Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen


Jury of the International Competition 2009

João Garçao Borges (Portugal), Amrit Gangar (India), Angela Haardt (Germany), Mike Hoolboom (Canada), Kathy Rae Huffman (Germany)

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen (7,500 €)

A Letter to Uncle Boonmee
Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Thailand 2009, 18', Beta SP, colour



For creating a cinematographic idiom that transcends conventional documentary realism or its representation. For evolving a temporality that is unhurried and reflexive and yet deeply disturbing as it references the brutalities of army and war through re-imagining the village of Nabua.

Principal Prize (3,500 €)

Ketamin - Hinter dem Licht
(Ketamin - Behind the Light)
Carsten Aschmann
Germany 2009, 21', Beta SP, colour


When the shadows of cinema invite us to go on a journey behind the light, the sounds of chords, beauty, art and probably death echo through the abstraction of the film form, like in Ketamin - Hinter dem Licht.

Principal Prize (3,500 €)

True Story
Robert Frank
USA 2004/2008, 26', DV, colour and bw






An unending family catastrophe provides an epicentre of loss for the aging artist who, after a lifetime of raw picture wounds, demonstrates a deep tenderness, a living ethics with partner and artist June Leaf.

ARTE Prize for a european short film (2,500 €)

Duncan Campbell
Great Britain 2008, 37', DV, colour and bw




Bernadette Devlin's extraordinary political conviction is captured in TV coverage that documented Northern Ireland's barricaded city of Derry and the Bloody Sunday of 30 January 1972. Devlin's own imprisonment for her attack in Parliament on the British Home Secretary is an achievement of her radical activist role. Duncan Campbell frames Bernadette's story with uncomfortable "white spaces" which reflect on the dissolution of her parameters as the divided country eventually becomes the divided self.

Special Mention of the international Jury

Alla Kovgan und David Hinton
USA 2009, 36', Beta SP, colour




For its delirious chromatics and a continual metamorphosis from dance deliriums, intertitled diary moments, gender bending choreography and village vignettes, a surprising turn after turn.

Prize of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia (5,000 €)

A Letter to Uncle Boonmee
Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Thailand 2009, 18', Beta SP, colour



The jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia awards its prize to a film which, while pretending to be a failed project, masterfully opens ever new visual and associative spaces. The film ranges between a biographical story, a reflection of cinematographic narratives right to the representation of political and historical contexts.
Apichatpong Weerasethakul’s film A Letter to Uncle Boonmee is convincing in its clever design and sensuality.


Members of the Jury:
Barbara Engelbach (Cologne), Nikolaj Nikitin (Cologne), Ruth Schiffer (Düsseldorf), Ulrike Sprenger (Konstanz), Stefan Westerwelle (Cologne)

Special Mention

Severin Fiala and Ulrike Putzer
Austria 2009, 34'30'', 35 mm, colour





Elefantenhaut portrays a woman in rural Austria between her work as a packer in a print shop and her nursing her bed-ridden mother. The film is captivating in its outstanding directing, which gives the lay actor the space to contributed her personal experiences and make these seminal for the film. Thus the film becomes a precise milieu study beyond all clichés.

The International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

Duncan Campbell
Great Britain 2008, 37', DV, colour and bw




This film is an intriguing portrait of a young woman whose political activism made a significant impact in the times of the Northern Irish conflict and the events of the Bloody Sunday. Using newsreel and archival footage, it captures the universal truth of political engagement and of the possibilities and difficulties of a life thereafter.


Members of the Jury:
Philippe Gajan (Canada), Dietman Kammerer (Germany), Marina Kostova (Macedonia)

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury (1,500 €)

(Elephant Skin)
Severin Fiala and Ulrike Putzer
Austria 2009, 34'30'', 35 mm, colour



Although the film shows people in miserable surroundings, they prove themselves to be loving, strong and caring. It takes a contemporary view of a current topic and draws our attention to possibilities of life we believed lost.


Members of the Jury:
Julia Helmke (Germany), Gudrun Hohenberger (Austria), Vanessa Weinert Locke (Germany), Natalie Resch (Austria), Eberhard Streier (Germany)

Special Mention

The Conservatory
Matilda Tristram
Great Britain 2008, 2'30'', Beta SP, colour






In a short and humorous way the film shows how the unspoken takes on form, inflicts injury and is overcome.

Prize of the Cinema Jury, in connection with two buying options on the awarded works by the Short Film Agency Hamburg

Sirah Foighel Brutmann and Eitan Efrat
Netherlands/Israel 2008, 3', DV, colour



We hear a drum kit and a kettledrum, we hear about military service and the feelings of a mother. We see a musician, but we don’t see his head. And yet the filmmakers manage to create a very vivid and personal image of an individual in our heads and, in passing, draw our attention to the conflicts and contradictions of our age.


Members of the Jury:
Vildana Drljević (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Dirk Steinkühler (Germany), Martin Urban (Germany)

Prize of the Cinema Jury

Bjørn Melhus
Germany 2008, 3'30'', DV, colour






This film extracts the essence of action movies. Their soundtracks provide the rhythm for the strobe light effects where planes of different colours dance on the screen. The filmmaker edits all this so originally and extraordinarily that the spectator who allows himself to be immersed in this experience takes off with the starting helicopter, is shaken thoroughly and at last gently lowered back into his or her cinema seat.

Special Mention

Alicja Jaworski
Sweden 2009, 7', 35 mm, colour




This animated films manages to tell its young audiences the story of “being different” and of friendship by simple means, using not much more than one sound.

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (500 €)

Burning Palace
Mara Mattuschka
Austria 2009, 32', Beta SP, colour



This year we chose a film in which physical and emotional borders are transgressed and re-defined in an equally breathtaking, intelligent and spectacular manner. We would like to draw attention to the consistent cinematic adaptation of a stage play with a cast of impressive dancers. Sound, image and montage have a sensual quality whose intelligent opulence impressed us all.

Jury of the German Competition 2009

Maike Mia Höhne (Germany), Rainer Komers (Germany), Isabella Reicher (Austria)

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition ex aequo (2,500 € each)

Michel Klöfkorn
Germany 2009, 11', DV, colour

n.n. takes elements of a technoid cultural landscape and animates them to create an equally funny and scary motion spectacle in the shape of a growing swarm of ant-like creatures that gleefully shred the set pieces of our civilisation to bits. The world only comes to rest in the uninhabited eternal ice.

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition ex aequo (2,500 € each)

Please Say Something
David OReilly
Germany 2009, 10', DV, colour




A classic scenario forms the starting point of some exuberant explorations on film: Please Say Something takes a modern look at an ancient problem: how to reconcile love and creativity. The question triggers subtle and original visual fireworks full of references. At the centre: cat and mouse. Forever.

3sat-Promotional-Award (2,500 €) for a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded works to be broadcast on 3sat. Ex aequo for:

Gonzalo H. Rodríguez
Germany 2009, 24', Beta SP, colour




Various cinematic means are employed in the course of this fragile, searching movement: a buried life is circled in images, writing and sound, in visual associations, mimetic adaptations, by means of documents and fragments of interviews. Approaches are tried and abandoned. There is no certainty at the end; the search continues. It’s this experience that counts.

Jury of the NRW Competition

Gabi Hinderberger (Bochum), Ute Mader (Leverkusen), Dirk Steinkühler (Cologne)

First Prize of the NRW Competition (1,000 €), sponsored by the NRW.BANK

A Taste of Honey
Simon Rittmeier
Germany 2008, 10', Beta SP, b/w






This black and white film reveals unexpected impressions of Cuba in the year 49 after the revolution: a less than motivated sales assistant, fans that don’t work because of the power failures, senior citizens at a dance, the Santera performing a religious ritual on the beach. The paralysis of life is manifest in the images, which are accompanied by atmospheric sounds. In spite of censorship and state control, the director manages to illustrate the absence of utopias in this tropical paradise and capture its stultifying atmosphere. The title of the film was taken from a Beatles song, because, above all, John Lennon was honoured with a monument in Havana.

Second Prize of the NRW Competition (500 €), sponsored by the NRW.BANK

Dial M for Mother
Eli Cortiñas Hidalgo
Germany 2008, 11'30'', Beta SP, colour


This film is first and foremost a definite monument to the film star Gena Rowlands. A very subtle artistic quality is introduced into the film’s concept by its sophisticated montage, because it creates a second level where the focus is on the director’s phone conversations with her mother who, by means of split screens, leaves subtly altered impressions on the film star’s image. The frequent and exasperating ringing of the phone in combination with snatches of dialogue creates an extremely dense atmosphere.

Special Mention

Natalia Stürz
Germany, 1', DV, colour




Rarely do we listen as closely as when we listen to the news – even the news on television. The filmmaker listens even more closely and discovers the instant just before the news. In a concentrated and rapidly edited montage, she compiles the moments when the speaker draws breath and still manages to convey each news item.

Prize of the Children Jury (1,000 €), sponsored by Neue Ruhr Zeitung

Members of the Jury:
Jonas Held (10), Larissa Janssen (10), Sybel Krämer (9), Alexander Michalopoulos (10), Niklas Schubert (10)

Adriaan: Een Kist voor Stippie
(Adriaan: A Coffin for Stippie)
Mischa Kamp
Netherlands 2007, 9', Beta SP, colour

Stippie, Adriaan’s dog, has died and is buried. Many of us have been through such a situation and the film reflects the feelings realistically and comprehensibly, especially via the music. We can easily identify with Adriaan. We were particularly attracted by the wonderful actors and the music. The film is the right mixture of sad and funny.

Special Mention of the Children Jury

The Problem with Pets
Catriona Craig
Great Britain 2008, 13', DV, colour




The film is told in a special way. The actors look crazy and the costumes and the music make the film seem funny, even though the topic is actually very serious.

Prize of the Youth Jury (1,000 €), sponsored by Peter Ustinov Stiftung

Alex Winckler
Great Britain 2008, 12'30'', Beta SP, colour



The artful play with different languages, uncomplicated characters and a flowing plot captivated us and did not get boring. Ralph tries to find his beloved in a foreign country whose language he does not speak. With a surprising turn of events, which gives a beautiful example of love, this short film touches its audience and we remember it for a long time afterwards.


Members of the Jury:
Tobias Aarns (16), Marvin Dahlem (16), Katherina Pasaliari (16), Gerrit Plucinski (16), Fritz Schippers (16)

Special Mention of the Youth Jury

Hanne Larsen
Norway 2008, 15'30'', 35 mm, colour

The special mention of this year’s Childrens’ and Youth Film Competition goes to a film which is convincing by its outstanding, authentic and believable actors, by its criticism of peer pressure and its exciting style. All this is what we like in short films.

Special mention of the Children Jury

Poes en de maan

director: Suzanne Tuynman

Netherlands 2006








The Children's Jury awards another Special Mention because in this film a cat comforts the moon by making music on its whiskers, and thus plays a trick on the sun. We also thought that Poes en de maan.

Jury of the MuVi Award 2009

Elke Buhr (Berlin); Diedrich Diederichsen (Berlin/Wien); Herbert Fritsch (Berlin)

1st Prize (2,500 €)

Pasajeros peregrinos pilotos

a video by: Thomas Köner

music: Porter Ricks

production: Thomas Köner

label: Chain Reaction, Hardwax

Germany, 2008





Because we were amazed by the video’s image editing principle which is as simple as it is plausible. The classic view from a window down to a square reveals the pedestrians’ movements as ornaments, creates a visual narrative and effortlessly links it to the phenomenon that social ornaments in our control-obsessed society allow intimate conclusions about the individual.

2nd Prize (1,500 €)


a video by Xenia Lesniewski

production: Xenia Lesniewski, HfG Offenbach

music: Groenland Orchestra

label: Staubgold

Germany, 2009



This video convinced us by its thematic and creative competence. The coloured planes, edited like strobe light into the clip, put the visual narrative into perspective and provide a reflective contrast.

3rd Prize (1,000 €)


a video by Karl Kliem

production: Dienststelle

music: Lithops

label: Thrill Jockey

Germany, 2008



We liked this video because it has a kind of negative grandeur, generated by an overdose of everyday ugliness, down to the grotesque masks of bland hot-topic politicians and website graphics standardised to death. The powers of the deliberately bored are mobilised against this lightly directed banal digital pollution.

The MuVi Online Audience Award (500 €)

The MuVi Online Audience Award is determined by the all internet users who cast their votes at




It goes to:


Zum König geboren

a video by Daniel Franke und Martin W. Maier

production: We Are Chop Chop

music: Marteria

label: Four Music

Germany, 2009


The winner of the MuVi Online Audience Award is chosen by Internet users who cast their votes at (in co-operation with