Voodoo © Sandro Aguilar I'm Not the Enemy © Bjørn Melhus Nation Estate © Larissa Sansour Far From © Barbara Sternberg Armulaud © Jaan Toomik Girlfriends © Nina Yuen
Apart from the major subject-related THEME, the Festival has presented through the years also PROFILES of important filmmakers and institutions, some of whom have dealt with the short form for decades.
Contact: Michaela Taschek
Sandro Aguilar, Portugal
12 + 13 May
In his short films, the Portuguese director Sandro Aguilar often experiments with narrative structures, breaking with classic patterns. Visually fascinating and often award-winning, his works make full use of all available cinematic means, such as light and sound. In 2011, his Mercúrio won the Principal Prize at Oberhausen. He has worked as a producer on films by authors including Miguel Gomes and Manuel Oliveira.
Bjørn Melhus, Germany
13, 14 + 15 May
Melhus’s works are shown at film festivals as well as museums and galleries. Oberhausen has been featuring his short films since the early 1990s, and in 2003 he won the German Competition with Auto Center Drive. Melhus, who always appears in his films, works with familiar characters and themes, which he deconstructs through fragmentation, repetition and recontextualization. This retrospective reveals cross-connections and other strategies.
Larissa Sansour, Palestinian Territories
The Palestinian filmmaker is regarded as one of the most promising young artists of her generation. Her films are at once artistic and political, approaching the complexity of life in the Middle East with the help of humorous references to genres such as science fiction, spaghetti westerns and horror films. Her work Nation Estate won an award at Oberhausen in 2013.
Barbara Sternberg, Canada
12 + 13 May
Sternberg, who comes from Canada, has been making films since the mid-1970s but is still awaiting discovery in Europe. Oberhausen is now redressing this omission with a retrospective. Sternberg combines classic avant-garde film with personal themes, questioning how we perceive reality and how people position themselves in the world. In addition to films, she also does performances, installations and videos.
Jaan Toomik, Estonia
Toomik is one of Estonia’s best-known painters as well as a video and performance artist. His cinematic oeuvre is comparatively small and has rarely been presented in full. The relentlessly bleak films plumb the depths of the human psyche, often with a personal background but going far beyond it. He won the Principal Prize at Oberhausen in 2008 for his film Communion.
Nina Yuen, USA
15 + 16 May
Born in 1981, Nina Yuen belongs to a younger generation of experimental filmmakers active in both film and art contexts. Her works are performative and personal. She almost always appears in them and she often focuses on characters on the margins of society. Oberhausen has presented the works of the queer Hispanic filmmaker on several occasions, most recently Narcissus in 2016.