© Kurzfilmtage / Daniel Gasenzer © Kurzfilmtage / Daniel Gasenzer © Kurzfilmtage / Daniel Gasenzer
Mavericks, MouveMents, Manifestos
On 28 February 1962, at the 8th West German Short Film Festival in Oberhausen, 26 West German filmmakers proclaimed: "The old film is dead. We believe in the new one." This moment marked a milestone in the development of German cinema - never before, and never again, would a break with existing production conditions be demanded, and induced, with such vehemence. As brutish as the Oberhausen Manifesto may have appeared in those days, it was truly a sign of the times. All over the world, people were coming together to try to change cinema, often enough declaring their plans through manifestos.
Artists announce new beginnings, groups search for alternative forms of production and aesthetics: breaks with the past are a universal necessity. What can the manifestos and groupings of the past teach us about the present-day state of art and cinema culture(s)? To address this question, the festival will be presenting further movements from the period of the Oberhausen Manifesto. At the centre are the Oberhauseners themselves; dozens of their works have been restored expressly for this programme. In addition, five movements from five different countries will reflect the whole spectrum of efforts undertaken in those years to shake up prevailing conditions.
In 1959 the Balázs Béla Stúdió was founded in Hungary as a field for experimentation beyond the official cinema; the New American Cinema Group around Jonas Mekas, in its First Statement in summer 1961, demanded radical change in the US cinema; in April 1964 more than 80 Japanese filmmakers came together to establish the Eiga geijutsu no kai (Film Art Society) in an effort to reform documentary film from the ground up. As early as 1953, the Groupe des Trente in France published its manifesto in defence of the short film, while in the late 1950s in Sweden a cohort rallied around museum founder and curator Pontus Hultén, whose efforts to link the visual arts with experimental film are just as pertinent today as they were then.
The Curator: Ralph Eue is a journalist, curator and translator who lives mostly in Berlin. He has worked for various print media and produced features and documentaries for ARTE and ZDF. Eue is a programme adviser to various film festivals and cultural institutions. He teaches at the Berlin University of the Arts, the University of Vienna and the DFFB in Berlin.
The Co-Curator: Olaf Möller. Born 1971. Cologne-based. Author and curator. Has been in the Festival Committee of the Short Film Festival since 2005.
Contact: Kristina Henschel