Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

Press review

“Think big” is definitely a motto in Oberhausen, this intense festival celebrating the seemingly small art of the short film.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 11 May 2015


Year by year, the sheer diversity found especially in the international competition should be enough to make countless bigger film festivals blush with embarrassment.

der Freitag, Germany, 7 May 2015


Oberhausen’s Short Film Festival may be approaching pensionable age, but it is still full of youthful vitality and innovation.

Sight & Sound, UK, July 2015


The festival [that] welcomes artists, distributors, archivists and audiences to share the center and build a nexus for short film culture., USA, 22 June 2015


… intelligently presented archive showcases and retrospectives of renowned avant-garde filmmakers…

Der Tagesspiegel, Germany, 7 May 2015


We need festivals like Oberhausen to keep the diversity of film forms alive, at least as a possibility, in our daily cinema routines. May the Arte Povera of the short film restore to the cinema the thoughtful use of its resources.

Junge Welt, Germany, 11 May 2015


It is a challenging choice [awarding the Grand Prize to Wojciech Bakowski], in accordance with the spirit of this long-established festival that has long bridged the gap to the fine arts.

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, 6 May 2015


The strength of Oberhausen is its commitment to continuing to showcase contentious content., USA, 12 May 2015


The glory of cinema has long developed its own allure and survived all technical innovations unscathed, like the festival in Oberhausen.

Die Welt, Germany, 6 May 2015


What best represents Oberhausen is a lack of hierarchy in presenting short film. Equal importance, weight and screen space is devoted to all manner of moving image that might fit into what we categorise as short film. There are no rules other than duration.

Senses of Cinema No. 75, Australia, June 2015


The Oberhausen Short Film Festival, which hosted its 61st edition from April 30–May 5 this year, promotes the moving image's most essential and investigational format since its beginnings – and it feels like there’s never been a better time for the short film. Without polemics or soap-boxing, but with much food for thought, a sense of what is happening in the world of short film today was woven into diverse screenings, talks, and special programs. Whether the festival’s works or thematic concerns were new or old, retrospective or cutting edge, the context and thinking in the overall curating was entirely seated in 2015.

ArtSlant, USA, May 2015


61 years have passed since it was founded, but the Oberhausen Festival (cradle of the Manifesto that gave rise to the New German Cinema of the 1970s) continues to remain the true bastion of all creators for whom short film is the ideal format for experimentation.

Cuadernos de Cine, Spain, June 2015


In its programming, too, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, under the dedicated leadership of Lars Henrik Gass for almost 20 years now, has in its 61st year left its “educational film” beginnings far behind and with its five competitions and substantial supporting programmes has successfully met the demands of a globalised festival and art circus for many years.


taz, Germany, 7 May 2015


The question of what the value and place of cinema in our society are today has been a constant topic of discussion – lively and fruitful discussion – in Oberhausen since 2007.

Ray online, Austria, June 2015


This year, the festival was once again able to confirm its rank as the most important platform for the presentation of short, experimental and political cinema from all over the world, as well as its reputation as a place of encounter between the film industry and the art world.

Camera Austria International, Austria, No. 130, Summer 2015


Faced with the wide range of filmic modes of expression, from animation to experimental works and short documentaries to short features, the discussion of the potential and implications of film images ran like a thread through all programmes.

der Freitag, Germany, 7 May 2015


[It is] refreshing to see that there is a reliable institution like Oberhausen where the genre of the short film is ennobled by presenting it on the big screen. Especially since artistic films are rarely found in the cinemas nowadays but have found their biological niche in the gallery, if not the museum.

Berliner Zeitung, Germany, 4 May 2015


In its 61st edition, Oberhausen presented itself not so much at the crossroads between the contexts of “film” and “art”. A choice was made. […] Oberhausen is the first film curators’ festival in the world.

Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, 6 May 2015



The Third Image


A joyful, playful cinema of attractions.

Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 11 May 2015


The Oberhausen programme (comprising around 50 films, not all stereoscopic) showed there’s no simple antagonism between commercial and experimental 3D cinema.

frieze d/e, Germany, June-August 2015


This programme [of 3D films] turned out to be playful and quite enjoyable, curated by the filmmaker Björn Speidel, a true hipster of the stereoscopic image, with reserved passion.

epd film, Germany, June 2015


As 3-D cinema was the curated theme of this year’s International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, the plethora of films and 3-D techniques  (or as the curator Björn Speidel more accurately calls it: “stereoscopic techniques”) granted the perfect opportunity to explore the myths, possibilities and limitations of a cinema in the third dimension., USA, 9 June 2015


Seven minutes in which the world is out of order, even by the standards of avant-garde cinema. For this alone [Red Capriccio, Blake Williams] the theme programme “The Third Image – 3D Cinema as Experiment”, much reviled in Oberhausen, including occasionally by me, but perhaps, taken for all in all, undeservedly, was worth watching., Germany, 6 May 2015


Are aesthetic and intellectual solutions found for artistic statements that can be expressed adequately “only” through this new technology? Though the overall impression of the Oberhausen theme programme tempted one to give a pessimistic answer, there were still a few works who managed to create this spark. They open perspectives to artistic 3D cinema that work only through stereoscopic realization. [e.g. “Curtains“, Lucy Raven; „Back Track“, Virgil Widrich].

Filmdienst Nr. 11, Germany, 28 May 2015


Thinking critically about issues such as depicting space in film and video, and the myth that innovation in moving image production technologies will bring the viewer more ‘real’ representations of the world, was left to a number of quality films spread through the rest of the festival’s many profile programmes, competition strands, archive presentations and distributor selections.

Frieze blog, UK, 1 June 2015


This was in fact the great strength of the 3D programme: no other section in this year’s festival, by a generous margin, cast its net quite as wide. […] Sometimes sublimely silly, as in Nicolas Deveaux’s 5.80 METRES (2012) in which giraffes jump off a diving board (necks craned towards the audience), sometimes decoratively dreary as in AURORA BOREALIS 3D by Nakamura Ikuo (2014), who set the technical masterstroke of filming stereoscopic shots of the northern lights to the most cloying piano soundtrack the public domain has to offer.


cargo, Germany, June-August 2015



The show, curated by Björn Speidel, gained perhaps most plausibility where the works enhanced the sense of the processuality of visual perception: for example the looped installation of Lucy Raven’s film Curtains (USA 2014).

Eikon, Austria, No. 90, summer 2015




Profile Ito Takashi



To see an artist’s entire body of work in one sitting is to gain privileged access to their infatuations, and with the retrospective of Ito Takashi’s film work of the last 25 years screened at this year’s International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, we were granted access to this particular matrix of obsessions, to witness its growth, its transformation, and its evolution., USA, 4 June 2015



MuVi Award


The selection of the best music videos proved once again that the Festival is an oasis for the artistic interpretation of music that would otherwise be crushed in the commercial mills of mainstream taste.

NRZ/WAZ, Germany, 4 May 2015