Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen


© Kurzfilmtage / Daniel Gasenzer

Exploring contemporary artists' moving image practice


A new programme segment, introduced by the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in conjunction with LUX (London) and The Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (New York), and held for the first time during the 60th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (1 to 6 May, 2014).


The Seminar is an experimental course exploring contemporary artists' moving image practice in the context of a renowned international film festival. Led by a curator, it is designed to provide a platform where art and cinema meet. The first edition will be led by curator, filmmaker and historian Federico Windhausen. The Seminar will interrogate themes, issues, and curatorial premises that arise in the presentation of artists' film and video, with each session responding to the screenings and events taking place during one of the key international film festivals for artists’ moving image. Within each session, international practitioners from various fields – artists and filmmakers, curators and researchers who work with the moving image – will discuss their work on a number of levels, including the technical and the conceptual. The Seminar is also designed to provide multiple opportunities for participants to profit from each other's specific experiences and from their exchanges with a wide range of international practitioners. The Seminar will consider issues relevant to film programming, such as the ways that curatorial juxtapositions might draw out points of connection between different styles. The larger objective will be to survey two lively fields of activity, filmmaking and programming, and to better understand the many moving parts that make up the festival.


The Seminar is open to international artists and filmmakers, curators and researchers who work with moving images and in particular with artists' film and video as part of their ongoing practice. Participants are expected to actively contribute to the course of study through a combination of open critical response and reflection upon their own ideas and approaches. The open call is aimed at those for whom this outline resonates and who feel that they would like to attend the Seminar.


Seminar fees cover all Seminar sessions plus a Festival pass, providing access to all screenings, events and talks during the Festival, as well as refreshments and lunch for the festival period (6 days). All Seminar activities will take place in English. Only 30 applications will be selected.


The curator of the upcoming Seminar will be filmmaker, curator and historian Federico Windhausen. He is currently Assistant Professor of Film, Visual Studies, and Fine Arts at the California College of the Arts. He was guest curator at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, New York City, at The Free Screen, Toronto International Film Festival, and the Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, California; he was also a curatorial consultant for Animasivo Animation Festival, Mexico City, and Semana del Filmexperimental, Buenos Aires. His research areas include experimental practices in film, video, and digital art, and Latin American cinema.


The 2014 Oberhausen Seminar will initiate an in-depth exploration with a focalizing theme: the fragment. The short film is a format that has often lent itself to a resistance to notions of textual wholeness and the illusion of seamless continuity, but the exploration of fragmented form also reflects a variety of objectives and motivations. In our conversations with filmmakers, curators, and seminar attendees, we will track how differing modes of fragmentation manifest themselves within the festival's programmes and how their cultural meanings might vary. The Seminar will also provide a sense of the historical trajectories out of which contemporary trends and tendencies have emerged.


The theme is intended to serve as one guiding topic. It will be threaded throughout a series of sessions that will respond in a dynamic and flexible manner to developments within the festival and to the interests of the Seminar's participants. Discussions about the films themselves, often conducted with invited filmmakers, will play a central role in the Seminar, but we will also examine the structure of the festival and the nature of its programmes.


The organisers

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, founded in 1954, is one of the oldest short film festivals in the world and one of the major international platforms for the short form. Oberhausen is known for its prestigious competition sections and for its extensive thematic programmes. In addition, the festival offers visitors a well-equipped Video Library, operates a non-commercial short film distribution service and owns an archive of short films from 60 years of cinema history.


LUX is a public arts agency based in London that exists to support and promote artists' moving image work, through distribution, exhibition, education, publishing and research. The particular focus of LUX is visual arts-based moving image work – a definition which includes experimental film, video art, installation art, performance art, personal documentary, essay films and animation, and is inclusive both in terms of context and critical discourse.


The annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, founded in 1955, provides media makers, users, teachers and students an opportunity to confront the core of the creative process, reaffirm the freedom of the independent artist to explore beyond known limits and renew the challenge to discover.


In co-operation with the Ruhr-Universität Bochum Institute of Media Science and the Goethe University Frankfurt Institute of Theater, Film and Media Studies.