the jury
An atmosphere of uncertainty determines a young boy’s weekend-visit at his father. Here, at this remote farm in the sparse and impressive landscape of Iceland begins a rough path of mutual approximation for both. The injury of tthe horse Dalía triggers a decisive change of the relationship of father and son. A film that treats the topic of taking farewell from different perspectives in a quiet and impressive way.

German MuVi Award: 1st Prize

worth 2,000 €
sponsored by SAE Institute Cologne and Bochum

Junge Milliardäre (UWE)

2020, 4'42"

Statement of the jury
Junge Milliardäre
by UWE is an elegant work that smashes, no holds barred, into our supposedly safe routines of perception and classification. We are shown a wobbly deepfake of Elon Mask singing seductively to himself, with ease and routine, on a kind of stage in front of a mirror; a multifaceted game with vanity, identity, longing and thus, of course, pop par excellence. In connection with the music and song, multiple cracks and shifts in the meaning of the images are generated and the question arises as to who is the author here and who is the singer. The obvious glitches, the brittleness of the deepfake make it even more beautiful: the viewer is first fascinated and then increasingly insecure. With great astuteness, in the guise of technical skill, all other filmic means shine through in this enchanting work: collage, suspense, the loving eye, wit and perhaps even a little horror. A brilliant work that’s grounded as firmly in the history of cinema and the world as it is pointing towards the future.

German MuVi Award: 2nd Prize

worth 1,000 €
sponsored by SAE Institute Cologne and Bochum

The Source of the Absolute Knowledge (Jaakko Eino Kalevi)
Christine Gensheimer

2021, 4'52"

Statement of the jury
The Source of the Absolute Knowledge
by Christine Gensheimer won us over with its playful and delicate animation style, which produced memorable images. Through metaphors from pop culture, internet culture and art history, analogue meets digital, pixels meet dabs of paint, Dalí meets emojis. Using collages of changing and merging settings, this video brilliantly combines form and content: The resource of knowledge in our computer age consists of fragmentary pieces of information that require composition by a user. Gensheimer combines image and sound with ease. In an unusually playful way she makes humans meet machines, and only the retro-aesthetics remind us that this relationship was once less light-hearted.

German MuVi Audience Award

chosen by online vote and worth 500 €
sponsored by SAE Institute Cologne and Bochum

NOAH (Christian Löffler)
Mishka Kornai

2020, 3'47"

Special Mention of the MuVi Jury

Rasenmäher in E-Moll (beißpony)
Stephanie Müller, Klaus Erika Dietl

2021, 14'59"

Statement of the jury
A Special Mention goes to Rasenmäher in E-Moll by Stephanie Müller and Klaus Erika Dietl, because filmmaking, like making music, can be an open process where you feel your way forward, occasionally wobble a little, change course a little, sometimes boldly go forward only to watch with amusement as your own work runs away from you. Approaching a shoot with an open mind, not hedging the results, perhaps having a few versions of the preliminary result up your sleeve is an enjoyable and vibrant thing which can get quickly lost in concerns about perfection and security. This Special Mention is also explicitly meant as an encouragement to take a few steps further along this unclear, funny path.

MuVi International Award: 1st Prize

worth 2,000 €

Hungry Baby (Kim Gordon)
Clara Balzary

2021, 5'41"

Statement of the jury
For us, Hungry Baby is the quintessence of a music video. Director Clara Balzary did a masterful job directing this video on the raw and vibrant song by Kim Gordon. It is daring in its directorial simplicity, and how vulnerability is expressed by the excellence of the actress Coco Gordon-Moore’s dance, showing us both rage and the joy and comfort of music as a liberating force. Balzary chose to set the scene in a desolate parking lot that very much breathes the feeling of angst at the onset of Corona and its commodification of every day experience. The narrative construct of a male aggressor at the beginning unfolds into a juxtaposition of survival in which the female takes over and leaves us with a life affirming feeling at the end, as the music blasts us out of a restrictive reality.

MuVi International Award: 2nd Prize

worth 1,000 €

Traitors (Benefits)
Kingsley Hall

2020, 4'27"

Statement of the jury
by Kingsley Hall is one of the most political films in this section, convincing in its simplicity and evidence. Few means are sufficient for the production to communicate a feeling of anxiety and powerlessness to the viewers. Using the stylistic device of affirmation, Kingsley Hall takes up the (often right-wing) criticism of Brexit’s opponents, the so-called ’’snowflakes”: While in terms of content the criticism is passively-aggressively accepted, it is rejected on the level of form. Delivered as a rant, initially as direct sound and accompanied by the protagonist’s ever-darker expression, it finally culminates in a painful slow-motion scream. Kingsley Hall has found a trenchant form for a social mood. Traitors effectively expresses what plays a role not just in political discussions of Brexit but in the politicised and emotionally charged online debate culture in general: despair in the face of the seeming irresolvability of prevailing polarisations.

MuVi International Audience Award

chosen by online vote and worth 500 €

Portadoras queer: el doble y la repetición (Ascii.Disko)
Ana Laura Aláez

2020, 15'39"

Special Mention of the MuVi Jury

Station Three (Quartet Diminished)
Pooya Razi

2021, 2'45"

Statement of the jury
We as a jury wanted to honour the creative eye and personal process of independent makers taking risks over technical highlights. Our Special Mention goes to Station Three (Quartet Diminished) by Iranian director Pooya Razi. He uses stop motion technique using self-made constructions of coloured pencil structures and 3D Zoetrope trying to shed light on the functioning of systems versus the individual. We honour the way in which creativity unfolds despite collective socio-political circumstances, and the ongoing excellence of creative input by the music of Quartet Diminished.

International Competition

The world's oldest short film competition is a forum for experiments, unusual content and formats, and the place for cinematic discoveries, regardless of genre and production country. Every year, filmmakers from over 40 countries present themselves here. Only international festival premieres are admitted to this competition. The professional audience researches new films here, and a premiere shown in this competition is often a springboard for selection at other festivals - not least for the Oscar.

Filmmakers from all over the world are invited to present their work in person. The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen appoints its own selection committee and juries for this competition, in which the traditional Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen is awarded.

In 2021, the Short Film Festival introduced a second international competition, the International Online Competition, which will be screened exclusively online. Starting in 2021, international productions can be submitted for either the International Competition or the International Online Competition, but not for both.

In terms of timing, the International Online Competition will be separated from the competitions in the cinema: from April 30 to May 3, 2022, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen will present the online competitions, and from May 4, the Festival plans to show the traditional competition programmes in the cinema. The awards ceremony will then take place jointly on May 8.

Former contributions

Among the international contributions were works by: Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Santiago Álvarez, Lindsay Anderson, Roy Andersson, Kenneth Anger, Andrea Arnold, Yael Bartana, Neil Beloufa, Jürgen Böttcher, Walerian Borowczyk, Stan Brakhage, Vera Chytilová, Jem Cohen, Terence Davies, Khavn De La Cruz, Valie Export, Milos Forman, Robert Frank, Karpo Godina, James Herbert, Takashi Ito, Joris Ivens, Ken Jacobs, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Isaac Julien, Miranda July, William Kentridge, Jan Lenica, George Lucas, Dusan Makavejev, Jonas Mekas, Mike Mills, Kornel Mundruczo, Robert Nelson, Yoko Ono, Adina Pintilie, Roman Polanski, Laure Prouvost, Alain Resnais, Pipilotti Rist, Martin Scorsese, Cate Shortland, John Smith, Michael Snow, Alexander Sokurov, Jan Svankmajer, Eva Stefani, István Szabó, Matsumoto Toshio, François Truffaut, Gus Van Sant, Agnès Varda, Bill Viola, Apitchatpong Weerasethakul, Jia Zhang-Ke, Zelimir Zilinik


International Online Competition

In 2021, Oberhausen introduced the International Online Competition, which gives an international audience the opportunity to immerse themselves in the enormous diversity of short film, regardless of location. It is held separately from the International Competition with its own regulations. A special selection committee chooses about 40 films from all over the world for this competition. Only German festival premieres are admitted to this competition. International productions and co-productions with Germany can be submitted either for the International Competition or the International Online Competition, but not for both, and compete for their own prizes in each case, which are awarded by different juries.

In terms of timing, the International Online Competition will be separated from the competitions in the cinema: from 30 April to 3 May 2022, Festival will present the online competitions, and from 4 May, the on-site competitions will be screened in the cinema. The award ceremony will then take place together on 8 May.


German Competition

With surprising diversity, topicality and a critical eye, Germany's oldest short film competition impresses its audience anew every year. Innovative short films by established filmmakers and newly discovered talents, produced in Germany but with themes from all over the world, compete here. The German Competition gathers independent artistic positions of all genres and is appreciated especially by international audiences as a showcase of German short film. A premiere shown here is noticed attentively and is often a door opener for other festivals. In addition, some of the entries submitted here also take part in the International Competition.

In 2021, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen introduced a second German competition, the German Online Competition, which is shown exclusively online. In terms of timing, the German Online Competition will be separated from the competitions in the cinema: from May 1 to 3, 2022, the Festival will present the new online competitions; from May 4, the Festival plans to show the traditional competition programmes in the cinema. The awards ceremony will then take place jointly on May 8.

Former contributions

Unter den deutschen Beiträgen waren Arbeiten von: Jürgen Böttcher, Detlev Buck, Phil Collins, Hellmuth Costard, Doris Dörrie, Andreas Dresen, Valie Export, Harun Farocki, Jeanne Faust, Werner Herzog, Romuald Karmakar, Alexander Kluge, Volker Koepp, Korpys/Löffler, Jan Krüger, Matthias Müller, Bjørn Melhus, Werner Nekes, Peter Schamoni, Ulrich Schamoni, Angela Schanelec, Christoph Schlingensief, Rudolf Thome, Adolf Winkelmann und Sönke Wortmann


German Online Competition

In 2021, Oberhausen introduced the German Online Competition, which is run separately from the German Competition with its own regulations. Since then, German productions can be submitted for either the German Competition or the German Online Competition, but not for both, and compete for their own prizes in each case. Entries in the German Online Competition do not have to be festival premieres.

Here, too, innovative short films by established filmmakers and newly discovered talents, produced in Germany but with themes from all over the world, compete. The German Online Competition brings together independent artistic positions from all genres.

In terms of timing, the German Online Competition will be separated from the on-site competitions: from 30 April to 3 May 2022, the Festival will present the online competitions, and from 4 May the on-site competitions will take place in the cinema. The award ceremony will then take place jointly on 8 May.


NRW Competition

In the youngest competition at Oberhausen, the filmmakers of the region meet their audience. The varied programme presents independent productions as well as the most interesting student films of the current year. Here, regulars of the Festival meet new talents still to be discovered - a mixture highly appreciated by both regional and professional audiences.

North Rhine-Westphalia is not only home to the Oberhausen Festival but also one of the most important and creative film production locations in Germany. And the NRW competition, as diverse in scope as North Rhine-Westphalia as a film location, is open to all genres, styles and themes.

The short films submitted here have a threefold chance of being shown at the Festival because, in addition to the NRW Competition, they can also qualify for the German or International Competition. The films are selected by an independent committee.


Children's and Youth Film Competition

The Children's and Youth Film Competition was established in 1978 and is one of the most popular sections of our Festival. It not only opens up unusual perspectives on the world to young viewers. Whether animation or documentary, experimental or feature film, there are no limits to the variety of cinematic forms.

Every year, an independent commission selects around 45 films and videos from more than 25 countries from the submissions for the German and International Competition and programmes them for the various age groups, starting from the age of three. The filmmakers* are invited to Oberhausen to present their films in person and to discuss them with the audience - an event that regularly meets with much applause on both sides.

The prizes are awarded by juries of children and young people. In addition, a jury of experts nominates a film for the ECFA Short Film Award which was initiated by Oberhausen. The children's and youth film competition is accompanied by a series of film education projects for children, young people and educators.


Franziska Ferdinand

German MuVi Award

With the MuVi Award for the best German music video, Oberhausen launched the world's first festival prize for music videos in 1999.  Over the years, the MuVi Award has become a meeting place and forum for filmmakers, the trade press and the short film scene - a place to make discoveries and be discovered. Above all, it has developed into a real audience favourite. Here the Festival pleads for the extraordinary visual form as well. Only current music videos whose director or production is based in Germany are nominated.

An independent commission will select ten to twelve candidates from the submissions, who will be invited and screened at the festival. An international MuVi jury will award the prize winners. In addition, an audience award will be presented, which will be determined by voting on the Internet. All awards will be presented at the MuVi Award Ceremony on May 7.

Further links

Submission (open from September)
Regulations MuVi (open from September)
MuVi 14+
after youtube


Jessica Manstetten