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2018

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 8,000 €

Dėmės ir įbrėžimai (Stains and Scratches)
Deimantas Narkevičius
Lithuania 2017, 7 min. 51 sec., 3D, b/w

Statement:
A stereoscopic and sculptural illusion deconstructs sound and image, absence and presence to expand the projected surface. This film creates a unique exploration of what the cinematic experience can be and is a brilliant response to this year's Oberhausen Festival theme of "Leaving the Cinema"

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 4,000 €

Hirografo (Manuscript)
Eva Stefani
Greece 2017, 11 min. 56 sec., colour/bw

Statement:
A derive through Athens weaves a singular and atmospheric vision of the city. This contemporary fable makes exceptional use of both archival footage and subtle poetic wit.

 

e-flux Prize
endowed with 3,000 €
For an exceptional film and video work which reshapes the poetic and electric potential of moving images in the age of planetary circulation of information.

Gimny Moskovii
(The Hymns of Moscovy)
Dimitri Venkov
Russia 2017, 14 min. 24 sec., colour

Statement:
The aesthetic framing of this film flips both history and space to render a vision of a metropolis that is not only visually and sonically spectacular, but truly intergalactic. 

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

The Lost Head & The Bird
Sohrab Hura
India 2018, 10 min. 12 sec., colour
Statement:
A searing comment on contemporary society and gender politics, this astoundingly creative film marks the arrival of an exciting new filmmaking talent.

Creature Companion
Melika Bass
USA 2018, 31 min., colour
Statement:
Domestic space, both its intimacy and its violence, has become one of the pressing political subject-matters of our times. On the other side, domestic space was also constant inspiration for cinema in all of its genres. This film combines aesthetics and politics by way of a choreography of indiscipline and insubordination.

mais triste que chuva num recreio de colégio (sadder than playtime on a rainy day)
Lobo Mauro
Brazil 2018, 14 min. 2 sec., colour
Statement:
It's not easy to explain to people from other countries the complexity of the political situation in Brazil, after a coup. Fortunately we have the cinema; we have films that can say more than any words. Sometimes we think we can hope for a better country, for a better world, with less inequality, with more opportunity for everybody, but then we loose from seven to one. That's life and it's difficult to see a happy ending.

 

First Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

The Lost Head & The Bird
Sohrab Hura
India 2018, 10 min. 12 sec., colour

Statement:
Our winner film uses the narrative of an obscure fairytale to generate a maelstrom of images. Visuals created by the filmmaker and finds from the inflationary image production of Social Media, combined in an accelerating montage, create a vortex of contradictions and abysses. Depicting tradition and trash, beauty and decay at the same time, the director Sohrab Hura achieves a fascinatingly condensed description of the state of India today.

 

Second Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 3,000 €

Um filme para Ehuana (A Film for Ehuana)
Louise Botkay
Brazil 2018, 26 min., colour

Statement:
The 2nd prize of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia goes to a utopia, an Arcadian space where life is carefree, to the portrait of an intact community we feel a romantic nostalgia for. The cinema-ethnographic observation of the Yanomami tribe becomes a projection surface for our longing for an ideal world that is threatening to disappear. A Film for Ehuana by director Louise Botkay picks at the cocoon of our moral wellness we have ensconced ourselves in.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Ministry for Culture and Science of North Rhine-Westphalia

Saladdin Castique
Anssi Kasitonni
Finland 2018, 5 min. 40 sec., colour

Statement:
Nonsense makes sense! When theory fails, silliness comes into its own. In this sense, our special mention recognises a fairytale-like roguish piece which is perfect Dadaist fun, and that's it.

 

The International Critics’ Prize  (FIPRESCI Prize)

Gimny Moskovii (The Hymns of Moscovy)
Dimitri Venkov
Russia 2017, 14 min. 24 sec., colour

Statement:
Changing our perspective is sometimes enough to turn the world upside down. A mesmerising cinematic experience that, without any plot, character or dialogue, tells more than meets the eye.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Magnificent Obsession
Zhong Su
China 2018, 25 min. 55 sec., colour and b/w

Statement:
It is one of the formulations of the political and social issues of our time: the relationship between the individual and community or society, and how the individual can live in the latter's reality. Zhong Su's artwork, set in contemporary China, portrays this as the tale of an individual's search for knowledge and transcendence by displaying the reality he faces in a kaleidoscope of three synoptic perspectives. It starts as a "landscape" of the present and the technical, social, socialist-capitalist reality as an underwater world. It continues in the "passions", talking of social desires, goals and dogmas, before "history" captures the community through the ages and contexts in further stunning images. Zhong Su closes this interpretation of reality with a fourth chapter entitled "adaptation": based formally on J.L. Borges' "Book of Sand", but also related to the life of the individual as they are explorating, adapting and reworking reality in their quest to transcend it. He finds his obsession not in archaic collections of writings but in the endless preciousness of Holy Writings he encounters. His obsessive search for an experience of himself in a reality transcending the given reality becomes a mystic immersion in which he encounters self-knowledge. And yet it doesn't take him outside of himself: despite his obsessive self-knowledge he cannot escape himself. An epic short film work of art.

 

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury

Erh Hao Chiu Yi (On the Waitlist)
Wu Hung Yi
Taiwan 2017, 26 min. 35 sec., colour
Statement:
The never-ending path of growing up means unfolding oneself. The waiting room of life is full of intentions to grow beyond oneself and to learn to live in reality with one's own limitations - neither achievable nor bearable without the experience of friendship as a comparison, support or source of unhappiness. Erh Hao Chiu Yi is the intense and successful portrait of the challenges of friendship, cohesion, community, comparison, ambition, mediocrity and the talents of two young women on this path.

Caterpillarplasty
David Barlow-Krelina
Canada 2017, 5 min. 20 sec., colour
Statement:
The dis-position of man refers equally to the loss of inner life and the cheap selling-out of human individuality. The compulsion of constant self-optimisation is therefore expressed in a compulsion to perfect the standardisations of a promise of beauty. They are suggested in the revelation of their real beauty, but beauty decays to become the de-personalised, slippery smooth surface of a self-parody. In its masterful form as much as in its intention, Caterpillarplasty is a dark, wet, equally fascinating and slippery glamour portrait of this alleged beauty.

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Tsuchi no hito - 2017 gekijyoban (Mud Man - 2017 Film Ver.)
Yamashiro Chikako
Japan 2017, 26 min., colour

Statement:
In a visually stunning and sensual work, the filmmaker explores war and its traumatic consequences, serious and funny at the same time. Original and innovative, cinematic storytelling in the best sense of the term.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 Euro

VALEA JIULUI - NOTES
Alexandra Gulea
Germany 2018, 13 min. 30 sec., colour

Statement:
On the one hand, the distance between image and sound is the distance this narrative focuses on: the economically motivated chasm between mothers who have to work abroad so their children can grow up here. On the other hand, the distance between the melancholy images of decayed industrial landscapes and the laconic fragments of desperation in the commentary creates a space for reflections - about the cost of the prosperity gap in Europe, which cannot be calculated in economic balance sheets; which has to be borne by individuals and which is nonetheless more than an individual problem - which is why this simple but effective and intelligently composed film doesn't portray it this way.

 

3sat-Promotional Prize
endowed with 2,500 Euro
For a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat.

Bigger Than Life
Adnan Softić
Germany/Italy/Macedonia 2018, 30 min., colour

Statement:
The music sets the tone of this film - an extremely funny one. The very first lines are sung - exquisitely, with a sure sense of pathos and breaks, which is why it takes a while until the sentence is at last completed and recognizable as a Johann Joachim Winckelmann quote. The music also provides the playful structure of this survey of a corny urban planning project that is meant to catapult Skopje to the premier ranks of European history, on equal terms with Rome and Athens. The film is armed against this intention with irony, while covering the monumental aspirations in an original cinematic style: buildings and structures are observed by an attentive camera at different times, from different angles, in different light. Telling details represent the whole, like the bickering pigeons on the head of a statue standing outside the window of a concerned - because urban dweller - inhabitant.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Three Casualties
Jens Pecho
Germany 2017, 7 min. 16 sec., colour
Statement:
Showing on film what film doesn't show is the attraction of this film. Three studies on images whose drama is easily overlooked in the films they are part of, even though they are dramatic indeed: it's about daring stunts. But because dying is so easy in the illusion of cinema, this research is needed to mark the intrusion of the real into the production of illusions: by deceleration, textual information, de-contextualisation. All this generates a genuinely cinematic, because voyeuristic, suspense as one is watching the film - the question whether a real death will be displayed here. The fact that the film plays with this while never overstepping the bounds speaks for its quality.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by NRW.Bank

Eine Kneipe auf Malle (A Bar on Majorca)
Marian Mayland
Germany 2017, 15 min., colour

Statement:
The development and projection of a superimposed Super 8 film, in its coarse grain and resolution, mirrors the end of facticity. The shrinking of the parliamentary extreme right is followed by rightist and leftist ideologies whose digital dissemination generates a growing haze. A multi-layered essay, Marian Mayland's film reflects social, political and populist upheavals that are by no means as harmless as its title.

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.Bank

Hallstatt erleben (Hallstatt Experience)
Julia Weißenberg
Germany/China 2018, 8 min. 55 sec., colour

Statement:
Verdant palms in front of boxes of geraniums, orthographic slips and Austrian licence plates suggest the possibility of differentiating between original and copy. The label "Made in China" also adheres to the reproduction of an idyllic Austrian village in the Southern Chinese provinces. In a tourism video of a different kind, Julia Weißenberg achieves a scurrilous sound and image collage between tradition and exoticism whose unreal character is underlined at the end by a digitally animated church tower.

 

Distinction of the NRW Jury

Kursmeldungen
(Position Reports)
Rainer Komers
Germany 2017, 29 min. 50 sec., colour

Statement:
This Special Mention is in fact meant to distinguish an outstanding landscape symphony. We feel enraptured by a concentrated observation of people, animals and a region which condenses space and suspends time. We thank Rainer Komers for his film Kursmeldungen, which was an extraordinary and incredibly sustained cinema experience.

 

Prize of the Westart Audience Jury
endowed with 750 €, sponsored by West ART

Das letzte Haus (The Last House)
Anna Kindermann
Germany 2018, 15 min. 33 sec., colour

Statement:
Three men - few words. Authentic, life-affirming, honest, thoughtful, practical and very respectful. This film moved us, the Westart Audience jury, most.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children's Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Wirtschaftsbetriebe Oberhausen

Lili dans les nuages (Lili within the Clouds)
Toma Leroux
France 2017, 15 min., colour

Statement:
We would have loved to give our winner 1,000 points! It tells a story which made us all very sad. But we liked watching the film anyway. And there were moments when we could laugh out loud. It was fascinating that you understand the story only at the very end.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

Plody mraků (The Fruit of the Clouds)
Kateřina Karhánková
Czech Republic 2017, 10 min. 20 sec., colour

Statement:
What we liked about our winner is that it is told almost like a fairytale. The hero of the film has a smart idea and solves a big problem. But he has to overcome his own problems first. We liked that. We also liked that the film is animated, and that the figures are so cute.

 

Special Mention of the Children's Jury

Rammat-Gammat (Die Schuhe meines besten Freundes)
Ajitpal Singh
Indien 2018, 18 Min. 22 Sek., Farbe
Begründung:
Unsere lobende Erwähnung verleihen wir einem Film, der davon erzählt, dass es für eine gute Freundschaft ganz egal ist, ob jemand arm oder reich ist. Dass es in dem Film auch um Fußball geht, hat uns auch gut gefallen.

Ma Mama (Toto Bona Lokua)
Katy Wang
Großbritannien 2017, 3 Min. 46 Sek., Farbe
Begründung:
Die vielen schönen Muster, bunten Farben und die fröhliche Musik haben uns bei diesem Musikvideo sofort richtig gut gefallen. Weil Musik und Bilder so gut zusammenpassen, ist es so, als würde man mit den Figuren auf eine Traumreise gehen.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 Euros, sponsored by the Rotary Club Oberhausen

Pépé le morse (Grandpa Walrus)
Lucrèce Andreae
France 2017, 14 min. 45 sec., colour

Statement:
At the end of this film many of us had tears in our eyes. In our opinion it unites everything that a good film must have: we laughed, cried and even got the creeps a little. Through the portrait of a family, the film deals with different ways to cope with grief, which offers many opportunities to relate it to our own lives. We also liked the fact that the story offers constant openings for further interpretation. And we were particularly impressed by its style of animation and the fact that the different characters are so well developed. Its harmonious combination of sound and image also appealed to us. We could watch this film again and again!

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Youth Film Competition 

L U I S T E R (L I S T E N)
Astrid Bussink
Netherlands 2017, 15 min., colour
Statement:
When you have problems and worries you need someone who is there for you - and an open ear. It was nice to learn from this documentary that the people who work for helplines are always there for children and young people. The film depicts some very different and current problems we could identify with. What fascinated us is that we had to learn how this film worked first. When we had found the red thread, though, it was fun to get into this kind of narrative. Small details are used to translate words literally into visuals. And the way the story develops over the course of the film is very touching.

 

ECFA Short Film Award 2018

L U I S T E R (L I S T E N)
Astrid Bussink
Netherlands 2017, 15 min., colour

Statement:
An experimental animated short film that talks to young audiences from their perspective is a rare breed. Although we have seen a lot of great and exceptional short films during the last days, our choice was unanimous. This documentary tells us the stories of four different children in a way young audiences can relate to. Although it seems sometimes a bit too dense in including an enormous range of possible problems, it offers children various possibilities to empathize with the protagonists and demonstrates that communication can sometimes help. And that the adult's role in this conversation is maybe rather the listening part! Despite its heavy content it doesn't leave the viewer hopeless and even makes us laugh in some moments. Its visual style appeals to children and takes their aesthetics seriously while still challenging their viewing habits. And the editing succeeds in combining these four stories with four different visual approaches.

 

Certificate of the Ecumenical Jury for a film in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
in connection with a recommendation for Matthias Film and the Katholisches Filmwerk to buy the film for their catalogues

Carlotta's Face
Frédéric Schuld/Valentin Riedl
Germany 2018, 5 min., colour

Statement:
Carlotta's world is marked by a physical limitation: the animated images of this short film charmingly illustrate the impressive story of a face blind woman, her path through school and life, while adopting her perspective on the world. The masterly quality of this dignified and unbiased short film consists in revealing the impossibility, caused by her lack of a physical image of herself, of this artfully animated perspective and at the same time in portraying her in a successful and loving way without reducing her by mere pity. Thus the film reveals its protagonist as a strong woman who finds pragmatic ways to herself and others and chooses a flower as a portrait whose blossom resembles her real-life hairstyle and which reminds us of her exposure in many situations in life - as well as of her beauty, tenderness and vulnerability. A touching film about the challenges and apparently obvious elements of the construction of identity, self-image, social encounters and relationships. The film is a jewel that deconstructs the significance of the face for our culture by textual images and selfies and even bans on images and images of god in order to rebuild them together.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2.000 Euro

Oliver Pietsch for Limerence (Yves Tumor)
Germany 2018, 5’32”

Statement:
For us there were two clear winners in this varied and striking short list of music videos, a selection that was a pleasure to watch, think about and discuss together. Oliver Pietsch’s video for Yves Tumor’s Limerence received the maximum number of points from all three jurors. The concept immediately grabs the viewer’s attention and the immaculate execution holds it, at once rapturing and troubling the eye. The supercut of found cinematic or video material is not a new genre - watching Limerence, some will think of Christian Marclay’s The Clock for instance– but the triptych structure and the choice of material here makes the work fresh and original. Shower scenes in movies take us to cinema’s heart of strangeness – like the sex scene, there is a performance of intimacy, private moments shown that in normal life are screened off from general view. We delectate over the bodies of stars those familiar strangers. ‘Limerence’ is an obscure term for a state of infatuation that involves obsessive thoughts and fantasies – as a system the movies are in the business (literally) of inciting limerence in the public, and the same could be said about mainstream pop music  With some of the scenes used here either the prequel to violence against women – as with Psycho – or suggestive of the aftermath of  female-trauma, there is a subtle feminist subtext to the work that resonates with the present moment, But there are other elements to the montage that are idyllic or amusing or simply mysterious. The oversaturation of these images of vulnerability and exposure, raining down on our gaze like the drops of water from a showerhead, creates an effect that eerily blends the erotic, the disturbing, the touching and the invasive. Although the video could stand on its own as a provocative artwork, the gorgeousness of the image-flow complements Yves Tumor’s track perfectly.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1.000 Euro

Ulrike Göken/Jo Zimmermann for Damenbartblick (Schlammpeitziger)
Germany 2017, 4’50”

Statement:
Damenbartblick
, by Jo Zimmerman and Ulrike Göken, in collaboration with Kota Utka, stood out for its subtle play between stillness and motion. We loved its poetic and romantic feel, the tenderness and delicacy of the images with their use of organic materials, and appreciated the visual puns, the wit and playfulness of the juxtapositions. We also found the “meet cute” story behind the collaboration to be both charming and to speak to the possibilities opened up by the Internet for artistic encounters across distances and national borders.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
chosen by online vote
500 €, sponsored by k.west Verlag

Jakob Grunert for Copyshop (Romano)
Germany 2018, 10’42”

 

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen thanks its MuVi partners 2018:
3sat
coolibri
Intro
k.west
netpoint media

Trailer

By Christian Schön
Germany 2018

Press review

Festival

Historically, Oberhausen is the most important short film festival in the world.
Alexander Horwath in inquirer.net, Philippines, 23 October 2018

… cosmopolitan in the best sense of the word.
FAZ, 11 May 2018

The festival offered a remarkably good year this time, partly owing to no less than four new sections.
ray-magazin.at, Austria, May 2018

Think tank at the top of the world.
Blickpunkt:Film, Fokus Festivals, May 2018

You could literally hear the hunger for avant-garde grumbling in the contemporary programmes, too. The young filmmaker Peter Miller used the simplest of means to reanimate the performative “Expanded Cinema” of the time. His participative cinema, where a film strip was unspooled through the rows of the auditorium or the audience held balloons up into the projector beam was naively, but deeply touching.
Frankfurter Rundschau, 9 May 2018

The cinema hall is a space for diversity, […] a fact of which the festival was more than aware in 2018.
standard.at, Austria, 8 May 2018

... quixotic, tenacious and stubbornly committed...
Art Monthly, UK, July-August 2018

[What you can see here is that] frequently the tension between the small form and the big screen has a positive effect on many works.
FAZ, 11 May 2018

The festival’s program is inspiringly inclusive, featuring animation, documentary, narrative, avant-garde films, hybrid performances and installations and it is proponent of challenging work that pushes the boundaries of contemporary cinema.
ATPDiary.com, Italien, 20. May 2018

A mecca for filmmakers who present neither superhero nor love stories but depict personal and global crises, play with abstractions and associations, dare to look at society from unfamiliar perspectives and who paid particular attention to investigations of the medium of film this year.
Deutschlandfunk Kultur, Vollbild, 5 May 2018

64th festival edition: Oberhausen offers surprises, fun and dummy fascism.
Der Freitag, 9 May 2018

Choosing an unusual perspective, turning things upside down and refusing to adapt is what distinguished Oberhausen again this year.
trailer-ruhr.de, 14 May 2018

Short film is becoming more narrative, risks dealing with current issues and taking a stand instead of taking refuge in obscurities.
WAZ, 9 May 2018

As an industry-relevant think tank, which is developing dynamically and incorporating important impulses of the cinema, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is at the forefront of festivals worldwide.
Blickpunkt:Film, Fokus Festivals, May 2018

Oberhausen, one of the oldest and most important short film festivals in the world, is quite relaxed and friendly as a place. The festival has avoided over-expansion and remained at just the right size so that people inevitably, but casually, come across each other several times a day around its two or three major meeting points.
ATPDiary.com, Italien, 20. May 2018

The excitingly curated side sections like the „Children’s and Youth Cinema“, a showcase of films from Greenland and a homage to the (short film) revolutionaries with the camera (“Leaving the Cinema: Knokke, Hamburg, Oberhausen 1967-1971”) were still worth the trip to Oberhausen.
Filmecho/Filmwoche No. 20/2018

Theme

The comprehensive Theme programme also showed the limits of cinema as such, as its capacity of being a cinematographic narrative space was superseded by a documentary look at different lives. This is where the gesture of filming becomes more important than film as a deliberately designed work, when acts of everyday life or art are recorded on 16 mm without pretensions of becoming an artwork.
artechock.de, May 2018

The „Leaving the Cinema“ programme was challenging because it shifted the criteria for what’s considered up and down, serious, important, central and urgent.
critic.de, 7 May 2018

[A] serious, studious and cinephilic approach to the complex issues surrounding the movements around 1968.
desistfilm.com, Peru, 23. May 2018

In view of the present, crushing mediocrity of German film the look at the past reveals a hugely refreshing potential that it can’t be wrong to bring back to mind.
filmdienst.de, May 2018

The most important oeuvre, however, was Klaus Wyborny’s, an equally structuralist and essayist filmmaker, gambler and poet, […] whose lack of recognition in France represents one of the black holes of a history still to be uncovered.
Cahiers du Cinéma, June 2018

… the program being rich with little jewels of cinema […] that managed to alter ways of seeing and hearing; films of discreet and irreverent beauty that, because of their level of abstraction, brevity and technical ingenuity elude or resist verbalization.
MUBI Notebook, May 2018

Even so the processuality of historic events [the year 1968] becomes very tangible in this instance, revealing that a look at events before and after is at least as exciting and enlightening as the celebrated year itself. What also becomes clear is how many different, mutually exclusive subjective perspectives existed, which in retrospect come together to form a fascinating and intertwined kaleidoscope.
filmdienst.de, May 2018

Competitions

What a strange competition [International Competition], furiously focused on radical, experimental and independent productions. Almost no classic feature films. Works in all formats. A radical and doubtless reflected gesture, since the festival put the line-up together from around 6,000 submissions. As for me, I find this seductive; what an inspiration to see a festival with enough confidence to be able to take such an enormous liberty!
pointdevues.net, Canada, 7 May 2018

At the 64th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, numerous German contributions presented convincing studies of identity and home in the age of turbo-capitalism, re-nationalisation and environmental destruction.
filmdienst.de, May 2018

Next to no bad films in the German Competition.
Cargo-Blog, 8 May 2018

The German Competition is dominated by experimental works, even in films using genre motifs and strategies.
K.West, May 2018

Profiles

The group of selected filmmaker in the Profile section, Salomé Lamas, Louise Botkay, Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor and Eva Könnemann, bring out a desire to expand our worldviews, encompassing the study of life, of our origins, of the evolution of the universe and of the dynamics of social groups throughout history, as well as the invention of new ways of doing politics. These works offer encounters which sustain understanding without asserting rigid explanation, reaffirming the critical, emotional and ethical potential of images as witnesses of reality and windows to the world.
ATPDiary.com, 20. May 2018 

Archives

… an inspiring carte blanche for the Asian Culture Center in Seoul, which offered an opportunity to discover the experimental Korean cinema of the 1970s.
Cahiers du Cinéma, June 2018

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2018 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 10 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2017

Award Winners

Principal Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 8,000 €

Qiu (Late Summer)
Yi Cui
China 2017, 13’, DCP, Farbe

Statement:
We give the Grand Prize to a very simple, but impressively rich film – a cinematic tableau vivant that reveals cycles of performance, consumption and spectatorship in everyday life implicated and constrained by history.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 4,000 €

500,000 Pee (500,000 Years)
Chai Siris
Thailand, 2016, 16'17'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
We give the principal prize to a beautifully meditative and deeply political film that explores how memory is constructed through human history, spirituality, monuments, cinema and violence. The principal prize is given to Chai Siris for 500,000 Years.

 

e-flux Prize
endowed with 3,000 €

Animal Year
Zhong Su
China, 2016, 7’03’’, DCP, Colour

Statement:
We give the e-flux Prize to an urgent film that burrows under one’s skin through its profoundly disturbing and masterfully designed images. It is a visionary, animated portrait of dystopian future of humanity where two strikingly different worlds collide.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Tower XYZ
Ayo Akingbade
Great Britain, 2016, 3'01'', DCP, Colour
Statement:
We give a Special Mention to a fresh, energizing perspective on the realities and resistance found in rapidly gentrifying cities.

Borderhole
Amber Bemak / Nadia Granados
Mexico, 2016, 14’, DCP, Colour
Statement:
We give a Special Mention to a strong, feminist statement that uses provocative performances to reveal how the politics of the border is also the politics of the body.

 

First Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Oni samo dolaze i odlaze (They Just Come and Go)
Boris Poljak
Croatia, 2016, 20’, DCP, Colour

Statement:
A product of chance: a human being is born, cries and dances, fights and loves and spends his or her whole life yearning for water, air and light. In pure documentary form, without text, this film shows young party spirits and old people sharing the same place – a beach in Split, Croatia. Exquisite documentary shots coalesce into a round dance of fervor, desire, loss, maturity, struggle and devotion, stillness and movement. The young are unaware of it, the old are aware or vice versa, it doesn’t really matter in these ludicrous observations. Those secret looks are truly human, naughty, loving and full of truth. With strong contrasts and precise and brilliant images the film captures the happy futility of life among different generations. Life will go on living, from beginning to end. In the sea, the water, under the sun, in this film.

 

Second Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 3,000 €

Terrenal (En oposición al cielo)
Earthly (Opposite from Heaven)
Ivan Jose Murgic Capriotti / Sofia Lena Monardo
Argentinia 2016, 19’23’’, DCP, Colour

Statement:
A journey through a wintery landscape bled of colours: a village awakens, people chop wood, a rickety car stops to pick up a dog, bicycles driving through puddles, children playing football. Suddenly: a mural that reads “Tierra para todos”, soldiers carrying guns, barracks.
The melancholy face of a woman serves as a guide through this almost wordless documentary – we see her doing her daily chores at home, in church and watching a military parade at the stadium – a face you don’t forget, framed by a mythic mountain world and the snow-covered volcano Lanín. Terrenal is a poetic film that relies on the power of its photographic imagery, with every shot asking the question haunting the continent until today: who owned the land once and who took it by force?

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia

Animal Year
Zhong Su
China 2016, 7’03’’, DCP, Colour
Statement:
End of days and new beginning: this impressive animation shows a post-apocalyptic looking world in which animal creatures trudge through a wrecked civilisation that mutates into a fairground, while the refugees are bombed by flying rocket babies – a fantastic vision. The film opens up an intellectual space between flight, displacement and redemption, offering a contemporary philosophy of the right to exist. Apocalypse and hope clash in extreme detail – hedonism and downfall hand in hand, one step from the abyss.

Nyo Vweta Nafta
Ico Costa
Portugal / Mozambique, 2017, 20', DCP, Colour
Statement:
A man’s search for a young woman on a Mozambique market proves futile. What he finds are the young men of the city who want to have money and women, flirt via smartphone, dream of brand names and singing careers or want to market African fruit as super food in Europe. In seemingly absurd dialogues the film gives voice to a young generation who play a witty and confident game with African and Western notions of happiness, reversing the colonial perspective in the process.

 

The International Critics’ Prize  (FIPRESCI Prize)

Zheng Pian Zhi Wai (Off Takes)
Hao Jingban
China, 2016, 21'18'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
For an incredibly self-reflective and at the same time sensitive film. For a brilliant meditation on historical and contemporary images which are always an inaccessible enigma for the viewer, even a competent one.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Seeds
Philippa Ndisi-Herrmann
Kenia, 2016, 4', DCP, Colour

Statement:
Water gives and receives, surrounds and releases, reflecting life and love, memory and the future – the primal principle. The turtle carries its eggs from the sea to the land and withdraws back into the sea. The eggs are there together and yet each is alone. “Each egg a globe, each globe a world, each world a universe.” We live together, says the father. We live in each other, says the mother. This wonderful work talks about the small things that are the seed and primary force of the whole, about the love of father and mother. This artistic treasure is poetic, gentle and metaphorical, a poem of words about child and mother, a poem of images about the sea, land and sand. Its dialogues of voices with each other and words with images are outstanding; the photos make the audience pause and feel the stillness of the primary principle, the film sequences surround their own movement in the school of fish and the closeness of the family. This world is so much more than matter, love is so much more than the number of days shared with each other. Creation is the unity of life.

 

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury

The Separate System
Katie Davies
Great Britain, 2017, 23'11'', DCP, Colour
Statement:
Doing one’s duty, running errands, the system of military service, everyday and office life and family must be managed. Soldiers take responsibility for others; when their relationships fail, however, they are left alone: the detained former soldiers are sentenced and locked away. They know for what but not why. Because their punishment therefore stands for society’s flight into perplexity, the latter severs all ties with the people in question. This film gives a voice to these soldiers, talks about its impressive subject in rough recordings and harmonious, precisely filmed images. The hand-written notes that serve as breaks condense the detainees’ misery, work with the visual level to make their appeals of rage and loss directly to us, the community.
That meaning has become empty becomes emblematic at the end of this powerful and relevant work. Liverpool FC, their club, emerges as the great unifier of this community – but its familiar hymn, “You’ll never walk alone” which is thus implied reinforces the ambiguity of the former soldiers’ situation. Their lives are embedded in a close and separate system of society. The space of guilt widens, addressing issues of violence and society and what constitutes humanity by motive and identity.

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

pretty boyz don't die
Jovana Reisinger
Germany, 2016, 19'13'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
A group of outsiders trying to survive in the city, a female filmmaker in German cinema. The Zonta Prize goes to a film that experiments with new narrative structures and serial formats.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 Euro

Die Herberge (The Shelter)
Ulu Braun
Germany, 2017, 14'45'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
A virtual travelling shot that makes full use of the potential of the new media world. Real shots of people and objects are transplanted into a digitally generated post-apocalyptic panorama in which they become protagonists and objets trouvés of a surreal chain of actions. This video collage combines pop culture and western movie myths with biblical narratives, biker culture and the waste products of civilisation with cultural set pieces to subtly create an intriguing and mesmerising narrative critique of civilization that resonates for a long time.

 

3sat-Promotional Prize
endowed with 2,500 Euro
For a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat.

El Manguito
Laurentia Genske
Germany, 2017, 18'56'', DCP, Colour and b/w

Statement:
The director befriends the inhabitants of a remote Cuban village with the aid of drawings, photos and often silent or quiet moving images. Slowly but purposefully she brings us closer to a family and their worries and fears as she unfolds the story of the village and the whole country through them. With El Manguito, Laurentia Genske and her cinematographer Simon Rittmeier open our eyes to an unknown world – their unobtrusive empathy with the people and the classical narrative form are documentary film at its best.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

la boxe
Tim Nowitzki
Germany, 2016, 28'20", DCP, Colour
Statement:
Clear the ring for a great documentary portrait: in Tim Nowitzki’s rigorously narrated and visually impressive short film the boxing ring is a place where violence is both unleashed and contained.

my castle your castle
Kerstin Honeit
Germany, 2017, 14'47'', DCP, Colour
Statement:
Based on the debate surrounding the reconstruction of the Berlin City Palace, the film addresses the question of how meaningful historicisation in urban planning is. The result is a surreal and at the same time haunting tableau.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by NRW.Bank

Der Wechsel (The Exchange)
Markus Mischkowski, Kai Maria Steinkühler
Germany 2016, 6', DCP, s/w

Statement:
A tribute to the early days of cinema. Extremely charming, warm-hearted and produced in the tradition of the Cologne Group, the film doesn't succumb to nostalgia but references current political events instead. Fast-paced, funny, exuberantly playful, full of spot-on filmic quotes and captured on a historical hand-cranked 35mm camera, everything comes together in a flawless filmic jewel that glows with passion for the cinema.

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.Bank

Stranden
Moïra Himmelsbach
Germany 2017, 28'2 '', colour

Statement:
Four snapshots, loosely connected, expose rifts and cracks in our daily co-existence. Precisely observed and supported by an outstanding cast, Moïra Himmelsbach brilliantly succeeds in making us conscious of unconscious processes.

 

Special Mention of the NRW Jury

Mishka
Eszter Jánka
Germany 2016, 4'54'', DCP, Colour
Statement:
Eszter Jánka enchants us with images that are as spare and abstract as they are poetic, while developing considerable emotional drawing power. It’s sensual, fascinating and calls forth complex associations.

 

Prize of the West ART Audience Jury
endowed with 750 €, sponsored by West ART

Vögel auf Stromleitungen – Version B
Dean Ruddock
Germany 2017, 4'11'', b/w

Statement:
A massive maelstrom of images in black and white. Video clip-like scenes are edited to become a poetry slam collage to become poetry on film. The film talks of the diversity and beauty of life in an artistic and entertaining way, but also of the difficulties of finding a personal direction in life. A film from North Rhine-Westphalia that uses the images and language of our region: visual poetry that touches us – and made us a little dizzy.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children's Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Wirtschaftsbetriebe Oberhausen

Scrap Dolls
Aude Cuenod
USA, 2016, 13'25'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
We give our prize to a film that was exciting but above all simply very beautiful. It’s about friendship, loss and reconciliation. A boy has lost his girlfriend. Though the girl’s death is sad it’s good that she is remembered. Not everybody is inspired to make something new out of scrap metal. Perhaps one can use memories like this, too: after all, you don’t want to forget people, just not stay sad forever.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

Dobro unovčeno popoldne (A Well Spent Afternoon)
Martin Turk
Slovenia, Croatia, 2016, 7'30'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
The father may be unemployed but he still bought his son some ice cream. The film shows how to behave properly. Even though father and son could really use the money, they take the wallet they found back to its owner. After all, some things are more important.

 

Special Mention of the Children's Jury

Mrs McCutcheon
John Sheedy
Australia, 2017, 16', DCP, Colour
Statement:
The boys at his new school laugh at him – just like at his old school. He goes to school in a dress. Tom was born in the wrong body. He doesn’t want to be called Tom! He is brave because he doesn’t care if the others mock him. A film which shows that everyone can be the way they are. We liked the colourful design most of all.

 

Prize of the Guest Children's Jury of the International Children's Film Festival Filem‘On in Brussels

Scrap Dolls
Aude Cuenod
USA, 2016, 13'25'', DCP, Farbe

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 Euros, sponsored by the Rotary Club Oberhausen

U Plavetnilo (Into The blue)
Antoneta Kusijanović
Slovenia, Croatia, 2017, 22', DCP, Colour

Statement:
The prize of the International Youth Film Competition goes to a film we found thoroughly convincing: camera, acting, sound. It addresses many subjects that are important to young people today: friendship and jealousy, fear and change, family and domestic violence. It made us curious and shows how complex our relationships with other people are. In addition to that, the actors and the landscapes are captivatingly beautiful!

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Youth Film Competition 

Scent of Geranium
Naghmeh Farzaneh
USA, 2016, 4'41'' DCP, Colour
Statement:
It was definitely hard for us to decide on a winner. We almost got into a real quarrel. This is why we want to give special mentions to two films in the Youth Film Competition. An exceptional animation which tells us a lot about Tehran, New York, roots and arriving somewhere in less than five minutes. This short film tells a very personal story and is sure to touch many people.

Wolfe
Claire Randall
Australia, 2016, 15'55'', DCP, Colour and b/w
Statement:
Our second special mention goes to a film that addresses a subject we find very important. It gives us hope, but it doesn’t need a happy ending.

 

Certificate of the Ecumenical Jury for a film in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
in connection with a recommendation for Matthias Film and the Katholisches Filmwerk to buy the film for their catalogues

Gos leat don? (Where are you?)
Egil Pedersen
Norway, 2017, 8'15', DCP, Colour

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2.000 Euro

Second Chance Man (Tindersticks)
Christoph Girardet
Germany / France 2016, 4'20''

Statement:
An un-nostalgic use of found footage, this film does not employ overused imagery yet still manages to be iconic. The video is subtle, beautiful and sympathetic to the song that it accompanies. This is a film that quietly demands repeat viewings – on our second watch we knew that Second Chance Man, which gives a second life to archive footage, heartily deserves first prize in this competition.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1.000 Euro

I Want U (DJ Hell)
DJ Hell
Germany 2016, 4'06''

Statement:
This is a fine collaboration that elevates both DJ Hell’s music and Tom of Finland’s imagery to a new shared plateau. Fun and intelligent about its graphic nature, I Want U sets a concept and confidently sees it through. Keeping things simple, the film is nevertheless not repetitive, making use of variations in the music to propel the imagery. Referencing the history of the music video form, this is an original take on a much-loved part of the subversive canon.

 

Special Mentions of the MuVi Jury

feel nothing / 15 – 15 (Dean Blunt and Inga Copeland)
Zeljko Vidovic
Germany 2017, 4 Min. 48 Sec.
Statement:
For its excellent craft and emotional acuity, for working with the music and creating something original.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
chosen by online vote
500 €, sponsored by k.west Verlag

Ich bin hier (Danny Schulz, Caroline Gempeler aka Debérn, Damian Müller)
Mariola Brillowska
Germany 2016, 3'49''

Trailer

Trailer of the 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Katrina Daschner, Austria, 2017, 0'49''

Press review

Festival

The twelve-tone music among film festivals.
Jungle World, Germany, 20 May 2017

The range was still enormous, the selection pleasantly undogmatic and eclectic.
Der Standard, Austria, 16 May 2017

What makes the Oberhausen short film festival so exciting […] is that it’s the place where you can watch cinema in its ongoing negotiations with competing domains: music video, computer games, advertising, YouTube clips, exhibitions, installations – everything is always present, affects everything else, and is constantly forming and re-forming new constellations.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, 17 May 2017

What you can learn – with a little effort – at Oberhausen are new, or perhaps just forgotten, modes of seeing.
Filmbulletin, Switzerland, June 2017

An almost mythical film festival that has a reputation for being political, complex, difficult. […] Nonetheless, its multi-layered programme of history and perspective, dedicated entirely to the short, experimental and artistic format, makes the festival superior to most metropolitan film fests.
epd film, Germany, June 2017

Oberhausen is still Germany’s most important meeting place for cinephiles.
Junge Welt, Germany, 20/21 May 2017

These small moments of bliss [Michel Gondry’s video clip “City Lights”] are among the dependable miracles of this extraordinary film festival.
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, 17 May 2017

The future, technology and chaos: they mesh closely in the films screened at the Oberhausen short film festival.
taz online, Germany, 19 May 2017

The festival, now in its 63rd year, is an unstoppable discursive force. It is forever moving forward, with all the momentum that optimism, youth, social scrutiny and the feedback loop allow.
Senses of Cinema, international, June 2017

[One of] the brilliantly curated screenings of the international competition where films are programmed to promote a subtle dialogue – sometimes based on content, sometimes on form – between them that in turn makes the festival experience not a sum but rather a product of its individual components.
Filmbulletin, Switzerland, June 2017

The several hundred entries in the competitions deal with historic events like 1950s Finnish newsreels or South Africa’s invasion of Lesotho in 1998, with regional, local, personal and political stories from Japan, South America, the hotspots of the Middle East or the deserts of today’s megacities. Narratives and descriptions alternate with visual experiments, loops and patterns. He who seeks shall find.
Jungle World, Germany, 20 May 2017

You can find masterful animations and pleasant experiments with old archive footage in the International Competition. But many images are just too sallow to really stay in mind.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 18 May 2017

With the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, which is opening next Thursday, we not only see the world coming to Oberhausen, we also see it mirrored on the screen – with burning urgency, sometimes literally.
WAZ, Germany, 8 May 2017

The enormous spectrum of short films provides the creative engine that frequently drives the big film industry forward. […] And when it comes to short film, the international scene will meet once more in the Ruhr area in May.
Trailer, Germany, 27 April 2017

A thematic line running through many of the films in this year’s International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is the inherent materiality of cinema: the objects and bodies immortalized by the act of filmmaking, a desperate yet hubristic gesture which is, as Tarkovsky put it, a “harrowing preparation for death.”
MUBI Notebook, USA, 27 June 2017

In any festival environment, film is a social medium. Oberhausen is a particularly convivial example.
The White Review online, UK, June 2017

The festival has always served as a touchstone and signpost for the short film format in Germany. Many careers started here.
Filmdienst, Germany, No. 12/2017

Theme

The Oberhausen programme basically revolves around the exciting question of when the dream of left-wing media theorists lost its innocence. An exact date can’t be quoted, but what becomes clear is that – retrospectively speaking – the utopian art interventions, the grass-roots democratic models, the freaky experiments, the childlike exuberance all bear traces of the “anti-social” Internet that is under critical observation nowadays.
Der Tagesspiegel, Germany, 11 May 2017

That’s the beauty of this rugged compilation: it was made for experts in everyday media, which means for all of us. “If you look at the films,” says Baumgärtel, “you may gain a different perspective on your own media biography.”
Die Welt, Germany, 16 May 2017

If this historical overview offers lessons to apply to the present, it is to notice the ways in which gratuitous elements of social media promote an ever-evolving and accelerating array of bells and whistles, and how this endless supply of options might actually nullify our capacity for genuinely thoughtful social engagement.
Sight & Sound online, UK, June 2017

Khavn

These are the figures Khavn uses to create his art: wild disgust, eclectically amalgamated with flashy colours and Punk-like music. He turns poetry into an instrument of resistance.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 18 May 2017

Larissa Sansour

Her works may be about the big issues associated with the region she comes from – expulsion, occupation, segregation, administrative humiliation and permanent civil war – but her approach is always ironic. Quoting from the acoustic and iconographic fund of cinema enables her to insert false bottoms and establish some distance to the problems she addresses.
Filmdienst, Germany, No. 10, 2017

Bjørn Melhus

His style employs elements of the grotesque, exaggeration and travesty to vary segments of reality as well as the products and projections of art and their media image. He distorts them to the point of recognisability, reflects patterns of behaviour and perception, constructs counter-models, counteracts stereotypes.
k.west, Germany, May 2017

The Moonshiners

The highlight of Oberhausen was the international premiere of The Moonshiners. Directed by Juho Kuosmanen, acclaimed last year for beautifully understated boxing drama The Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Mäki, the silent short is a homage to the lost first feature ever made in Finland and reveals his genius for deadpan wit.
Anothermag.com, UK, 15 June 2017

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2017 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 10 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2016

Award Winners

Principal Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 8,000 €

Venusia
Louise Carrin
Switzerland, 2015, 34'11'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
A film that, by simple means in a single room, creates a whole universe. A static double portrait opens up to a dynamic landscape of the contemporary human condition.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 4,000 €

Ang araw bago ang wakas
(The day before the end)
Lav Diaz
Philippines 2015, 16'18'', DCP, s/w

Statement:
The Principal Prize is awarded to a work of political urgency. Made by an artist known for works that unfold over many hours, this short film is both elaborate and succinct. Here, otherwise canonical text arrives as a pressing vernacular, a site of last resort.

 

e-flux Prize
endowed with 3,000 €

Mains propres
(Washed Hands)
Louise Botkay
Brazil 2015, 8'33'', DCP, colour

Statement:
A formally simple but complex film about filming and being filmed, which has a highly disturbing effect. The power of this work is built up through one of the more essential tools of cinema: framing.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Centre of the Cyclone
Heather Trawick
Canada/USA 2015, 18'20'', 16 mm, colour

20 July.2015
Deimantas Narkevičius
Lithuania 2016, 15'08'', 3D DCP, colour

 

First Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

489 Years
Hayoun Kwon
France 2016, 11'17'', DCP, colour

Statement:
The film 489 Years enters the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea and takes its audience into a forest of both life and death. Following the authentic memories of a border guard, the film uses images of fantastic quality to open the viewer’s eyes to a true but hidden reality of our world. Both the cruelty and the beauty of this death zone are only suggested, and yet the film gives us an almost physical sense of the existential powerlessness and fear felt in this completely mined area. The perfection in the depiction of this space is even heightened by a vision of the destruction of the border zone. If arms destroy arms and not people, the fear may dissolve in hope. A film of great depth, brilliant beauty and social relevance. For today and even more so for tomorrow.

 

Second Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 3,000 €

If It Was
Laure Prouvost
Great Britain 2015, 8'52'', DCP, colour

Statement:
Prouvost associates a utopia inspired by the place itself and its history with the sacred halls of art. Like the surfers on the river Isar in Munich, the viewer is swept away by a very personal, orgiastic space. If It Was formulates a radical plea for more naturalness and relevance in an art world walled in by history and commerce.

 

The International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

If It Was
Laure Prouvost
GB, 2015, 8'52'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
The FIPRESCI Jury awards the International Critics Prize to the British film If It Was by Laure Prouvost for its overwhelming cinematographic transition of a popular contemporary internet technique to the big screen, pushing it up into highly poetic dimensions and linking it with a profound essayistic reflection on the freedom of art. Daringly playing with images and language and constantly seducing the audience with its subversive charm, Laure Prouvost’s multi-media inspired film lines out in an aesthetically complex and accomplished manner that art knows no boundaries. In a style that is quite her own, Laure Prouvost sets out to create an impact on the audience that is intellectual as well as emotional.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

489 Years
Hayoun Kwon
France 2016, 11'17'', DCP, colour

Statement:
In his memories a soldier takes us on an excursion in the demilitarized boarder area between South Korea and North Korea. Thrilling computer-animated sequences capture his view of a dangerous journey through a mined paradise. Beauty and horror meet here and make us aware of the ambivalence of outer and inner limits. 

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Eleganssi (Elegance)
Virpi Suutari
Finland 2015, 25'42'', DCP, colour

Statement:
The filmmaker portrays a closed society of men with ancient traditions, sophisticated rituals and strict values. The elegance of the film allows us as yet unseen views of the patriarchal world of the economic elite.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 Euro

SHE WHOSE BLOOD IS CLOTTING IN MY UNDERWEAR
Vika Kirchenbauer
Germany, 2016, 3'24'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
This film is loud and intimate. It is brutal and tender. A theoretically sophisticated, exquisitely sensual concept video. We distinguish a film that does not just show the violence of lust but literally transfers it to its audience precisely through its experimental distortion – an investigation of identity whose physicality had a visceral effect on us.

 

3sat-Promotional Prize
endowed with 2,500 Euro
For a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat.

Telefon Santrali
Sarah Drath
Germany, 2016, 7'38'', DCP, Farbe 

Statement:
A room that functions like a switchboard: between the past and present, between progress and regression. We distinguish a film that creates glamorous images on a tight budget. And a director who examines a foreign country not from the comfortable exterior perspective but from the angle of its history. Devoid of exotism, ambiguous in its political comment. Even the Internet drops by for a joke.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Sites
Volker Schreiner
Germany, 2015, 8'26", DCP, Farbe
Statement: 
An awesome film because it shows us that you can find orientation in the dark, in art and nature and among skewed perspectives. It keeps surprising us even when it’s over: it used Found Footage.  

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Ocean Hill Drive
Miriam Gossing/Lina Sieckmann
Deutschland 2016, 20'49"

Statement:
This intensely atmospheric film develops a drawing power that is finely balanced between the surrealist and the documentary. The filmmakers trust in the expressiveness of their images, which are subtly linked to the level of sound. Impressed by the rigorousness with which Miriam Gossing and Lina Sieckmann have refined their artistic style, the jury awards the prize for the best contribution in the NRW Competition to Ocean Hill Drive.

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.Bank

Das Leben ist hart
(Live Is Rugged)
Simon Schnellmann
Germany 2015, 3', DCP, b/w

Statement:
Not a line too much, not a punch line too little - minimalist, condensed and ingenious, this filmmaker cuts to the chase.

 

Prize of the West ART Audience Jury
endowed with 750 €, sponsored by West ART

Ein Aus Weg
(Loophole)
Simon Steinhorst/Hannah Lotte Stragholz
Germany 2016, 19'57'', DCP, colour

Statement:
It’s never boring. It’s exciting. It’s true to life. It’s authentic. And it employs a variety of cinematic means. In short, it meets all our requirements for a film to captivate us and immerse us in an unknown new world.
The animated documentary Ein Aus Weg by Simon Steinhorst and Hannah Lotte Stragholz takes 20 minutes to introduce the young convict Alex K. who asks himself questions about the meaning of life in interviews with writer and pastor Max Prost. We listen to his tales with fascination – tales of the life of a petty criminal between prison and freedom, life in ordinary society and theft, love and drugs. While Alex K. looks towards the future with a certain degree of optimism, chief inspector Werner B. soberly talks about the German judiciary system and his daily life as a policeman. His forecast for Alex’s future: he’ll commit another crime in nine months or less. He bets an ice cream cone on this.
Colourful images animated by hand, editing, sound design, music, script and the authentic story of Alex K. – we, the West ART audience jury, commend the coherent, well-executed and compelling composition of these diverse element and are glad that chief inspector Werner K. has by now lost his bet.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children' Competition
sponsored by beckerfrance, endowed with 1,000 €

Hugo Bumfeldt
Éva Katinka Bognár
Hungary, 2015, 12'02'', DCP, Colour

Statement:
It was hard for us to decide who will get the prize of the 39th international children’s film competition, that’s true – but there is one film that convinced us all from the start. It tells a tale of friendship, homesickness and grief. And of aliens who keep divers as pets instead of goldfish.The characters are colourful and unusual, the story is exciting, funny and also touching; sound and music are awesome. In addition, the film makes us think about how to treat other living creatures.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

Novembre (November)
Marjolaine Perreten
France/Switzerland, 2015, 4', DCP, Colour

Statement:
We award the evo Promotional Award to a film that is sure to put a small or big smile on every viewer’s face. It is simple, but beautifully animated. Its colours and forms create a very special mood which makes grey sky and rain look like they might pass eventually. And that’s true, after all – and until then, we have to help each other and not take the fat drops too seriously.

 

Special Mention of the Children's Jury

Boy-Razor
Peter Pontikis
Sweden, 2015, 11'27", DCP, Colour
Statement:
We award a special mention to a film that captivated us from the very first second. The exciting story and the young actors are simply amazing. We particularly enjoyed the colours and the camera action. Even if all ends well, this film shows that gut decisions made in anger are rarely the ones that feel good.

 

Prize of the Guest Children's Jury of the International Children's Film Festival Filem‘On in Brussels

Bounce
Rory Lowe / D.C. Barclay
Great Britain, 2015, 10'19", DCP, Colour

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 Euros, sponsored by the Rotary Club Oberhausen

Viaduc (Overpass)
Patrice Laliberté
Canada 2016, 18'48'', DCP, Farbe

Statement:
The prize of the international youth film competition goes to a film that is equally exciting and profound. We were impressed by the use of music and the cinematography, since they both help to transform thrilling scenes into real highlights. The film inspires us to look behind the facades of actions and attitudes and to question our prejudices. We want to draw particular attention to the diversity of subjects addressed by the film: family and loss, speechlessness. Every rupture can be seen as an opportunity to build bridges seems to be one of its messages. Intimate family relations are put into a context of political themes like war and patriotism.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Youth Film Competition

Pieniä kömpelöitä hellyydenosoituksia
(Clumsy Little Acts of Tenderness)
Miia Tervo
Finland 2015, 8'56'', DCP, Colour
Statement:
We want to award the special mention of the international youth film competition to a film whose charm and wit convinced us. Embarrassments and misunderstanding that can happen in a daughter-father-relationship are shown in such an ironic and over-the-top way that they fascinate all age groups, without neglecting the serious aspects of these gender and generation relationships.

 

Certificate of the Ecumenical Jury for a film in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
in connection with a recommendation for Matthias Film and the Katholisches Filmwerk to buy the film for their catalogues

Viaduc (Overpass)
Patrice Laliberté
Canada 2016, 18'48'', DCP, colour

Statement:
17 year old Mathieu is out one night to spray a graffiti on a highway bridge. The reason for his action won’t be revealed until the end of an exciting film that shows in various ways the lifestyle of young people. Viaduc inspires the viewer to question own prejudices as well as superficial points of view.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,000 €

Andreas Hofstetter for All Day (Drunken Masters feat. Tropkillaz)
Germany 2015, 4'01''

Statement:
The video to which we want to award the First Prize is one that the jury has watched half a dozen times by now – and would be happy to watch another dozen times, as there are so many ideas and details to be found in All Day by Andreas Hofstetter for Drunken Masters feat. Tropkillaz.
Guided by an amazing protagonist we dream our way into a visual world by which we are overpowered and repelled but also enormously entertained (in other words, much like the Internet itself). All this is played out on the highest possible level of quality – in terms of technology as well as the precision with which musical impulses are taken up and translated into visuals. A quality which, by the way, we missed in many other videos. All Day keeps piling up music and images, building up to an overkill that we enjoyed immensely.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1.000 €

Guillaume Cailleau for Organ Movement (Elmer Kussiac)
Germany 2016, 11'35''

Statement:
We want to award the Second Prize to a work which we found immediately convincing on the musical level and which at the same time fits perfectly into the artistic framework redefined by the Festival every year. Guillaume Cailleau’s video for Organ Movement by Elmer Kussiac takes up the band’s game with the transitions from analogue to digital, while its manipulation of the film stock uncovers astonishing parallels between acoustic and visual materiality.

 

Honorable Mentions

Susanne Steinmaßl for Perry (Aloa Input)
Germany 2016, 3 Min. 25 Sek.

Katharina Duve, Ted Gaier, Schorsch Kamerun und Timo Schierhorn für If I Were a Sneaker (Die Goldenen Zitronen)
Germany 2015, 5 Min. 23 Sek.

Statement:
We want to award Special Mentions to two videos that in our opinion illustrate the diversity of this competition:
The first is by Susanne Steinmaßl, whose work for the song Perry by Aloa Input sets out on a route of visual splendour on which we followed her with great pleasure.
Katharina Duve, Ted Gaier, Schorsch Kamerun and Timo Schierhorn refuse to limit themselves to one direction only. On the contrary: in If I Were a Sneaker by Die Goldenen Zitronen they vigorously stir up the visual worlds around the refugee question – the video that provoked the longest discussion among us.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
determined by Internet vote and endowed with 500 Euro. Sponsored by fayteq.

Jan Bonny for Boogieman (Olli Schulz)
Germany 2015, 7'40''

Trailer

Trailer of the 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Lillevan, Germany, 2016, 0'45''

Press review

Festival

I can report that Oberhausen Kurzfilmtage excels in administration, breadth of programming, parties, and in general openness and sense of community. It has become one of the most important short film festivals in the world, under the direction of Dr. Lars Henrik Gass since 1997.”
Millennium Film Journal, USA, No. 64/2016

… a laboratory for the development of the medium …
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, 13 May 2016

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is, much like the city it resides in, a secret treat. All in all, the festival is a prevailing certification and a confirmation of brighter days ahead for its unconventional desire to take a closer look at the artistic work that others would never dare to consider displaying.
MUBI Notebook, USA, June 2016

There’s a faith in the illusionist and at the same time illusion-breaking power of cinema that lives in the festival as a whole.
Süddeutsche Zeitunghttp://www.sueddeutsche.de/kultur/filmfestival-kino-aus-der-hosentasche-1.2988922?reduced=true, Germany, 12 May 2016

In its 62nd year the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has once more proved to be an indispensable platform for experiments – and a lucky bag for the audience.
Der Freitag, Germany, 11 May 2016

Oberhausen is unusual for the extent of its overlap across the art and film worlds. While other film festivals might make overtures toward inclusion, highlighting work by artists in their programming or mounting installations in adjacent exhibition spaces, they rarely question the primacy of cinema as a form and institution. Oberhausen, meanwhile, has put forth the serious consideration that short film today cannot be considered apart from the exhibition and funding structures of the art world.
filmcomment, USA, June 2016

The Oberhausen Short Film Festival is unusual because of its continuing commitment to setting aside intellectual space for a substantial thematic programme. In fact, it has more in common with a visual arts biennale than the standard film festival model.
Art Monthly, UK, June 2016

Over the past few years Oberhausen has positioned itself at the intersection to the visual arts, moving incrementally to the arts side. By now we might say that while the festival used to be the film industry’s window on the art world, it has now become a kind of outpost of the art world from which the latter looks back at cinema.
Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, 11 May 2016

The different competitions (International, German, Children and Youth, music video, and North-Rhein Westphalia), the theme section, the distributors’ selections, the archive shows, the profiles, and occasional unaligned programs offer enough goods to fuel months of obsessive watching.
Framework, USA, June 2016

The 62nd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen’s most convincing programmes were the exciting special sections that ran parallel to the competitions: for example a retrospective of the Austrian Josef Dabernig’s work or a section on South-American short films.
Der Standard, Austria, 10 May 2016

Much attention has been drawn recently to the developing trends of both visual artists working in film and filmmakers exhibiting and selling work in galleries. If the negotiation between these two worlds needs careful brokering to assure mutually beneficial symbiosis, then the interests of experimental film will find no better representation than that offered by the 2016 Oberhausen Short Film Festival.
artslant.com, USA, 20 May 2016

It’s about artists’ films, about the experiments of upcoming talents, about technical and aesthetic innovation, about opening perspectives on the cinematic constructs of other cultures and modes of perception.
taz, Germany, 13 May 2016

… the festival that goes against conventions.
critic.de, Germany, 10 May 2016

The festival atmosphere betrayed no signs of old age, aided by the spring-like, almost summery temperatures.
Ray, Austria, May 2016

Cunningly, the festival has avoided over-expansion and remained at just the right size so that people inevitably, but casually, run into each other several times a day around its two or three major meeting points.
CinemaScope, Canada, May 2016

The festival’s program is inspiringly inclusive, featuring animation, documentary, narrative, experimental and avant-garde films – and, of course, works which resist categorization, taking us back to the fundamental question: What is film?
fipresci.org, June 2016

An ecstasy of visual languages.
Filmdienst, Germany, 11/2016, 26 May 2016

Every year this festival proves anew that short film can do anything and, moreover, that it has the courage to do so since it was driven from the cinemas and television screens.
ruhrbarone.de, Germany, 5 May 2016

Supported by warm temperatures the 62nd edition of the festival once more brought a magic southern and international flair to the Oberhausen city centre.
WAZ, Germany, 11 May 2016

No use looking for interchangeable and haphazard stories here; in Oberhausen there’s always a possibility that the films cut close to the bone. Films which may be disconcerting and thought-provoking but also touching by their extraordinary perspective on the world.
mediasteak.com, Germany, 11 May 2016

Josef Dabernig & Sun Xun

Two outstanding positions, somewhere in between art and film, that talked to each other productively – a success in quintessential Oberhausen style.
CinemaScope, Canada, May 2016

Sun and Dabernig’s images are at once autonomous artworks, preparatory works, and remnant artefacts, represented in cinematographic terms, both pre- and post-production. […] In creating an exhibition that explores material that passes into, through, and out of the film gate – the screen – the artists have raised questions about where the process begins or ends: at which point is any sense of the finished work located?
artslant.com, USA, 20 May 2016

My God, this is beautiful. [about Sun Xun’s films]
Cargo Blog, Germany, May 2016

El pueblo

In eight spectacular programmes film scholar Federico Windhausen traced an arc from the historical past of Latin-American cinema to the present day.
Der Freitag, Germany, 11 May 2016

The programme, outstandingly curated by film scholar Federico Windhausen, turned out to be a kind of daily research station which examined the Spanish term “pueblo” – as a place and a region, a community and a people – in the most diverse contexts.
Der Standard, Austria, 10 May 2016

“El pueblo”, the people, as a political concept, physical term and sensibility, was explored by Windhausen in eight experimental set-ups which successfully turned the act of seeing into a kind of forensic search.
Filmbulletin, Switzerland, 21 May 2016

An expertly curated programme of Latin-American shorts that met with great public interest [at the Oberhausen festival].
epd film, Germany, June 2016

It was most encouraging, too, for the festival to devote this much attention to so politically concrete and timely a subject in the face of much theoretical flannelling at comparable events.
Art Monthly, UK, June 2016

MuVi

The Oberhausen festival shows: after the demise of music television music videos did not simply migrate to the Internet. They are now becoming Internet-shaped.
WOZ, Switzerland, 12 May 2016

Positionen

An attempt to make urgent discourses and practical issues visible.
Filmbulletin, Switzerland, 21 May 2016

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2016 is available fordownload as PDF or you can get the print version for 10 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

Festival

Die Vielfalt vor allem des internationalen Wettbewerbs dürfte Jahr für Jahr unzähligen größeren Festivals die Schamesröte ins Gesicht treiben.
der Freitag, 7. Mai 2015

 „Think big“, das ist in Oberhausen, diesem dichten Festival über die scheinbar kleine Kunst des Kurzfilms, durchaus auch Motto.
Süddeutsche Zeitung, 11. Mai 2015

Das Oberhausener Kurzfilmfestival mag sich dem Pensionsalter nähern, steckt aber immer noch voller jugendlichem Elan und Innovationskraft.
Sight & Sound, Großbritannien, Juli 2015

… klug begleitete Archivbegehungen und Werkschauen profilierter Avantgardefilmer…
Der Tagesspiegel, 7. Mai 2015

Es ist eine streitbare Wahl [Großer Preis für Wojciech Bakowski], die sehr gut dem Geist dieses traditionsreichen Festivals entspricht, das längst die Brücke zu den bildenden Künsten geschlagen hat.
Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 6. Mai 2015

Es braucht Festivals wie das in Oberhausen, um die Vielfalt filmischer Formen im Kinoalltag wenigstens als Möglichkeitsform präsent zu halten. Auf dass die Arte Povera des Kurzfilms dem Kino den bedachten Einsatz seiner Mittel wiedergeben möge.
Junge Welt, 11. Mai 2015

Oberhausens Stärke ist sein Festhalten daran, auch weiterhin umstrittene Inhalte zu zeigen.
blog.desistfilm.com, USA, 12. Mai 2015

Der Ruhm des Kinos hatte längst eine eigene Anziehungskraft entwickelt. Und wie das Festival in Oberhausen hat er alle technischen Veränderungen schadlos überdauert.
Die Welt, 6. Mai 2015

Auch im Programm haben sich die nun seit fast zwanzig Jahren von Lars Henrik Gass engagiert geleiteten Internationalen Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen in ihrem 61. Jahr längst von den „Kulturfilm“-Ursprüngen abgesetzt und bedienen mit insgesamt fünf Wettbewerben und einem gewichtigen Rahmenprogramm seit vielen Jahren äußerst erfolgreich den globalisierten Festival- und Kunstzirkus.“
taz, 7. Mai 2015

Die Frage, welchen Stellenwert und Platz Kino heute in der Gesellschaft hat, wurde seit 2007 in Oberhausen immer wieder diskutiert. Und das durchaus lebendig und fruchtbar.
ray-magazin.at, Österreich, Juni 2015

Was Oberhausen am besten beschreibt ist ein Fehlen jeglicher Hierarchien bei der Präsentation von Kurzfilmen. Allen möglichen Arten von Bewegtbildern, die in unsere Definition eines Kurzfilms passen könnten, wird hier die gleiche Bedeutung, das gleiche Gewicht und der gleiche Raum auf der Leinwand zugemessen. Es gibt keinerlei Regeln außer der Länge.
Senses of Cinema No. 75, June 2015

Das Oberhausener Kurzfilmfestival, das vom 30. April bis 5. Mai dieses Jahres seine 61. Ausgabe erlebte, fördert seit seiner Gründung das grundlegendste und experimentierfreudigste Format im Film – und es scheint, als hätte der Kurzfilm noch nie bessere Zeiten gesehen. Ohne Polemik oder große Worte, aber mit vielen Denkanstößen, waren die verschiedenen Filmvorführungen, Diskussionen und Sonderprogramme durchdrungen von einem Gespür dafür, was heute im Kurzfilm passiert. Ob die Arbeiten oder Themen des Festivals neu oder alt waren, retrospektiv oder hochaktuell, beim Kuratieren waren Kontext und Ideen ganz und gar im Jahr 2015 verwurzelt.
http://www.artslant.com/la/articles/show/43054
ArtSlant, USA, Mai 2015

Das Festival, das Künstlern, Verleihern, Archivaren und dem Publikum einen Ort gibt, an dem sie eine gemeinsame Mitte finden und einen Knotenpunkt für die Kurzfilmkultur bilden können.
filmcomment.com, USA, 22. Juni 2015

[Da ist es] wohltuend, dass es eine verlässliche Adresse wie Oberhausen gibt, die das Genre [Kurzfilm] mit einem Auftritt auf der Leinwand adelt. Zumal der künstlerisch ambitionierte Film im Kino kaum noch zu finden ist, sondern sein Biotop in der Galerie, wenn nicht gar gleich im Museum gefunden hat.
Berliner Zeitung, 4. Mai 2015

Seit seiner Gründung sind 61 Jahre vergangen, aber das Oberhausener Festival (Wiege des Manifestes, das den Neuen Deutschen Film der 70er Jahre hervorbrachte) bleibt die wahre Bastion aller Kreativen, für die der Kurzfilm das ideale Format für Experimente ist.
Cuadernos de Cine, Spanien, Juni 2015

In diesem Jahr konnte das Festival wieder einmal seinen Rang als wichtigste Plattform für die Präsentation kurzen, experimentellen und politischen Kinos aus der ganzen Welt behaupten, ebenso wie seinen Ruf als Ort der Begegnung zwischen der Filmindustrie und der Kunstwelt.
Camera Austria International, Austria, No. 130, Summer 2015

Konfrontiert mit der Bandbreite filmischer Ausdrucksmöglichkeiten vom Animationsfilm über experimentelle Arbeiten und Kurzdokumentationen bis zu Kurzspielfilmen begleitete die Auseinandersetzung über Potenzial und Implikationen von Filmbildern das gesamte Programm.
der Freitag, 7. Mai 2015

Die Oberhausener Kurzfilmtage sind seit 1954 eine Institution für die kurze Form, auch weltweit.
Film- & TV-Kameramann, Juni 2015

Oberhausen zeigte sich in seiner 61. Ausgabe nicht mehr wie in den Vorjahren am Scheideweg zwischen den Kontexten von „Kino“ und „Kunst“. Es hat sich entschieden. […] Oberhausen ist das weltweit erste Filmkuratorenfestival.
Frankfurter Rundschau, 6. Mai 2015

Colophon war nach den üblichen Maßstäben nicht der beste Film des Oberhausener Wettbewerbs 2015 – bei dem ich Teil der Jury war – aber er lässt in all seiner Rohheit am meisten erwarten für die Zukunft. Er deutet darauf, dass sich gerade eine neue Welle formiert im deutschen Kino. Ich will sie vorläufig einmal Freischwimmer nennen. Weil ihre Freiheit etwas mit Jugend zu tun hat, mit einer Neugierde, die man Kindern zuspricht.
critic.de, Deutschland, 11. Mai 2015

2015

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 8.000 €

Głos mojej duszy
(Sound of my soul)
Wojciech Bąkowski
Poland, 2014, 13', DCP, colour

Statement:
We award the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen to a work that challenges the relation of language to images, that renews the project of experimental film and post internet art, finding lyricism in ostensible dead ends. It is a work of remarkable economy, concision and wit, its richness drawn from its diverse array of images, motifs, text and music, enlivened through their unusual combination and unique treatment revealing their poetry and sly humour. A work about technology that values intelligence and fluidity over hi-tech equipment and style. A self-contained personal and idiosyncratic statement of surprising precision, marked by its deceptive modesty and invention. For finding richness amid banality, this video possesses a fragmented but utterly distinct voice drawing on the digital aesthetics that mediate our lives and everyday communication.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 4,000 €

32 + 4
(32 and 4)
Chan Hau Chun
China, 2014, 32', DCP, colour

Statement:
The jury awards to Principal Prize to a complex family history told with urgency, intimacy and invention by a young filmmaker of great promise. Filmmaking here is used as a means of intervention and mediation to reflect on family life, revealing many layers from the price paid in order to live and work amid cultural displacement, generational conflict and abandoned histories. In the abscess of communication, the film invents a discursive practice of images in order to talk to unspoken experience. A film of closed-off spaces and closed-off lives, which intimately unravels layers of frustration, shame and failure of communication. A work about watching and re-watching images whose self-reflection reveals a fierce intelligence in its creation of dialogue, exploring ways to confront and escape unspoken and unseen trauma.

 

e-flux Prize
endowed with 3,000 €

Tiempo Aire
(Air Time)
Bruno Varela
Mexico, 2014, 30'30'', DCP, colour

Statement:
We award the inaugural e-flux Prize to this film in recognition of its complex layered narration, its innovative combination of the personal with social and political history. It is necessary to talk about everyday violence and global cycles of brutality, yet also about stories of family life and endurance. Set against scenes of resistance, through the continuation of life or communal activity, the film shows that life is resilient and cannot be stopped so easily. This work is an experience more than just a film, a work that operates not just on what is shown, but what is outside of the frame, to speak to recent history with images and stories that carry and continue to bare the marks of their exchange and interpretation, rendered in the shifting technologies and textures of moving images.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

The Last Mango Before the Monsoon
Payal Kapadia
India, 2014, 19', DCP, colour
Statement:
A Special Mention goes to Payal Kapadia’s The Last Mango Before the Monsoon for its elegant tale of enchantment, which confidently uses the short film format to convey its enduring, elliptical narrative.

Nuvem Negra
Basil da Cunha
Switzerland, 2014, 18'30'', DCP, colour
Statement:
A Special Mention goes to Basil da Cunha’s Nuvem Negra for the strength of its cinematic depiction blending fact and fiction, oscillating between hardship and hope.

 

First Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Blue and Red
Zhou Tao
Spain/Thailand, 25', DCP, colour

Statement:
People staring mesmerised at light sources beyond the frame. Some pause, pointing, waving, others sit on the ground, expectantly following what’s hidden from our view. What do they see? A concert? A billboard? What are they waiting for? What brought them together?
In Zhou Tao’s compelling work Blue and Red the city is revealed as a stage for the media surfaces of hyper-capitalism to perform as effectively as the resistance against the ruling system.
Zhou Tao trusts exclusively in his expressive images. His clever montage creates a high degree of filmic tension and analytical precision.

 

2nd Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 3,000 €

Saigo no Tenshi
(Last Angel)
Ito Takashi
Japan, 2014, 33', DCP, colour

Statement:
A cramped flat; bleak side streets and backyards. People suffering from loneliness and isolation. Angels trying to make contact and failing.
Ito Takashi masterfully integrates these narrative motifs into an image of Japanese everyday life that’s far removed from familiar and stereotypical European depictions. Trenchant genre elements, a narrative sound design and precise framing: Ito Takashi’s cinema is to the point and focused, filling the screen with cinematic perfection and poetic enchantment.

 

The International Critics’ Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

The Last Mango Before the Monsoon
Payal Kapadia
India, 2014, 19', DCP, colour

Statement:
The Last Mango Before the Monsoon needs only a few shots to portray a cycle that transcends individual nature. And yet he, too, is part of it. A young man who walks into the forest – to die and be reborn as an elephant? The mother who remembers her late husband’s favourite dish which she hasn’t prepared in a long time. The monsoon comes, dreams and reality blur; the sound of eating a ripe mango, the wind in the trees. Kapadia’s images are precise and symbolic, leaving spaces for desire, grief, and a wink, too. They are timeless and universal, peaceful and profound.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

La pasión de Judas
(The Passion of Judas)
David Pantaleón, Spain, 2014, 10', DCP, colour

Statement:
The film takes up the local Spanish tradition of carrying an effigy of Judas through the streets at Easter and burn it. A group of disabled persons re-enact this event. The director stages the film in a way that creates a critical perspective on religious customs and inspires the audience to think about the ideological foundation of this holiday.

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Das offenbare Geheimnis
(An Apparent Secret)
Eva Könnemann
Germany, 2015, 29', DCP, colour

Statement:
The ZONTA Prize 2015 goes to a filmmaker who developed an independent and innovative artistic form and process out of a lack of means of production. The production process of this film is turned into its fictional method. This creates a new type of and new position in independent filmmaking.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition

Schicht
Alex Gerbaulet
Germany, 2015, 28'30'', DCP, colour and b/w

Statement:
Architecture, personal space, personal history, German history, the history of a town that is nourished by work. A man cleans his dog's paws. A woman loves another woman. And does not lay flowers on her mother's grave. The prize of the German Competition goes to a film that urges us to approach history and stories with deliberation. We were in Salzgitter. From micro to macro, a heavy and beautiful lump emerges. It was created by Alex Gerbaulet and is called: Schicht. We won't be able to shrug it off any time soon.

 

3sat Promotional Award
endowed with 2,500 €
for a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat.

An Ton Kaun
Susanne Steinmaßl
Germany, 2014, 9'30'', DCP, b/w

Statement:
Our senses are awake, his emotions are laid bare. The amplification of experience becomes a synaesthetic adventure, situated somewhere between exhilarating Noise, terrifying Psychotronic and an enchanting black and white film. This deserves the 3sat Promotional Award, which goes to Susanne Steinmaßl for An Ton Kaun.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Colophon
Alexandre Koberidze
Germany, 2015, 22', DCP, colour
Statement:
A Special Mention goes to a film that doesn't know what's forbidden. We praise it to keep it away from this knowledge. It is: Colophon by Alexandre Koberidze. Pass the word.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition
endowed with 1.000 Euros, sponsored by the NRW.Bank

Ruhrurbia
Rainer Komers
Germany, 2014, 30', DCP, colour

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.Bank

Cachorro Loko
Igor Shin Moromisato
Germany, 2014, 5'30'', DCP, colour

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the NRW Competition

Lucky Speed
Nina Poppe
Germany, 2014, 11', DCP, colour

 

Prize of the West ART Audience Jury
endowed with 750 €, sponsored by West ART

Hausen
Quimu Casalprim
Germany, 2014, 9'30'', DCP, colour

Statement:
The film Hausen manages brilliantly to communicate an atmosphere which leaves a lasting impression on the viewer and provoked a whole range of reactions in the jury.
The film impressively creates an arc of suspense that tells of archaic symbolism, pensive melancholy and deep religiousness. A precise and emotional perspective on the world of a woman who takes a look at her life in her native Spanish village.
This adaptation of a poem by Christoph Wenzel entitled “Im Nichts Hausen” (Dwelling in Nothingness) is an independent piece of work that transports the poem's prevailing mood but goes far beyond a filmed poetry analysis.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children' Competition
sponsored by Tiergehege Oberhausen, endowed with 1,000 €

Åka utför
(Class Trip)
Jonatan Etzler
Sweden, 2014, 14’30’’, DCP, colour

Statement:
Sometimes kids are harassed and excluded just before their parents don’t have a lot of money and they can’t afford to buy expensive stuff. And maybe you do things you’ll be sorry for only to belong. Our winner shows that it’s unfair and mean to exclude others and that it’s not always necessary to own the latest stuff to be happy in life. Because we thought that the message of this film is important and because of its beautiful images we award our Prize to Åka utför by Jonatan Etzler.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

Losers - Een film over verlies
(Losers - A Film about Loss)
Arianne Hinz
Netherlands, 2014, 16’, DCP, colour

Statement:
When you’re sad you feel that your life is over. But that’s not true! Because you always have to look forward, just like the children in our winning film. The three of them tell us very personal stories in this documentation, which we think is very courageous. We also liked the fact that each of us has experienced something similar, which made it easy for us to sympathise with their stories. And because things get more serious with every story, you can delve deeper and deeper into the film.

 

Special Mention of the Children's Jury

Oma
(Grandma)
Karolien Raeymaekers
Belgium, 2014, 7’30’’, DCP, colour
Statement:
Our Special Mention goes to a film that really frightened us when we first saw it, which is why we didn’t like it very much at first. But when we thought and talked about it we realised that the images are just right. Because it’s a film about mourning and death and these are subjects that can disturb you. Because we will remember this film and its unusual images for a long time, we award our Special Mention to Oma by Karolien Raeymaekers.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Aquapark Oberhausen

Vestibular
(Times of Competition)
Toti Loureiro, Ruy Prado
Brazil, 2015, 22’, DCP, colour and b/w

Statement:
Our society and the lives of young people, too, are marked by competition and the pressure to perform. Our winner finds impressive and intense images for these important subjects in which we recognised ourselves right away. The great cinematography, the choice of music, the excellent main actor and the clever narrative structure – the film is divided into chapters – all impressed us. In addition, the film is neither too long nor too short so we weren’t bored for a minute and felt it very intensely. Because the film convinced us on all levels we award the Prize of the Youth Jury to Vestibular by Toti Loureiro and Ruy Prado.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Youth Film Competition

AlieNation
Laura Lehmus
Germany, 2014, 6’, DCP, colour
Statement:
We want to award our Special Mention to a film that lets young people speak in their own authentic language. Who is better suited than adolescents to tell us that puberty is a stressful and difficult time? The film‘s unusual and clever style surprises us. Since the youngsters can’t be recognised they have the courage to speak freely. At the same time, the animation is so well done and varied that each of us recognised themselves in one of the characters. Because it manages not only to appeal to young people but also makes adults laugh and think, we award our Special Mention to AlieNation by Laura Lehmus.

 

Certificate of the Ecumenical Jury for a film in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
in connection with a recommendation for Matthias Film and the Katholisches Filmwerk to buy the film for their catalogues

Tišina Mujo
(Quiet Mujo)
Ursula Meier
France/Bosnia-Herzegovina/Switzerland 2014, 11', DCP, colour

Statement:
Ten-year old Mujo misplays a penalty kick, the ball lands on the neighbouring cemetery where he meets a woman with whom he strikes up a conversation about the people both have lost in their lives. The director manages with astonishing ease to link the past and present of contemporary Sarajevo, religions and generations with their contradictions.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2.000 €

Klaus Lemke for Lost and Found (Mouse on Mars & Eric D. Clark)
Germany 2014, 4'

Statement:
For the 2,000 Euro prize we have chosen Lost and Found by Mouse On Mars and Eric D Clark, directed by Klaus Lemke. We felt that it navigated many of the long running and entrenched problems of the music video format with ease, staying intelligent and keeping tongue firmly in cheek. Unfortunately Lemke cannot be here tonight to accept the award as he is currently in Munich shooting his next film, "The UntruthfulUnderpants".

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1.000 €

Lior Shamriz for The Cultural Attaché / Tornado (Kreidler)
Germany 2015, 7'

Statement:
For the 1,000 Euro prize we have chosen The Cultural Attaché by Lior Shamriz with "Tornado" by Kreidler. Similar to the first prize winner, we thought this video presented an interesting start to negating some of the more conventional music video tropes.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
determined by Internet vote and endowed with 500 €

Till Nowak/Timo Schierhorn/UWE for Denken Sie Groß (Deichkind)
Germany 2015, 4'

Trailer

Trailer of the 61st Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Sandro Aguilar, Portugal, 2015, 0'40''

Press review

Festival

“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.
filmcomment.com, 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.
blog.desistfilm.com, 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

Theme - 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.
mubi.com/notebook, 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.
perlentaucher.de, 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.
mubi.com/notebook, 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

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2015 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 10 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2014

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 8,000 €

La Estancia
Federico Adorno,
Paraguay 2014, 14', DCP, colour

Statement:
Through a succession of subtly constructed tableaus, this powerful film is a profound critique of systematic oppression. Instigated by a massacre amidst a land-rights conflict in Paraguay, this haunting work transcends the local context to voice the struggle for essential freedoms.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 4,000 €

Gangster Backstage
Teboho Edkins
France/South Africa 2013, 37'30''
file, colour

Statement:
By turns intense and gentle, this genre-bending film explores the complex reality of living on the edge, and engaging with imminent death in the everyday. Through an investigation of intimate narratives which shift between the stage and the backstage, this sensitively made work is an outstanding approach to film portraiture.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with 2,500 €

Epistrofi stin odo ailolu
Maria Kourkouta
France/Greece 2013, 14'
DCP, b/w

Statement:
A filmmaker performs cultural memory in her effort to reclaim a sense of belonging. With passionate use of appropriated filmic materials, poetry, text and music, this is a multilayered and evocative work of film art.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

THRENODY FOR THE VICTIMS OF MARIKANA
Aryan Kaganof
South Africa 2014, 26'30''
file, colour
Statement:
A testimony to how our perception of an ongoing social injustice is framed by societal and media mechanisms and a suggestion on how these could be dismantled.

Konrad & Kurfürst
Esther Urlus
Netherlands 2014, 7'
16 mm, colour
Statement:
For its alchemical "re-imagination" of a historical moment, a special mention goes to this exceptional work of artisanal practice.

Măt trói đen
(Black Sun)
Truong Quê Chi
France/Vietnam, 2013, 13'
file, colour
Statement:
A minimalist exploration of urban anxiety, this meticulously shot film is an accomplished investigation of narrative strategies in cinema.

 

First Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

River Plate
Josef Dabernig
Austria 2013, 16'
35 mm, b/w

Statement:
Body and landscape, skin and concrete. The central motives of this film form contrasts in brilliantly composed black-and-white images. The director paints a concentrated portrait of people who appropriate the landscape – notwithstanding its barrenness. They sit there stoically, running their hands over their bellies and defying stone and rain. Popular pleasures as a metaphor for the state of the world; the Jury of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia awards its prize to River Plate by Josef Dabernig, a precise psychograph of modern man.

 

Second Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 3,000 €

Tremor
Ricardo Alves Jr.
Brazil 2013, 14'
35 mm, colour

Statement:
The 2nd Prize goes to a film in which everything goes down. Descending past the floors of a rigorously managed building we follow a small narrative, embedded in clear images that show us terror and searching as part of Latin American reality.

 

The International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

Just Like Us
Jesse McLean
USA 2013, 15'
file, colour

Statement:
The film displays the filmmaker's extraordinary sensitivity and restraint as she takes us through a thoroughly original narrative landscape, one that emerges from expertly coalesced text and image, sound and vision.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Neeuklidinė Geometrija
Škirmanta Jakaitė, Solveiga Masteikaite
Lithuania 2013, 11'30''
DCP, colour

Statement:
In occasionally irritating images the film tells a story of partnership, separation and love, challenging the viewers to think about the question of the (in)finite character of love and to find their own answers.

 

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury

Two Films about Loneliness
Christopher Eales, Will Bishop-Stephens
UK 2014, 5'30''
file, colour
Statement:
This film tells parallel stories of two characters who each in their own way look for contacts through the Internet and unexpectedly find each other. Using split screen and stop motion techniques, the two filmmakers create a light and witty story about the meaning of relationships in a society shaped by media.

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

A Million Miles Away
Jennifer Reeder
USA 2014, 28'
file, colour

Statement:
"Today I met some girls who know everything about everything", replacement teacher Chrystal Chambers notes in her diary after a school choir rehearsal. More than anything these confident teenagers seem to be aware of their own worth – an awareness adults loose in the course of a woman's life. This sharply delineated confrontation of young, undisputed strength and the cracks and fractures caused by society ultimately dissolves in mutual recognition and solidarity.
In a compact sketch consisting of a few, condensed scenes and rooted in pop culture, with strong actors and precise dialogue, Jennifer Reeder opens up a wide space, narrating two opposite biographical stages of female self-assurance with equal measures of sarcasm and tenderness.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Sieben Mal am Tag beklagen wir unser Los und nachts stehen wir auf, um nicht zu träumen
Susann Maria Hempel
Germany 2014, 18'
file, colour

Statement:
The re-enactment of a specific East German post-1989 experience. Its horror and cruelties are performed with fragments of an exploded doll's house. In simple kinetics set in motion by nylon strings, objects and parts of dolls become actors in a scenario of suffering and sexual abuse.
In Sieben Mal am Tag beklagen wir unser Los und nachts stehen wir auf, um nicht zu träumen, the artist and director Susann Maria Hempel constructs a drastic tableau of Thuringian case studies, moving with the sureness of a sleepwalker between various object levels, idiomatic speech, writing and singing.
The sexual charge lies not only in the accusations of traumatisation suffered in the past, it also emerges in a strong fascination with transgression. Horror and cuteness are inextricably linked.

 

3sat Promotional Award
endowed with 2,500 €

Imraan, c/o Carrom Club
Udita Bhargava
Germany 2014, 13'30''
DCP, colour

Statement:
Director Udita Bhargava reveals confidently framed insights into the environment of a Carrom Club in Mumbai. In this gambling den in a predominantly Muslim slum we meet men with diverse backgrounds as petty criminals who at first sight seem equally childlike and macho. This sub-culture, whose members behave like perpetrators as well as objects, revolves around its precocious operator Imraan. The stylistic confidence and sensual imagery of Barghava's camera are equally inspiring.

 

Special Mentions of the Jury of the German Competition

L'Amour sauvage
Lior Shamriz
Germany 2014, 26'
file, colour

Das satanische Dickicht - EINS
Willy Hans
Germany 2014, 29'30''
file, colour

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

El carro azul
(The blue Car)
Valerie Heine
Kuba, Germany, 2014,20'
DCP, colour

Statement:
A vibrant hand-held camera at a Gay Pride happening, quiet, stringently composed images for the action on Cuba. In a confident style and avoiding all hackneyed Cuban stereotypes, Valerie Heine depicts the rapprochement of two brothers after one of them returns from the USA, with straightforward and sparse dialogue. An old family game serves as the catalyst that brings about their reconciliation. The protagonists' brilliant acting is another reason why we award our first prize to this masterful film.

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €

Molly und Andy
Ceci Leal
Germany 2013, 4'30''
file, colour

Statement:
Both the two guinea pigs and the director come from South America. With a light and funny touch, Ceci Leal projects her migration experience – the wrong weather, heavy food, loneliness and homesickness – on the two animals with the big round eyes. With energy and many surprising turns, Radek Vogt illustrates this story in a combination of cutout animation and live action film.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the NRW Competition

Sonntag, Büscherhöfchen 2
(Sunday, Büscherhöfchen 2)
Miriam Gossing, Lina Sieckmann
Germany, 2014 , 11'
file, colour
Statement:
First you hear a sound. Then you see the shutters of a house in the Bergische Land rise. A concept that is followed throughout the film: sound precedes image. Miriam Gossing's and Lina Sieckmann's quiet, photographic images take us into an exotic and sultry microcosm that no one would suspect here. They show a finely-tuned sensibility for the placement of the inhabitants in this house and thus in the frame, without exposing them to ridicule.

 

Prize of the West ART Audience Jury
endowed with 750 €, sponsored by West ART

Good Soil
Sebastian Lemke
Germany 2013, 8'
file, colour

Statement:
The documentary film Good Soil deals with a topical issue in this region, while the twins'/gardeners' fate moves the viewer. And the tragedy is brought home when the excavator appears on their doorstep.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children' Competition
endowed with 1,000 € sponsored by BERO-Zentrum

Fatima
Naima Mohamud
Finland 2013, 19'30''
DCP, colour

Statement:
Most people know that friendship is important. But some situations are almost impossible to cope with without a best friend, which our winning film shows. It also addresses the issue of divorce; we think that is very important. Nonetheless it is first and foremost funny and exciting. It teaches us that we should stick together. In addition, we were thrilled by the music and the great ideas the girls in Fatima have.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury of the International Children's Film Competition

Alles mag
(Anything Goes)
Steven Wouterlood
Netherlands 2014, 23'
DCP, colour

Statement:
Our winner is about friendship, love and saying goodbye. And it shows that you need to be pigheaded to be able to do what's fun. And it was great fun to watch it! The colours are great and the music is cheerful: Tygo, the main protagonist, talks about the carnival in South Holland. Furthermore, one can understand very well how he feels.

 

Special Mention

Dirty Laundry
Aaron Martinez
USA 2013, 18'
DCP, colour
Statement:
Our Special Mention is about courage and overcoming your fears. The film shows that monsters will grow when you're afraid and can become friends if you face them. The laundry monster and the effects in Dirty Laundry by Aaron Martinez convinced us!

 

Prize of the Youth Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Jamey's Gevecht
(Jameys Fight)
Denise Janzée
Netherlands 2013, 15'
DCP, colour

Statement:
Our winner illustrates impressively how important it is to believe in yourself and follow your goals. Even though it tells the story of a young man who is coping with very specific problems, it describes themes that concern us all and depicts situations we all know. This high identification value is one of the great strengths of the film for us.
Furthermore, we feel that there was not a single redundant scene. We were thrilled by the brilliantly chosen sequences and the coherent montage as well as by the impressive performance of the main protagonist.
Because this film evoked such diverse emotions in us – we were entertained, touched and thrilled –, we award Jamey's Gevecht by Denise Janzée the Main Prize of the Youth Jury.

 

Special Mention

Solecito
(Little Sun)
Oscar Ruiz Navia
Colombia/Denmark/France 2013, 20'
DCP, colour
Statement:
We would like to give our Special Mention to a film whose well thought-out symbolism not only entertained us but made us think. The wealth of details in its beautifully composed images, the credible dialogues and above all its charming protagonists transform this film into a well-rounded work of art. It was the fascinating play with reality and fiction and the question whether this is a documentary or a feature film that made this film exciting and unique for us. In our opinion, Solecito by Oscar Ruiz Navia inspires us to think again who deserves a second chance and whether love can be recharged as easily as a solar lamp.

 

Certificate of the Ecumenical Jury for a film in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition

Vloeibaar Staal
(Steel Days)
Flynn von Kleist
Netherlands 2013, 24'
DCP, colour

Statement:
In the drab environment of a steel mill, Franka takes care of her father and their home. When she meets a young man, the 17-year-old begins to question this life. Vloeibaar Staal is a sensitive portrait of the depressing life and dependence of the young woman. The film also manages to communicate Franka's longing for freedom and a self-determined life in impressive images.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,000 €

Ted GaierKatharina Duve and Timo Schierhorn for Der Investor (Die Goldenen Zitronen), Germany 2013

Statement:
Platform as a catwalk takes us to interpreting of urban marketing and consumer society critics and you can enjoy it without recognizing the faces and knowing the background story. However, the use of well-known influential bohemians from the German art scene adds a new layer and an aspect of nowness which can be glimpsed in other European cities as well. The video is perfectly boosting the band image as a provocateur in social and political issues. It is wonderful to award an artwork which is so well presenting the band, which, in the end of the day, is the most important function of a music video.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

Noriyuki Kimura for UNSERHAUS for The New Era (Masahiro Miwa), Germany 2014

Statement:
For once an experimental video revealing the process of how the cryptic magic is created!!
The first prize represents a maximum of content, narrative, the presence. UNSERHAUS, on the other hand, is a maximum of the opaque, cryptic, with no discernible narrative, figures, lights, shadows, a sound that penetrates the ear from the distance, frequencies jumping, how did they do that?
We thought it was a good idea to praise the most cryptic and the most narrative clip, the one most removed from Germany and the one that analyses German conditions. Which isn't quite true, actually, Family Five sang about "Japaner in Düsseldorf" (Japanese people in Düsseldorf) in the 1980s. Masahiro Miwa, the composer of UNSERHAUS, is one of them, he studied in Düsseldorf.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by AVID, determined by Internet vote

Dietrich Brüggemann for Easy Or Not (Tim Neuhaus ft. Kat Frankie), Germany 2013

Trailer

Trailer of the 60th Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Quay Brothers, Great Britain, 2014, 0'50''

Press review

It was one of the most enjoyable festival years in a long time, replete with a unique playful spirit and that marvellous encounter of different generations one experiences only here. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 7 May 2014

A rebellious festival which keeps posing challenges for its hipster audience, who come increasingly from the art scene rather than from a cinephile background. Klaus Lemke, the last rocker of German cinema [...], put it in a nutshell: "Fuck you, Oberhausen. And good luck." 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15 May 2014

There's a generous diversity of aesthetic, formalistic, and intellectual positions emerging in the many short films presented in Oberhausen. In-between, the festival appears unostentatious, fast-paced, sympathetic, uncomplicated. 
Dennis Vetter, negativ-film.de, 12 May 2014

The fact that Oberhausen’s long life has been marked by controversy, fierce independence and principled non-commerciality only adds to its reputation. 
John Beagles, Sight & Sound, Great Britain, August 2014

The International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen taught us to wonder again. Between Lemke and Ruttmann, Oberhausen, even in its 60th year, proves to be the youngest, freshest, most alert German film festival – its strength as well as weaknesses a reflection of the history of the Federal Republic and a seismograph of our age. 
Rüdiger Suchsland, artechock.de, 8 May 2014

So it is in the North Rhine-Westphalian city of Oberhausen that one sees the abutment, overlap, merging, and divergence of a very general art form –motion pictures– which to many means "cinema" and to some implies "video art." A rare place, it seems, as only in often accidental instances do those who ascribe to the above determinist perspectives and definitions of the art actually meet in the same place. 
Daniel Kasman, mubi.com, 9 May 2014

Although the city itself is hardly the center of the artistic world, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, now celebrating its 60th year, is a veritable feast for the eyes, ears and intellect. 
Tara Judah, fandor.com, 7 May 2014

A festival with an identity and a strong curatorial voice. Though many people work at putting together the various programs, the overall vision has coherence and conviction. Oberhausen understands that conversation is wider than the space that holds it. The festival is malleable and it bends to meet the needs of cinema, never forcing it into a box. 
Tara Judah, Senses of Cinema, Australia, June 2014

Oberhausen has done a tremendous job in carving out a significant niche in the festival world with their in-depth curatorial sidebars. While continuing to focus on their core – short films across genres – [Oberhausen] have managed to elude or allay the trappings of the catch-all approach of large festivals by dedicating space and profile to a more comprehensive study of film art. 
Andréa Picard, Cinema-Scope, Canada, No. 54, Summer 2014

[T]he flicker of light in a dark room is only half the story: the audiences emerged from the cinemas talking, and this itself is a small victory, renewed each year in Oberhausen. 
Adam Pugh, Art Monthly, Great Britain, June 2014

This is how cinema ought to be. Exceptional and surprising. This year, Oberhausen showed that inspiration, imagination and illusion can become a post-cinematic film experience, in which the limits and categories of visual language may be renewed and developed further. 
Jennifer Borrmann, kino-zeit.de, 12 May 2014

Next to the Berlinale's International Forum, the Oberhausen Festival is the most important German festival for film as an art form. Instead of celebrating itself, cinema voluntarily takes itself to the limits here. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 3 May 2014

While other A festivals must face charges of not giving female directors enough chances, this does not concern Oberhausen in the slightest. [...] If women get a chance in Oberhausen, they use it, too. Five of the nine big prizes went to female directors. 
Georg Immich, Film & TV Kameramann, June 2014

What distinguishes the Short Film Festival is the fact that it takes place more or less removed from all markets, which traditionally allows the films to experiment a lot with subject matter and technique. This Festival even presents works rejected by the selection committee in the "Open Screening". But it is also due to the short film as such, a game between fragmentation and concentration, that this is where, in the best examples, the exploration of the format is driven forward. 
Christoph Meueler, Junge Welt, 9 May 2014

The Festival doesn't show its 60 years: a multiplex with atmosphere, perfect projections, experimental film art, music videos, narrative formats, DJ profiles at the Festival Bar, discussions, Poetry Clip Competition, Open Air, children's and youth films, awards. The International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen is celebrating its anniversary and sends its rays across the world of film. 
Achim Lettmann, Westfälischer Anzeiger, 3 May 2014

The Festival constitutes priceless advertising for the city. All over the world, Oberhausen is associated with it. [...] No advertising campaign, however expensive, would be even remotely as successful as this Festival, which fills the city with international visitors every year. 
Gudrun Mattern, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 May 2014

At the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, tradition is based on an inquisitive joy of experimentation. It is the constant attempt to question viewing habits, the collective cinema experience and aesthetic and cultural-political processes mired in tradition. 
Jennifer Borrmann, ray-magazin.at, Austria, May 2014

"Film without Film" was the subject of an occasionally sensational Theme programme, which evoked the artists' conquest of the screen by the "Expanded Cinema" of the 1960s. And spread its ideals among young artists with amazing ease. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 7 May 2014

The boldest thematic programme in Lars Henrik Gass's 17 years as festival director.
Reinhard Kleber, Filmecho/Filmwoche, 16 May 2014

Once more the Oberhausen Festival took a bold look behind the images – challenging traditional cinema. 
Film-Dienst, No. 12, June 2014

This year’s Theme […] focused on the cinema as a place, as a social, political and collective space, which means film was its content, but not its subject. 
Ann-Katrin Günzel, Kunstforum No. 227, June/July 2014

The issue of the cinema space is addressed all the more intelligently because it is not made explicit but hidden behind the outward enjoyment of testing limits, taking film away from the cinema to find out what's left. 
Frédéric Jaeger, critic.de, 7 May 2014

[…] Celluloid was banned from the projection rooms long ago to make way for digital projection. Cinema today is already a cinema without film. The more recent works in the "Film without Film" series constituted a hidden critique of the illusion machine of an often soulless digital cinema. 
Hans Schifferle, epd film, June 2014

A fascinating programme of "impossible films", which in an era of visual excess gave the audience delightful moments in which they were allowed to just stay still, wonder or play along. 
Gabrielle Schultz, Die Welt, 7 May 2014

That would be the truly interactive task: digging through this jumble, in which much, though not everything, finds a place; which puts half-hour films next to two-minute works, Colombian puppets next to animated Aboriginal tales [...] Oberhausen, magnificent jumble. 
Elena Meilicke, der Freitag, 7 May 2014

With too much to choose from (my only real complaint), this year's star attraction for me was the profile on Mara Mattuschka. Showcasing seventeen of her works spread over three sessions split chronologically between the 1980s, 1990s and 2000s, Mattuschka's alter ego, Mimi Minus, exploded onto the screen as only a true star of the avant-garde can. 
Tara Judah, fandor.com, 7 May 2014

[Mattuschka's] life-affirming, wild films have often delighted Oberhausen – with her enchanting, madcap presence at the presentation of her films and on the screen itself. 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 15 May 2014

The winner of the German Competition was Susann Maria Hempel's Sieben Mal am Tag beklagen wir unser Los und nachts stehen wir auf, um nicht zu träumen (2014). The film illustrates interviews with victims of inconceivable suffering. Fantastic, incredibly nightmarish and at the same time childlike, naive. Where else, if not here, could we see such extraordinary short films? 
Jennifer Borrmann, kino-zeit.de, 12 May 2014

Oberhausen’s tradition as a festival of dialectics, championing the thorough intellectual investigation of process, aesthetics, and politics in its post-screening discussions and Podium program, was taken to a new level this year with the initiation of the Oberhausen Seminar. 
Aily Nash, The Brooklyn Rail, USA, 5 June 2014

The thus ironically reflected deterritorialization of the cinematographic space is easily traced back to the dramaturgies of the films themselves which have always transcended any spatial dividing lines; all the more if, as in the Oberhausen programmes, documentary and fictional intentions meet, as well as digital and analogue production processes. 
Rainer Bellenbaum, camera austria, Austria, No. 126, 2014

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2014 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 10 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2013

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 8,000 €

Kirik Beyaz Laleler (Off-White Tulips)
Aykan Safoglu
Germany/Turkey 2013, 24', DCP, Colour

Statement:
Who does not know a woman who has dyed her hair blonde? Or, who has never had –even if in dream– an imaginary friend?
Aykan, perhaps the story of your relationship to James Baldwin is not encapsulated within the world of fiction only. Your piece, an hommage to Baldwin, actually stands in the subtle and fragile line between two worlds – the real and the creative– and also between several times/moments. By adeptly weaving images of Baldwin with your own personal exploration, Kirik Beyaz Laleler beautifully connects to viewers in a multitude of ways. We are extremely excited to share your portrait of an exile writer, with whom you share a 3 year overlap (1984-1987).

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 4,000 €

Ziegenort
Tomasz Popakul
Poland 2013, 19', DCP, Colour

Statement:
The artist of this work decided to introduce his film by generously suggesting, more or less, that we all be good to each other. This message is artistically crafted and delivered through a series of animated drawings that portray many depths and several perspectives. This regional and semi-autobiographical tale is haunting in the most beautiful ways. Tomasz Popakul, thank you for taking us to the sea: through black & white frames that outline complex smouldering atmospheres without the need of a snorkel or a gas-tank.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with2,500 €

Dad's Stick
John Smith
Great Britan 2012, 5', HDCAM, Colour

Statement:
Mr. John Smith, a ruler, a stick, a cup (and much paint along the way). It is our honour to be introduced to Mr. Tony Smith. A finely woven series of minute details enrich and enable the deep and colourful dive into the personal palimpsest of memories that are powerfully gathered in Dad's Stick.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Rogalik
Pawel Ziemilski
Poland 2012, 17'30'', DCP, Colour

Journal
Sirah Foighel Brutman, Eitan Efrat
Belgium 2013, 16', Blu-ray, Colour

A onda traz, o vento leva
Gabriel Mascaro
Brazil/Spain 2012, 28', DCP, Colour

 

Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Montaña en sombra
Lois Patiño
Spain 2012, 14' , DCP, colour

Statement:
We award a film whose narrative evolves solely from the power of images, revealing a mountain deeply scarred by human beings. With outstanding camerawork on the edge of black-and white, it exposes the contrast between a powerful nature and human activities as represented by a bizarre ski ballet. A mountain in mourning – "Montaña en sombra" by Lois Patiño.

 

The International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

Buffalo Death Mask
Mike Hoolboom
Canada 2013, 23', File, Colour and b/w

Statement:
From a very strong program there were several impressive works, however there can only be one winner. The winning film highlights universal themes in a poignant, personal way. Through earnest dialogue and dreamlike imagery it laments sickness and death and how losing the ones you love is also losing part of yourself. A striking, warm film.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €, sponsored by the Evangelische Kirchenkreis Oberhausen and the Katholische Filmarbeit in Deutschland

Nation Estate
Larissa Sansour
Denmark/Palestinian territories 2012, 9', DCP, Colour

Statement:
This film uses the science fiction genre to cram the whole of Palestine into a skyscraper. All that's left in its sterile interiors is the nostalgic view of the former home country through the windows. Formally stylized and with a precise eye for detail the film shows a utopia of this unresolved conflict.

 

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury

Yellow Fever
Ng'endo Mukii
Great Britain 2012, 7', DigiBeta, colour
Statement:
The ideal of fair skin tempts many girls and women in Africa to make painful attempts to change their appearance. This film, which was also screened in the Children's and Youth Film Competition, visualizes the condition of feeling insufficient in an exciting mix of collage, animation and dance, ingeniously addressing the racist causes of this feeling of inferiority and their reinforcement by today's mass media.

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Diary #2
Adina Pintilie
Rumania 2013, 16', DCP, Colour

Statement:
Created as an experimental set-up between actress and director, the film feels its way into the memories and physicality of its protagonist. Looks, gestures and smells combine to form a narrative of great beauty. The tension between desire and fulfilment is sketched through the history of a body; a slow affirmation of the sensual present moment begins. This set-up of a documentary-fictional improvisation has a lasting effect.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Neununddreißig
Patrick Richter
Germany 2012, 27', DCP, Colour

Statement:
Choosing among the different genres represented in this German Competition, we have decided to award our main prize to a film whose approach was particularly touching. A film that isn't easy on the audience and a film that wasn't easy for its creators. How far can you go when you find the subject of your film in your closest environment, and where is the limit at which the camera should be switched off? The director of this film presented an unsparingly intimate home video in this Competition. A home video that pushes the boundaries of the documentary film. Thirty-nine kilos is the dream weight of the anorexic girl portrayed by the director, a girl who comes from his closest family circle. We therefore award the Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition to Patrick Richter for his film Neununddreißig.

 

3sat Promotional Award
endowed with 2,500 €

Beyond Love and Compagnionship
Lior Shamriz
Germany 2012, 18', HDCAM, Colour

Statement:
A jury's task is always to search for something, and during that search we came across a film which itself focuses on searching. The search for one's own identity is one of the great original cinematic themes and in this case, the quest takes us to Berlin, a city that attracts many young searchers for meaning. We meet a young woman who is confronted from outside with her own self. Everyone but her seems to have figured her out. But is it really her? The director shows what happens when you suddenly re-discover yourself, with the instincts of a true comedian who always balances over the abyss. We therefore award the 3Sat Promotional Award 2013 to Lior Shamriz for his film Beyond Love and Companionship.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Continuity
Omer Fast
Germany 2012, 41', DCP, Colour
Statement:
The Jury of the German Competition traditionally awards two prizes in Oberhausen: the 3Sat Promotional Award and the Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition. This year, in addition to the two prize winners, we would like to award a special mention to a film that has already attracted a lot of attention elsewhere. This film deals with a subject addressed by many filmmakers over the past few years, but uses an unusually broad spectrum of stylistic devices: a complex mash-up of elements from film and art history, it plays an ingenious game with the audience's expectation. The latter find themselves stuck in a loop they can't escape. A perfect labyrinth. We therefore award a Special Mention to the film Continuity by Omer Fast.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Krokodile ohne Sattel (Crocodile without Saddles)
Britta Wandaogo
Germany 2012, 15', Blu-ray, colour

Statement:
Memories do not follow a chronological order – nor does Britta Wandaogo's film. Her 12-year-old daughter Kaddi thinks about the meaning of life and the role she plays in her German and African families. The filmmaker finds material in her archive which makes long-forgotten qualities and strengths visible to Kaddi. This very personal, almost intimate dialogue between the mother's images and the daughters' words shows how memories can be cultivated to make the here and now more comprehensible.

 

Promotional Award of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €

Anfang Juni (June Begins)
Kerstin Neuwirth
Germany 2012, 11', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
In strong, richly atmospheric tableaus, Kerstin Neuwirth creates a mysterious microcosm. Women of different generations wordlessly act in a large garden. We hear only the sounds of nature. What are the relations between the various persons, how does the elusive man come into it? Is it possible to escape? The filmmaker deliberately keeps the viewer at a distance to create a space for own interpretations, associations and memories.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the NRW Competition

Das Tier das lügen kann (The Animal That Can Lie)
David Jansen
Germany 2012, 12', HDCAM, Colour
Statement:
What is the meaning, the context of the mostly frightening animated images in Das Tier das lügen kann? The expulsion from paradise is prevented and still man cannot be happy? Is it the word of God that's missing? David Jansen's animated film, which has passages that are as thrilling as any crime novel, leaves the viewer disturbed and baffled. But long after one has seen it one cannot help puzzling over its meaning, while the disconcertingly strong images force themselves into one's mind. That is a kind of quality.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children' Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Neue Ruhr Zeitung

Yim & Yoyo
Anna van Keimpema
Netherlands 2012, 25', DCP, Colour

Statement:
Some friends really exist; others exist only in your imagination. These are just as important as the real ones, as our winning film, Yim & Yoyo by Anna van Keimpema, shows. It's incredibly how much imagination Yim has and how he makes it come alive in his images. Even his fear of speaking is overcome by a little trick of the imagination. We think that this is really admirable, and it also makes you laugh in some places.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury of the International Children's Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

I'm Going to Mum's
Lauren Jackson
New Zealand 2012, 12'30'', HDCAM, Colour

Statement:
Parents can be friends, too. But what do you do if they don't get along any more? Jacob goes on a clothes strike. Bundled in thick layers of clothes he can hardly move – but his parents start to move towards one another again. This film shows in a very funny way that it is important to fight for the things you love.

 

Special Mention

Pryg-Skok (Hopfrog)
Leonid Shmelkov
Russia, 2012, 5', DCP, Colour
Statement:
Our Special Mention is a tale of imagination and friendship. It takes imagination to think up the creatures that are hopping across the screen in this film. They hop together and sometimes argue. But the main thing is: everything ends well. It's impossible to describe how funny this film is, which is why we hope that Pryg-Skok by Leonid Shmelkov will be screened at many more festivals

 

Prize of the Youth Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, supported by the Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation

Yardbird
Michael Spiccia
Australia, 2012, 13'30'', 35mm, Colour

Statement:
Our winning film resembles a puzzle – the story emerges only gradually over the course of the film, a story which was completely new and unknown to all of us. We follow a girl whose special talents enable her to fight her way out of the dreariness of a junk yard into a new and hopefully better life.
This extraordinary story is carried by surprising moments which made us all think and feel for the girl when we saw the film. But also by its remarkable mood which is expressed in every aspect of the production and design of this film.

 

Special Mention

Mila
Kristina Wagenbauer
Canada/Switzerland 2012, 17', DCP, Colour
Statement:
We would like to award our Special Mention to a film whose effective arc of suspense thrilled us from the first moment. The problems the young protagonist of this story must cope with and the stark contrasts in her emotional world that this entails were visualized in a way we could all understand.
The professional quality of the production of this film with its cleverly chosen locations and the harmonious colour design have impressed and delighted us all. In this context we would also like to emphasize the brilliant music design – since music is not just a narrative device among many others in this film, but an agent at the centre of the story.

 

Certificate of the Ecumenical Jury for a film in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition

Quand ils dorment (When They Sleep)
Maryam Touzani
Morocco 2012, 18', Blu-ray, Colour

Statement:
8-year-old Sara loves her grandfather. When he dies unexpectedly, she looks for a way to say goodbye despite religious conventions. The film addresses a universal theme in a culture foreign to us. Its direct camera and unpretentious narrative style make it convincing.

 

MuVi Awards
shared equally between these three videos, each endowed with 1,000 €

Moth Race
A video by: Heinz Emigholz
Music: Kreidler
Production: Pym Films
Label: Italic Recordings
Germany 2013, 4'
Statement:
Moth Race
 by Heinz Emigholz takes us to putative faraway places, showing us in the uniformity of transit spaces that the absurd is lurking right behind the corners of the modern age.

Palimpsest
A video by: Zeljko Vidovic
Music: Smog
Production: Zeljko Vidovic
Label: Domino Records
Germany 2012, 6'30''
Statement:
Palimpsest
, finally, goes astray in a positive sense and takes the risk of getting lost in the border regions between death and reanimation. The Turin Shroud combined with disturbing animation and accompanied by scatterings of music.

Therapeutikon
A video by: Heike Aumüller
Music: The Schwarzenbach
Production: Exquisite Mayhem
Label: ZickZack
Germany 2012, 5'30''
Statement:
Therapeutikon
 has its fingers on the pulse of our age insofar as the state of being locked into existing conditions – and not just that of the "loonies" referred to in the lyrics – is boiled down to its visual and musical essentials. Beckett and Boy George in a de-furnished family apartment.

 

The MuVi Online Audience Award
endowed with 500€, sponsored by Schröder Bier

Left on a Little Farm
A video by: Andreas Menn
Samples and Sounds: Stan Back
Production Ton: Stefan Römer
Production: Andreas Menn
Germany 2012, 6'

Trailer

Trailer of the 59th Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Elodie Pong, Switzerland, 2013, 0'40''

Press review

Do we still need cinemas? In Oberhausen, the question remains open. But the way it is reflected and illuminated here shows clearly that this is definitely not an issue the Festival has to worry about. 
Andreas Rossmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 May 2013

Once more Oberhausen's five competitions were proof that the filmmakers themselves are obviously burning to show their works in the cinema. The longest-running short film festival in the world registered 6,700 submissions – even though rules were tightened again. One couldn't ask for a better demonstration of the producers' passion for the big screen. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Blickpunkt:Film No. 20, 2013

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has none of the glamour and rigid hierarchy of, say, Cannes; its egalitarian spirit and inclusiveness facilitate exchanges between directors, critics, programmers, professionals, and amateurs alike. 
Agnieszka Gratza, filmcomment.com, USA, 29 May 2013

In two homage programmes to the American underground filmmaker Luther Price's tender and brutal cinematic poems and the German artist Helga Fanderl's gloriously fragile material studies, Super8 and 16mm films were projected (even in double projections). Perhaps it is the art business with its museums, galleries and festivals that will ultimately guarantee the survival of celluloid and its specific sensuality. 
Hans Schifferle, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 16 May 2013

Oberhausen is a festival less interested in the indulgences of its industry. It is a film festival of inclusion. Eight different juries award prizes, and whilst there is a clear celebration of excellence, the festival is anything but elitist. Oberhausen is also known for its experimental content. Within the context of a strong non-narrative cinema presence, still, accessibility persist. 
Tara Judah, afca.org.au, Australia, June 2013

Undoubtedly, a significant portion of film art will survive only in the art business. But precisely because so many filmmakers migrate there, it would be disastrous for Oberhausen to join the movement with flying colours. […] Short film, too, used to be an applied art, but at its best it was also supreme art. The story of the Oberhausen festival since 1954 is the story of this emancipation. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 10 May 2013

Several directors' portraits, film programmes and discussions explored the issue of whether the present revaluation of film production and distribution processes has anything to do at all with traditional cinematic practice. These were not about taking stock from the cultural pessimist's point of view, but about a productive appropriation of what is happening everywhere and every day anyway. 
Claus Loeser, Der Tagesspiegel, 10 May 2013

If the Luther Price and Croatian programs reflected a couple of Oberhausen's traditional strengths – its dedication to presenting truly iconoclastic, radical cinema, and its longstanding commitment to highlighting films from regions whose cinematic output is generally neglected in the West […] – the Archives section demonstrated the festival's willingness to expand its format and embrace new ways of celebrating the short film. 
Jed Rapfogel, cineaste.com, USA, September 2013

If one were looking for a specifically post-cinematic aesthetics, the events and aggregations sketched here would also have to be considered, since they provide the kind of atmosphere and tension that have grown rare in conventional narrative films but are part of the potential of cinema. Seen in this light, the Oberhausen festival was not so much a preview of the future of cinema as an enactment of its post-cinematic present age. 
Manfred Hermes, Junge Welt, 11/12 May 2013

By posing this question, Oberhausen once more confirmed its role as one of the most innovative film festivals in the world, one that raises important aesthetical issues before others. 
Reinhard Kleber, Filmecho/Filmwoche No. 19, 11 May 2013

Perhaps it is the longing for more depth and profundity in culture, politics and social life that emerges in many of the contributions, but also in the festival programmes as such. In any case, with its 450 films and host of discussion events, Oberhausen offers the visitor just that: space for reflection. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Koelner Stadt-Anzeiger, 7 May 2013

But even though the immigration of film into the web cannot be denied, the overall composition of the programme as a whole, mixing old and new, film and discussion, imagination and reality, copy and original, was a plea for cinemas and film festivals alike as the places that offer a still unique group experience. 
Jennifer Borrmann, kino-zeit.de, 9 May 2013

Consequently, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival endures, and enjoys a lasting relevance, as a collection of bodies in space; of interactions and chance encounters, not transactions; its very time-in-spaceness, too, is a refutation of the always-on and unfinishable. It maintains a structure that allows for the existence of the aleatory and indefinite […]. 
Adam Pugh, Art Monthly, Great Britain, June 2013

It's true that the very diverse works revealed aesthetic developments in post Web 2.0 experimental film and video, but whether they made "the flattening of time comprehensible", as Shama Khanna intended, and let the audience feel "that they are anything but flat" remains doubtful. Nonetheless, there were some productions that stood out from the mass of works that were sometimes unwieldy in form and content and inaccessible without an education in (experimental) film, and left their mark. 
Gabrielle Schultz, mediabiz.at, May 2013

Critically, there were some distinct positions at work in the Flatness screenings. One strand offered an accelerationist, hyperbolic ventriloquising of digital culture, pushing it to the point of implosion (most obviously in Ed Atkins's work); the other was far more sober, detached and analogue in its critical dissection. This was fitting for a programme in which feelings of duality, paradox and incommensurability dominated. It was also again curatorially significant. Legitimating these distinctive responses created productive tensions with regard to the depiction of the tectonic shifts created by digital culture and, perhaps more importantly, the development of a sense of agency in response. 
John Beagles, Sight & Sound, Großbritannien, Juli 2013

A programme bearing the pretty title of "Flatness" served […] to supply the discourse foundation to Oberhausen's efforts to deliver descriptions of the current landscape of cinema. However, the exciting idea that one of the consequences of digitization is that people spend time only in front of their screens, to the beat of information, which in turn leads to a flattening of visual concepts in detail and life in general, remained blurred in terms of definition. The term is good, what's doubtful is whether it is really helpful to diagnose symptoms of our age. 
Matthias Dell, Der Freitag, 8 May 2013

What was more, the broad range of the works presented – gallery art, internet activism, performance documents, author's films – gave rise to amazing constellations and points of intersection. Shown in the format of screen projections, though occasionally evoking the contingency of algorithmic search results, the programmes were far from creating a sense of being overpowered. But that is precisely what the curator wanted: to escape the affect production and metaphors of aesthetic expression. 
Rainer Bellenbaum, springerin, Austria, July 2013

What are the effects on the individual who, with a few clicks, transcends time, space and context and is able to reinvent him- or herself constantly? Anything but flat, as the works in the "Flatness" programme "popped up" countless different forms for this, never forgetting that the almighty image medium of the Internet is not just a rival, but also the platform for the short film, which seems to have lost the fight to find its niche in the cinemas. 
Kathrin Haeger, Filmdienst No. 11, 23 May 2013

At the same time the whole show ["Flatness"] was an underhand confirmation of the diagnosis that the power of cinema is unbroken even in the age of digitization. There is no cinema crisis. In the face of digital inflation, the physicality of the two-dimensional cinematic image seemed all the more powerful and corporeal. Instead one witnessed the identity crisis of museum art and its overstrained flounderings faced with the challenge of new media. 
Ruediger Suchsland, artechock.de, 9 May 2013

The main event at this year's festival, however, was, without a doubt, the focus on Price, co-organized with the artist by Light Industry's Ed Halter. Consisting of three programs of Super 8 and 16-mm films, including an ultrarare double projection of his infamous Sodom, plus a midnight "secret" screening of Clown in a concrete bar located in an unused corner of Oberhausen's Bahnhof, Price's films were loud even when silent, eloquent in their bravery and abrasiveness.
André Picard, artforum.com, USA, May 2013

[Luther Price's] films have neither opening nor final credits; they revolve around death, violence and futility, always underpinned by an almost intangible absoluteness. [….They] emerge as minimalist pieces which are almost painfully present.
Claus Loeser, Filmdienst No. 11, 23 May 2013

Whatever their tone, however, every single film in these programs [Krelja/Papic/Tadic] demonstrated a seemingly effortless mastery of the short documentary form, a passionate devotion to documenting the breadth and depth of Croatian society (both urban and rural), and a deep concern with the daily lives of the country's citizens. 
Jed Rapfogel, cineaste.com, USA, September 2013

The prolific Fanderl "she's made upward of six hundred films to date" bestowed a beautiful calm upon the festival with her sublime silent miniatures, radiant in both black-and-white and color. 
André Picard, artforum.com, USA, May 2013

It was exciting to see Ho [Tzu Nyen]'s polyphonic reconstructions of history find their counterparts in Laure Prouvost's sprawling, monologic (art) stories in the Oberhausen programmes. 
Isabella Reicher, Der Standard, Austria, 10 May 2013

In its totality, "4 x 4 Episodes of Singapore Art" emerges not only as the interpretive key that helps unlock the rest of Ho's oeuvre, which is noticeably more abstract in design, nor merely as an ambitious attempt to create a kind of dialogic counter-historiography; quite in passing, it establishes a model of how one form of art can be translated into the medium of another (and even into that of a third, the cinema), while generating insights for both sides. 
Lukas Foerster, Texte zur Kunst, June 2013

One of the most amazing and insightful films of the whole festival was screened both in the German and the International Competition: KIRIK BEYAZ LALELER by the German-Turkish Aykan Safoglu is a subtle and hugely enthralling example of Queer Cinema. 
Hans Schifferle, epd Film, June 2013

The visual language of the German clips ranged widely from minimalist animation ("The Exact Colour of Doubt", Liars) to opulent elegance ("We Are on Fire", CocoRosie) and easily bore comparison with international productions. 
Maxi Braun, trailer-ruhr.de, May 2013

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2013 is available for download as PDF.

2012

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

Snow Tapes
Mich'ael Zupraner
Israel/Palestinian Territories 2011, 13'30'', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
In this work, with a strong sense of political urgency and complexity, the artist provided camera to a Palestinian family in the highly charged city of Hebron. But instead of a one dimensional depiction of a political conflict, he complicates the viewer's life with a bifurcated screen in which we are confronted not only with the violent reality of the occupation, but also with the glee of the victim when he is able to be aggressive, with the ambivalence of throwing snow balls as both playful and violent, and with the Israeli director himself as someone who stand to gain from representing Palestinian suffering. The result, while raw and rough, is both subtle and evocative, and reconfigures cinema as an active agent beyond the subjective-objective division rather than settle for a passive political role.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Reframing the Artist
Sascha Pohle
Netherlands 2010, 35', HDV, colour

Statement:
We might mistake this piece for a familiar post-modern exercise, reflecting upon the representation of artists in mainstream cinema. Yet, by having the familiar tropes re-enacted in a Chinese art factory in a non patronizing and sensitive way, the director allows us an ever expanding view of both the astounding wide scope of an art labour that includes instant Mona Lisas side by side with Vladimir Putin and Deng Xiaoping portraits, and a rare and non nostalgic view of the labourers, low-paid craftsmen of painting who nonchalantly assume the roles of heroic artists such as Jackson Pollock and Vincent Van Gogh.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Ten Five in the Grass
Kevin Jerome Everson
USA 2012, 32', DV, colour

Statement:
Through a deceptively simple but profoundly observed series of extended compositions, Kevin Jerome Everson discovers the world of real cowboys, not as larger than life mythic figures but as down-to-earth African-Americans totally devoted to the rodeo. There is something truly surprising in seeing the white American image of the cowboy transformed into the joyful leisure activity of young African-Americans. It is a deeply moving portrait that gives one of the primary romantic archetypes a new cultural identity.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with 2,500 €

Marian Ilmestys
(The Annunciation)
Eija-Liisa Ahtila
Finland 2011, 37'30'', DCP, colour

Statement:
The classic religious depictions of the Annunciation become both humane and ironic by having them re-enacted with a cast of unassuming yet wholly engaged women. Different layers of meaning and sensuality are constructed and narrated in an unpretentious and disarmingly witty way.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Sounding Glass
Sylvia Schedelbauer
Germany 2011, 10', Digibeta, b/w
Statement:
With very few images culled from the flood of footage originally taken during World War II, the filmmaker manages to express the incomprehensible trauma of war as a strong visual experience. With a highly compressed use of sound and image, Sounding Glass creates a visceral impact that can only be achieved by cinematic means.

Tic Tac
Josephine Ahnelt
Austria 2011, 2'30'', 35 mm/Super 8, b/w
Statement:
This film expresses the visual mystery of what at first might seem to be found footage of teenagers playing in an anonymous courtyard. At the modest 2'30'' length of an 8mm camera roll, Tic Tac captures images pregnant with fragility and multiple meaning.

 

Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Slot Machine
Wu Chang-Jung
Taiwan 2010, 3', DV, colour

Statement:
The Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport honours a short film indeed: Slot Machine by Wu Chang-Jung combines rhythmic precision, mediatic dash and originality in three minutes. It connects big issues like mass production driven by profit-maximization with an absolutely tender and sensual eye for elementary things.

 

Special Mention

Applied Theories of Expanding Minds
Lena Bergendahl, Jennifer Rainsford, Rut Karin Zettergren
Sweden/Kenya 2011, 33', DV, colour
Statement:
We award a Special Mention to a film that takes cracking the Eurocentric point of view seriously and creates an equally bizarre and terrifyingly credible world in the process. Applied Theories of Expanding Minds by Lena Bergendahl, Jennifer Rainsford and Rut Karin Zettergren is the dystopia of a fictitious former colony whose social and religious life is ruled by geomagnetism. Creative courage and a love of directorial detail make this game of reality and fiction more than an end in itself; it triggers social and critical associations in a playful and natural way.

 

The International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

Café Regular, Cairo
Ritesh Batra
Egypt/India 2011, 11', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
The film relates to a contemporary political issue – a free choice about a life. It is a portrait of a woman who decides to take her personal life in her own hands. The dialogue is funny and clever; the director shows a great sense of emotional nuances. The form, on the other hand, is fresh and vivid; camera moves are elaborate and observant.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €, sponsored by the Evangelische Kirchenkreis Oberhausen and the Katholische Filmarbeit in Deutschland

Odete
Clarissa Campolina, Ivo Lopes Araújo, Luiz Pretti
Brazil 2012, 16', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
A life without relationships is reduced to mere existence. Clarissa Campolina, Ivo Lopes Araújo and Luiz Pretty sketch a complex mother-daughter-relationship in their film. In carefully composed images, the directors reveal the inner limitations of Odete and her mother.

 

Promotional Award of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with ca. 1,750 € (0,10 € for each ticket issued during the festival)

Jalan Jati
(Teak Road)
Lucy Davis
Singapore 2012, HDCAM, 23', colour

Statement:
Jalan Jati
 impresses by its technically and aesthetically unconventional animation and, as an art project, by its extraordinary combination of diverse artistic and scientific fields. An organic achievement in every respect.

 

ZONTA Prize to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition
endowed with 1,000 €

Ersatz
Elodie Pong
Switzerland/France 2011, 4', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
Lovers' banter – the almost Dadaist linguistic play on the word "Ersatz" suddenly becomes serious. Ersatz-love must look for an Ersatz-flat. For this equally unusual and funny experimental set-up, the Zonta Prize goes to Elodie Pong and her film Ersatz.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Item Number
Oliver Husain
Germany/Canada 2012, 16', DCP, colour

Statement:
Time is running out. The mirror shows for what or whom. A very particular kind of artificiality loses its melodramatic nature and re-discovers it at the moment when the space beyond the stage becomes the stage. And because there is no beyond, the film releases its protagonist.

 

3sat Promotional Award
endowed with 2,500 €

Red, She Said
Mareike Bernien, Kerstin Schroedinger
Germany/Great Britain 2011, 13', Digibeta, colour

Statement:
From (post) production to projection and intervention. A sympathetic examination of colour film, its procedures and impact on a perception of reality that is not so much recorded as constructed. It's precisely in this sense, as part of an ongoing debate, that this film, via several spots, lets a red re-emerge that is bigger than life in more than one sense.

 

Special Mentions of the Jury of the German Competition

The Centrifuge Brain Project
Till Nowak
Germany 2011, 7', DCP, colour
Statements:
Everything spins, moves, permutates. Having reached its digital present age, film returns to its fairground roots. While testing the limits of the alleged separation of fiction and documentary and toying with the audience, this film also mocks humanity's neo-liberal measuring and (self) optimisation drive.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Sounding Glass
Sylvia Schedelbauer
Germany 2011, 10', Digibeta, b/w
Statement:
The certainty that everything and everyone has a fixed place in history gives way to uncertainty and searching. Constant changes between light and dark set history in motion. Flickering deforms, developing a pull that in turn creates an urgency that doesn't preclude doubt.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the North Rhine-Westfalia Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the NRW.BANK

Guck woanders hin
Charlotte Anne-Marie Rolfes
Germany, 22', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
Everything could be perfect for 14-year-old Janna: an afternoon at the fair and the prospect of long summer holidays. When she meets a boy her age at the lake, their mutual attraction is immediately apparent. What starts as a harmless flirt soon turns out to be Janna's dramatically failed attempt to experience a self-determined "first time".
The director subtly hints at the girl's story of abuse, which catches up with Janna as she looks for a normal way to deal with natural physical proximity. The two lay actors are excellently directed and convincing in their roles. We were particularly impressed with the key scene of the film, in which the main character ceases to be merely a victim and becomes an abuser herself. The director handles her subject masterfully, both visually and in terms of content.

 

Promotional Award of the North Rhine-Westfalia Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.BANK

Daphne und Noa
Simon Steinhorst
Germany 2011, 9', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
We hear two little girls sing about their lives. Their songs are about big issues like adoption or patchwork families, but also about everyday matters like a sister who pees into the shared bed. The director and his team brilliantly visualise the verbal reality of the kids.
The girls' sparkling creativity finds an independent equivalent in the colourful drawn animation. Their unselfconscious singing triggers a process of drawn associations. Perfectly adapted to the children's tales, the animation is captivating in its fast-paced rhythm and apparent simplicity.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children's Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Neue Ruhr Zeitung

Ernesto
Corinne Ladeinde
Great Britain 2011, 7', Digibeta, colour

Statement:
We all liked the story of Ernesto especially. The boy wants a tooth gap like all the other children and even tries to pull out a milk tooth with a pair of pliers. Suddenly his teeth start to fight back because they don't want to come out just yet. We liked the colourful and gay images and we liked the way the characters were drawn: Ernesto has an enormous head of black curls. We also thought the music and the singing were very good and award our prize to Ernesto.

 

evo Promotional Award of the Children's Jury of the International Children's Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the Energieversorgung Oberhausen AG (evo)

Mina Moes
(Mina Mouse)
Mirjam de With
Netherlands 2011, 15', Digibeta, colour

Statement:
There was another film we all thought was great. It's about a little girl who just refuses to listen to the adults. We really like the film because Mina manages to be like her role model, Minnie Mouse, even though her mother and teacher object. The costume with the big Minnie Mouse ears was great and the actors were all very good. Plus, the film is very funny and entertaining.

 

Special Mention

Gogona Goridan
(The Girl from Gori)
Eka Papiashvili
Germany/Georgia 2012, 14', Blu-ray, colour
Statement:
When a girl comes into a new class, it's sometimes hard for the "new girl". Especially if there is a boy who is very mean. The boy in the film was also very mean to his new classmate, Tamari, at first and even broke her crayons. But we thought it was really great that he apologizes in the end and even gives her a new set of crayons. Because we liked the actors and the story very much, we award a Special Mention to Gogona Goridan.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, supported by the Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation

Junior
Julia Ducournau
France 2011, 21'30'', Digibeta, colour

Statement:
We award our prize to a film whose diversity simply bowled us over. We were particularly impressed by the shifts between funny scenes and horror movie shock moments and the wonderful camera moves. It's easy to identify with the interesting characters because of the film's topic, puberty, and it's fun to watch the powerful metamorphosis from ugly duckling to beautiful girl. Plus, the emotions are highlighted from different perspectives. The playful use of symbols, the strong special effects and the impressive use of music and sound made us choose Junior as the best film of the competition.

 

Special Mention

Slot Machine
Wu Chang-Jung
Taiwan 2010, 3', DV, colour
Statement:
We award our Special Mention to a film that tackles an important and global issue. The film is an artistic and extremely creative take on mass consumerism and capitalism. The idea to present an industrialised pig farm as a slot machine impressed us very much and made us think. Animals are not regarded as living creatures but translated into money from the moment of their birth. Because Slot Machine deals with the issue in such a thoughtful and critical way, and because we were absolutely convinced by the interaction of image and sound, we want to give the film a Special Mention.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

Carsten Nicolai for uni acronym (alva noto ft. Anne-James Chato), Germany 2011

Statement:
This was an unanimous and quick decision by the jury. It was obvious: perfect match between music and image. A simple idea, superbly executed.

 

2nd MuVi Prize of the 14th MuVi Award
endowed with 1,500 €

Katharina Duve and Timo Schierhorn for Fratzengulasch (Die Vögel), Germany 2011

Statement:
The track title "Fratzengulasch" comes to life; again a perfect match.

 

3rd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

Jolly Goods a.k.a. Tanja Pippi & Angy Lord for Try (Jolly Goods), Germany 2011

Statement:
The only performance video from the selection. It's simple, clear and efficient. And a good expression of role models in music video.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
endowed with 500 €, determined by Internet vote

Katharina Duve and Timo Schierhorn for Fratzengulasch (Die Vögel), Germany 2011

Trailer

Trailer of the 58th Short Film Festival Oberhausen
BOROS, Germany, 2012, 0'40''

Press review

Oberhausen is a dense festival, occasionally all over the place. One could describe it as a visual collection of poems, enigmatic and enlightening, demanding and exhilarating at the same time. 
Hans Schifferle, epd film, June 2012

"Oberhausen demonstrates very successfully that it is quite possible to keep up one's dedication to the 'new languages of film' stipulated 50 years ago without losing one's audience." 
Matthias Müller in an interview in Film und Medien NRW, No. 1/2012

Short films are capable of finding a general and human dimension even in the most dramatic political conflicts, a quality that has been part of Oberhausen since the festival's inception. Fifty years after the famous Manifesto was signed, this was brought home with particular clarity. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 2 May 2012

Oberhausen specialises in concentrated, galvanising shots of pure adrenaline, and in this edition they came at us fast and furious. 
Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound, July 2012

Short films with a message – Oberhausen 2012 presented a paradigmatic look at the scope and possibilities of this genre. And the rediscovery of the 'signatories' [of the Oberhausen Manifesto] is bound to continue to occupy us this year. 
Bert Rebhandl, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 3 May 2012

The revival of the short films of the 'Oberhausener' brought some surprising insights. Some of the insurgents were more firmly rooted in the tradition of educational films than expected […] Only a minority realised avant-garde concepts like Jürgen Pohland in his black and white study 'Schatten' (1960). 
Reinhard Kleber, filmecho/filmwoche No. 18/2012

The complexity of filming reality – and specifically a reality totally informed by a near-immediate historical past – was undeniably at the heart of the Mavericks, Mouvements, Manifestos retrospective, whose programming weaved between simple, core examples […] and far more complicated works which ducked and weaved between registers, forms, histories and realities. 
Daniel Kasman, mubi.com Notebook, 9 May 2012

What the majority of the films have in common is a way of looking at reality […], a reality they all care about but that is never a given for the cinema, whose task it is to corner it. […] The Oberhausen retrospective demonstrated masterfully that the history of short film is never to be neglected. 
Florence Maillard, Cahiers du Cinéma, July/August 2012

This incredibly original film [Das magische Band, Ferdinand Khittl] is something like the essence of all short films by the signatories of the Manifesto, because nobody else ever managed to cram so many different elements and genres into 21 minutes. 
Andrea Dittgen, Die Rheinpfalz, 18 May 2012

After half a century, the spirit of the Oberhausen Manifesto hasn't worn off: the drive to make cinema art integral to the construct and/or opposition of social ideologies, and the struggle of independent, underground film-makers against the monopoly of taste and global commercialisation – these are as arduous now, if not more, than they were in the 1960s. 
Kong Rithdee, The Bangkok Post, Thailand, 21 May 2012

But Oberhausen would not be the contentious festival that was admired then and still is now if it never challenged its own idols. A whole series of short films by the signatories had been unearthed, restored and screened. This extraordinarily exciting selection made one thing clear above all: the Oberhauseners' main concerns were the analysis of their age and the absolute freedom of the cinematic form. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 3 May 2012

It [Mavericks, Mouvements, Manifestos] is not a look back, as most retrospectives inevitably are, but a bracing engagement with a reality, both historic and contemporary, that proves to be still absolutely crucial to our understanding of the world of cinema. 
Daniel Kasman, mubi.com Notebook, 9 May 2012

The revolutionary spirit of the Manifesto was omnipresent in this 58th edition of the Oberhausen festival. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Kölner Stadtanzeiger, 3 May 2012

Between 1950 and 1970 there was a flood of cinematic counter-movements and collectives between Japan, Europe and the US, which the curators Ralph Eue and Olaf Möller collected in ten programmes. The common denominator of the films was the absolute will to do something new. The interesting thing is how the old was not so easy to get rid of after all. Dietmar Kammerer, taz, 2 May 2012

The German core of the retrospective was flanked by neo-avant-gardes from France, the US, Japan, Hungary and Sweden; daredevil curating crowned by magnificent individual achievements. 
Barbara Wurm, ray-magazin.at, May 2012

But one thing manifestos do teach us is that the real avant-garde seems to need its broadsides and statements of focus simply in order to keep its practice in the public eye. In that sense, rather than believing what's written, it's better to view manifestos as bulletins from the collective unconscious, symptoms of the general sickness or health of film culture. 
Nick James, 'Revolt into Style', Sight & Sound, May 2012

While hardly a trace of revolt could be found there [in the five competitions], the selection still featured the traditional high-quality mix of formal narrative experiments and video art with social and political concerns. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Blickpunkt:Film, No. 19/2012

Experiments once more rule the German Competition 2012, and on a brilliant level of quality. 
Andreas Wilink, K.West, April 2012

Oberhausen is an invitation to push the old and new boundaries, the stereotypes of the film industry and the index craze of the digital age. Were the German films of the 1950s really as bad as the signatories of the Manifesto claimed? And are experimental films like 'Meteor' [Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet] really lost to the cinema because they are screened mainly at museums and galleries? Oberhausen sees the theatrical screening as a duty, an opportunity, and a pleasure. 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 3 May 2012

Eli Cortiñas delivered one of the most beautiful films with Confessions with an Open Curtain. A meditation about feminine identity and representation patterns which combines views of women's backs from American feature films and pictures of curtains. The age of collective statements may be over; the discussion of film continues. 
Hans-Christoph Zimmermann, der Freitag, 3 May 2012

How children's dreams of a journey to the moon can be packed into an emotionally gripping work full of sci-fi film quotes, with a Puccini aria linking and distorting both, was demonstrated by the short film pair Matthias Müller and Christoph Girardet (German competition) in their film 'Meteor'. 
Andrea Dittgen, film-dienst, No. 11/2012

Compared with Roee Rosen, our satirical TV shows are the pits of humour, and someone like the legendary New York bad boy Lenny Bruce seems hardly less subdued than the intellectual schlehmihl Woody Allen. 
Andreas Wilink, K.West, April 2012

Israeli artist Roee Rosen's tryptich Out (TSE, 2010) is like a shower of sparks. It opens in recognisable talking-heads doc-land, then slams you into a profoundly politicised, hardcore sadomasochistic political exorcism involving the same two women, before rounding off with a beautiful live rendition of a haunting lament. 
Kieron Corless, Sight & Sound, July 2012

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2012 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2011

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

Sans-titre
Neil Beloufa
France 2010, 15', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
In Sans-titre, we hear about a group of terrorists who occupied a villa and trashed the place. What we see suggests other things entirely: suspicions give rise to strange dreams; architectural space can be produced by an ink jet printer; we know nothing. Neil Beloufa has made an uncanny and original film.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

The Artist
Laure Prouvost
Great Britain 2010, 10', Digi Beta, colour

Statement:
"Snap" - and just like that, she's got us: Dynamic, rhythmic, fresh, witty, frenetic and silly in a funny way; an out of this world studio visit from hell. We are delighted to present the 2nd principal prize to Laure Prouvost for The Artist.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Mercúrio
(Mercury)
Sandro Aguilar
Portugal 2010, 18', 35 mm, colour

Statement:
Mercúrio opens up an unexpected visual landscape by showing the intimate encounter of two people through glass that turns into a strange half mirror that reflects reflections, and turns around the inside and the outside world in a visual and emotional way. As Goethe put it: "Nichts ist drinnen, nichts ist draußen, denn was innen ist, ist außen."

 

ARTE Prize for a European Short Film
endowed with 2,500 €

TSE
(Out)
Roee Rosen
Israel 2010. 34'30'', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
The ARTE Prize goes to TSE by Roee Rosen for the excellence of the act of exorcism, for the coat hanger abortion, for a staged documentary, a documental fiction, a dubbed, synched, shouted, sung and vibrant sound, and for the paintings.

 

Special Mention of the International Jury

I'm Not the Enemy
Bjørn Melhus
Germany 2011, 13', HDCAM, colour
Statement:
With this Special Mention, the jury would like to raise awareness of works in moving images made by visual artists. From American film history, Bjørn Melhus appropriates a list of films about Vietnam veterans and transfers them to a non-American (German) setting. Extracting the films' dialogue from the original contexts, the alienation effect of I'm Not the Enemy makes us aware of cracks in the surface of society.

 

Prize of the Jury of the Ministry for Family, Children, Youth, Culture and Sport of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Sans-titre
Neil Beloufa
France 2010, 15', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
Neil Beloufa's untitled work reveals only at second glance that the modernist architecture of its location is made of paper and paint. Protagonists moving in semi-darkness, truncated, reduced to their social status and respective language, in which they deliver fragments of a whole which the recipient can never quite assemble into a coherent narrative. Control and clear interpretations are impossible. Assumptions and contradictions irritate, the inexplicable rest of this cinematic work of art, realised in congenial aesthetic form, opens a space for thought that enables reflection at a distance and whose universal themes and dynamics, like habit, power and hierarchical structures, have a lasting effect.

 

Special Mention

Three Walls
Zaheed Mawani
Canada 2011, 25'30'', HDCAM, colour
Statement:
Three Walls tells the story of the rise of the office cubicle - a system of walls that divides open space offices into small booths. The film lets architects, furniture manufacturers and motivation coaches speak and pits them against the people who have to work in these cubicles. In clearly designed frames and with well-chosen protagonists, the film manages to create a narrative arc from architecture through the meaning of work to the post-industrial service society's attitude to life. It is ironic and angry and leaves us with a sharper eye for the relationship between humans, functions and space.

 

The International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

Handebol
(Handball)
Anita Rocha de Silveira
Brazil 2010, 19'30'', 35 mm, colour

Statement:
For its melancholy and unflinching look at the life of a teenage girl, and its slightly unreal atmosphere that is captivating from beginning to end.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Atrophy
Palesa Shongwe
South Africa 2009, 8', Digi Beta, colour

Statement:
Atrophy is a successful combination of dance, poetry, music and documentary. A young South African woman expresses her longing for freedom through a dance that creates a feeling of community and evokes her cultural tradition. At the same time she fears that the space she unfolds through dancing will become more and more constricted due to the conditions of life in the townships. The rhythm of the body creates spaces that resist these growing social limitations.

 

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with 500 €

Kengere
Peter Turkei Muhumuza
Uganda 2010, 22'30'', DV, colour and b/w

Statement:
The Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen goes to Kengere by Peter Tukei Muhumuza. The film is impressive in the care, intelligence and delicacy, the imagination with which it creates a handmade world of its own – a world in which massive human rights abuse is part of everyday life, as we learn slowly but surely. It is a congenial fusion of animation and documentation.

 

Zonta Prize
endowed with 500 €, to a female filmmaker in the International or German Competition

99 Beautiful
Tessa Knapp
Germany 2010, 17', HDACM, colour

Statement:
Names reach back further than nations. The filmmaker creates an austere formal frame in which the names of Turkish people reveal more about their lives than their immediate social environment. The piece finds a highly plausible format at the intersection between short film and installation.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Traces of an Elephant
Vanessa Nica Mueller
Germany/Great Britian 2011, 27', Digi Beta, colour

Statement:
Purposeful steps and movements through empty rooms, their rhythmic sequence creating a hypnotic pull, redundancy and absence forming a subtle threat. The presence and force of these images is juxtaposed with the fragmentary and dreamlike quality of memories – a new film emerges. In her simple and efficient adaptation of Alan Clark's "Elephant" Vanessa Nica Mueller manages to create a multi-layered reflection on memory as the zone of transition between reconstruction and re-telling. Traces of an Elephant is superimposed over the original like a second layer and expands into a personal document of a city between stagnation and change.

 

3sat Promotional Award
endowed with 2,500 €, for a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat

marxism today (prologue)
Phil Collins
Germany 2010, 25'30'', HDACM, colour

Statement:
Biographies marked by violent upheavals, triggered by history. A state and its "body politic" disappear and take a whole superstructure of ideas and philosophies with them. The people affected by this – people who taught social studies or Marxism-Leninism in the GDR– must re-invent their lives. But what happens to the ideological and perhaps even idealistic residue, where does it go? In his visually impressive montage of interviews and archive material, which has nothing to do with conventional nostalgia for or denunciation of East Germany, Phil Collins designs an intense portrait of an era and moves far beyond conventional ideas of documentary realism.

 

Special Mention

ich fahre mit dem fahrrad in einer halben stunde an den rand der atmosphäre
Michael Klöfkorn
Germany 2010, 10', HDACM, colour and b/w
Statement:
A wild bicycle ride full of associations during which the cyclist encounters economic theories, militarist madness, the psychoanalysis of the Berlin victory column and other thunderstorms.

 

First Prize of the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the NRW Bank

How To Rise The Moon
Anja Struck
Germany/Denmark 2011, 8'30'', 35 mm, b/w

Statement:
Inspired by various schools of cultural and art history, the director creates a disturbing, atmospheric and condensed assemblage of unusual images whose source is a well-stocked personal depository. The black and white animation is very open, which allows a number of interpretations and emotional responses, but which leaves the audience suspended between certainty and uncertainty.

 

Second Prize of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW Bank

Der Mond ist ein schöner Ort
Anne Maschlanka/Viktoria Gurtovaj
Germany 2011, 15', DV, colour

Statement:
An approach to a comparatively unknown country and a young protagonist who shows us different sides of her life. Her everyday routines are marked by her parents' experiences; the consequences of the civil war and the difficulties of starting again can be seen and experienced in the images and words. The directors manage to gain the girl's trust very quickly; the camera follows her closely and is even wielded by her, emphasizing this remarkable documentary's clear perspective and closeness to its subject.

 

Prize of the Children's Jury of the International Children' Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Neue Ruhr Zeitung

Mobile
Verena Fels
Germany 2010, 6'30'', Digi Beta, colour

Statement:
Our first prize goes to a film which we all found very funny. We liked the bright colours and the music. There is wild movement and lots of action. The film shows that even if you feel lonely, there is always a friend somewhere. The film is made quite lovingly and beautifully, and very suitable for small kids, too.

 

Special Mention

Haru no ogawa
(The Spring Brook)
Sakichi Sato
Japan 2010, 6'30'', DVCAM, colour
Statement:
We awarded a Special Mention to the film Haru no ogawa, because this film is very funny, full of ideas and imagination. The film shows us a different country and a different way of life. We also liked the song in this film very much.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury of the International Children's and Youth Film Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, supported by the Sir Peter Ustinov Foundation

Små barn, stora ord
(Little Children, Big Words)
Lisa James Larsson
Sweeden 2009, 12', 35 mm, colour

Statement:
We agreed almost unanimously that this film must be the winner. The film made a lasting impression on us. It made us think and we discussed it for a long time. Children often ask the most difficult questions. That's what a primary school teacher learns when she suddenly has to answer unexpected questions. The answer to these questions was very touching. The many close-ups of her face enabled us to really understand her emotions. We were also impressed with the acting – especially the children's.

Preamble:
We saw 26 short films in the past few days which took us to many different countries and cultures. The films were very varied, sometimes instructive, sometimes moving, entertaining, unusual, sometimes hard to understand. But we definitely liked every single film in its own way.

 

Special Mention

Naiá a a lua
(Naiá and the Moon)
Leandro Tadashi
Brazil 2010, 13', HDV, colour and b/w
Statement:
We were told many stories and there's one we liked particularly well: the Brazilian legend of the Jaci and how the stars were put in the sky. Naiá is enthralled by the stories told by the elders of the tribe around the fire and so fascinated by the moon that she wants to be close to it, like the stars. Our Special Mention goes to Naiá e a lua, because this adaptation of the legend really impressed us. We follow Naiá through the jungle as if we were there. The music, the images and the brilliant colours all enthralled us and taught us a little about Brazilian culture.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

One Minute Soundsculpture
Daniel Franke (Music: Ryoji Ikeda)
Germany 2010, 1', Full HD Pro Res, colour

Statement:
You couldn't make a more successful video clip than Daniel Franke's interpretation of Ryoji Ikeda's piece One Minute Soundsculpture. Once you have seen this film, you will never be able to listen to the track again without seeing those video images in your mind. Franke illustrates a short piece of electroacoustic music – a sequence of static noise and test sounds – with the picture of an empty, square gallery space. Abstract forms emerge out of nothing to mutate into animated lines, which in turn mutate into an abstract creature that grows, floats and moves to the rhythm of the sounds. The sound sculpture turns into a visual sculpture, cause and effect merge until sound and image become indistinguishable. The aesthetic principle of the video clip – the perfect fusion of image and sound – is taken to a supreme level of perfection; and he does it with the most brilliant pictures we have seen in a long time.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,500 €

There Will Be Singing
Jutojo and Philip Sollmann (Music: Efdemin)
Germany 2010, 6', Full HD Pro Res, colour

Statement:
At first glance, the video for Efdemin's There Will Be Singing seems like the simple and direct visualisation of a techno track, based on a geometric visual language: straight 4-to-the-floor beats meet the uniformity of modernist high-rise architecture. A kind of music that seems to tell no story and have no history. But wait! A second glance reveals that the high-rises were filmed from old, yellowing, tattered illustrated books on architecture. They are pictures of Chicago in the 1950s, which Efdemin combines with a tribute to the Chicago House and Detroit Techno of the 1980s and 90s. The historical references are superseded by nostalgia; nostalgia is superseded by horror at the brutality, the hostile emptiness of these old city panoramas. The camera zooms in so close that the photos seem to come alive, yet the only truly animated movement you see in this film is a hand that turns a page covered in post-it notes. It is only its musical appropriation that makes this visual world come alive in retrospect, to a life that it never really possessed. This is the magnificent, touching message visualised in this video clip with great skill and formal severity.

 

3rd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

Ah!
Darko Dragicevic (Music:Oval)
Germany 2010, 3', Full HD Pro Res, colour

Statement:
Darko Dragicevic's video for Oval's track Ah! is fascinating in the consequence and elegance with which a radically disembodied kind of music is translated into physical movement. Moreover, the director manages to translate a basically unerotic piece of music into pictures of multiple desire. The female dancer dominates her male fellow dancers on the one hand and is cornered by their looks and desires again and again on the other hand. The delicacy of the music and its heavy, earthy character are both reflected in the video, which looks like a still life in which there is dancing. A clip that raises more questions than it answers.

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
The winner of the MuVi Online Audience Award is chosen by Internet users who cast their votes at www.muvipreis.de (in co-operation with 3sat, Intro, tape.tv, byte.fm and ARTE creative).

Bagetelle l
Sebastian Huber, Robert Pohle and Johannes Timpernagel (Music: sonic.art)
Germany 2011, 1'30'', DV, colour

Trailer

Trailer of the 57th International Short Film Oberhausen
by John Smith, Great Britain 2011

Press review

[...] one of the great achievements of this festival, which has no equal in Germany, is its scope, its ability to bring together seemingly incompatible elements and make them enter into a congenial, never forced dialogue. 
Rüdiger Suchsland, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12 May 2011

The Oberhausen festival might be called the poetry slam among film festivals, and once again, they consistently "it was a fairly good year" disproved every prejudice concerning the shortcomings of the short format. 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12 May 2011

Oberhausen is not for the faint-hearted. If you're driven by the fear of missing something, you give up in the face of 466 films in five competitions and special programmes. If you just stroll through it, though, you find yourself in a delightful, polyphonic short film landscape in which quite a number of animals were grazing this year. 
Ulrike Mattern, der Freitag, 12 May 2011

Oberhausen packs its intensive programmes in a well defined space of one multiplex in the middle of the town, with no specific attractions [...] to compete with. The location and the intensity only add to the central mission of what any festival should be: a treat for the cinephile. 
Shekhar Deshpande, filmint.nu (Film International), June 2011

The work ("Along the G-Line" by Marianna Christofides) fits well into the profile of a festival whose best contributions often show social issues reflected in the fate of individuals. The 57th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival’s level of quality is breathtaking. 
Kristina Tieke, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 10 May 2011

As the oldest short film festival in the world, far from being close to retirement age at 57, Oberhausen is more than ever a meeting point for festival programmers, curators, producers, directors, journalists and short film enthusiasts. 
Sirkka Moeller, sensesofcinema.com, June 2011

Oberhausen has evolved into a festival of film education. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 11 May 2011

It was the 57th edition of the Oberhausen festival, this festival which despite its respectable age is still young and very much alive [...]. 
Frank Olbert, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 9 May 2011

The festival has a tradition of setting trends. Its mission is to recognise new talent, support the avant-garde in short films and music videos, and nurture the exploration of new digital formats in a broad-minded association of art and short-form video. So conceptual work is often the mainstay of festival content. 
Anton Burggraaf, Gauteng Film Commission, South Africa, 31 March 2011

Self-reflection dominated the traditional short film programmes. 
Ralf Krämer, spex.de, 16 May 2011

No matter whether you watch films in one of the competitions or one of the special programmes: the Oberhausen festival always stands for a different kind of cinema. 
Gudrun Mattern, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 6 May 2011

Brevity and quality are the essential criteria of the 57th edition of this venerable festival, too. 
Carsten Dilly, Ratgeber am Dienstag, 19 April 2011

Under the title "Shooting Animals", biologist Cord Riechelmann and curator Marcel Schwierin compiled an extensive programme of scientific and artistic animal films; it was part of the concept that the boundaries between these two fields often became blurred. 
Esther Buss, film-dienst No. 9, 2011

It's true that it's impossible to distil a coherent history of the relationship between man and animal in the industrial modern age from this massive pile of material "Shooting Animals", which was provisionally divided into eleven chapters. But it's definitely possible to gain an idea of how cinema provided an almost seismographic record of this history. 
Eckhard Fuhr, Die Welt, 10 May 2011

Anyone who expects the kind of cute animal films and entertaining documentaries that are broadcast on television every day has come to the wrong place. Watching the death struggle of a trout, the hunt for and processing of marsupials, or modern forms of killing on screen may well make some members of the audience squirm in their seats. 
Helen Sibum/Ann-Kathrin Brocks, Neue Ruhr Zeitung, 6 May 2011

Amazement is the word which best describes the response to the Oberhausen discoveries concerning animals. 
Arnold Hohmann, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 May 2011

Cute family entertainment is not what you should expect from these programmes. Philosopher and biologist Cord Riechelmann and film expert Marcel Schwierin explore the question of why man has filmed animals almost obsessively ever since the invention of cinema. 
Stefan Keim, Rheinische Post, 4 May 2011

Sophisticated, ironic, artful, topical: a look at the variety on offer in the International Competition is worth the effort. 
Thomas Becker, Neue Rhein Zeitung, 9 May 2011

As a film production country, North Rhine-Westphalia boasts a lively and promising talent landscape. The Oberhausen festival has honoured this since 2009 with a competition dedicated specifically to NRW. 
Martina Schürmann, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 May 2011

Now in its 13th edition, the award for the best music video is still a godsend for the festival. These are productions removed from a mainstream industry which gears its sounds towards a mass audience. Here, you find space for artistic experiments [...] and lack of courage is definitely the last thing the submissions could be accused of. 
Dirk Hein, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 9 May 2011

The music video award is not representative of the state of this art form in the year of 2011 [...] nor does it want to be. 
Spex.de, 30 April 2011

[About "One Minute Soundsculpture"]: You don't know what it is and what will become of it [...] but it's alive and burrows its way into our memory. Just like the new video clips: after their rebirth, they are more alive and beautiful than ever. 
Jens Balzer, Berliner Zeitung, 10 May 2011

Melancholia as a form of resistance, that's how Królikiewicz's late oeuvre could be described [...] a filmmaker who deserves to be studied in more detail. 
Hans Schifferle, epd film, June 2011

William E. Jones does not feel bound by any artistic laws of purity. The American's work mixes high culture and gay porn, pop and politics, neo-structuralist experiments and essayist montage films. 
Stefan Grissemann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 May 2011

The festival demonstrates that it is possible to inspire children and adolescents with films that do fit into traditional viewing habits. It takes film education seriously. This shows intelligence and foresight, for today's children are tomorrow's film audiences. 
Ute Schäfer, Minister for Culture of North Rhine-Westphalia, in her opening speech, 5 May 2011

Not only does the new portal [Oberhausen Films Online] represent a new form of self-distribution on the Internet, the idea is also for the Oberhausen brand to serve as a seal of quality and orientation aid, helping viewers to navigate the vast profusion of video material on the Internet. 
Screen Africa, 28 March 2011

Short films by Robert Frank, Jan Svankmajer and Jeanne Faust are among the first titles available at Oberhausen Films Online, a new kind of video-on-demand platform launched by the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. 
ScreenDaily, USA, 24 March 2011

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2011 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2010

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

Madam & Little Boy
Magnus Bärtås
Sweden 2009, 28', HDV, colour

Statement:
For the scope of its ambitions, its resourceful enlisting of the powers of cinema; for its unearthing of the fantastical, true-life story of Choi Eun-hee (Madame Choi) and her fated trajectory through both North and South Korean 20th century history; for its scrupulous weighting of the large and the small, the poetic and the political, the terrifying and the familiar; for its seamless weave of specific moments, broad and repeating historical pathologies, plain facts and cinematic epiphanies, the international jury awards the Grand Prize to Madame & Little Boy.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Mur i wieza
Yael Bartana
Israel/Netherlands/Poland 2009, 16', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
A surprising approach that exposes and satirises the strategies and style of propaganda films; an engaging, expectation-twisting and mind-opening experience for the viewer, and a masterclass in cultural studies. For providing a heterodoxical point of view on a highly-charged political issue and exposing its extreme complexity in a critical, yet potentially conciliatory way, the other Main Prize goes to Mur i wieza by Yael Bartana.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Monolog
Laure Prouvost
Great Britain 2009, 9', DVCAM, colour

Statement:
For its bravura interrogation of authorship and reflexivity, and intellectual generosity in dealing with the conceptual with subversive humour and wilful absurdism, the main prize goes to Laure Prouvost for Monolog.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with 2,500 €

Flag Mountain
John Smith
Great Britain 2010, 9', DVCAM, colour

Statement:
Impressively simple, spot on and as exact as a mathematical formula, Flag Mountain by John Smith draws an accurate caricature of nationalism.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Filmas apie nežinomą menininkę
Laura Garbštienė
Lithuania 2009, 11', 16mm, colour
Statement:
Must one suffer in our success-oriented society today, even develop a guilty conscience, if one stays unsuccessful and unknown? In her film about an unknown artist, Laura Garbštienė creates the unforgettable, tragicomical character of an outsider who tries in vain to be part of high society. The film is fresh, authentic and as ingenious as in the first days of cinema.

Travelling Fields
Inger Line Hansen
Norway 2009, 9', 35mm, colour
Statement:
For a simple experiment of turning the camera upside down, the film renders a refreshing perspective of rustic architecture and bleak habitat. The tracking of the camera fuses beautifully with nature’s motion to conjure up a monumental horizon for the cinema screen.

 

Prize of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Definitively Unfinished
Pavel Braila
Moldova 2009, 14'30'', Beta SP, colour

Statement:
The Film Definitively Unfinished begins at the end: it tells about the end of cinema in Moldavia; about the end of the short history of the travelling video carriages and about the blazing failure of the first independent Moldavian film project. In its formal realisation, which is as clever as it is confident, the film shows itself as a tri-fold end-credit and at the same time as a departure for the beautiful land of eternally unfinished works.

 

Special Mention

Rendez-vous à Stella-Plage
Shalimar Preuss
France 2009, 18', 35mm, colour
Statement:
A special mention by the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia  goes to the film Rendez-vous à Stella-Plage by Shalimar Preuss. Two stories about closeness and distance, about wanting to keep hold and having to let go, which are independent of each other, are linked in the associative basic structure of this film.

 

The International Critics' Prize (FIPRESCI Prize)

Filmas apie nežinomą menininkę
Laura Garbštienė
Lithuania 2009, 11', 16mm, colour

Statement:
Deceptively rough in style, but multilayered and light on its feet, the film expresses its pathos, its wit, and its politics through performance.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Mur i wieza
Yael Bartana
Israel/Netherlands/Poland 2009, 16', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
A group of Jews follow the call to re-establish Jewish life in Poland by building a Kibbuz where the Warsaw ghetto used to be. A provocative satire and a parody on old propaganda films, this film shows the creation of a political sculpture against anti-Semitism, nationalism and forgetting.

 

Special Mention

Electric Light Wonderland
Susanna Wallin
Great Britain 2009, 12', HDCAM, colour
Statement:
A caring single father engages with the desires and needs of his two adolescent sons. In a subtle visual language and empathetic close-ups, the film talks about mutual respect and trust between father and sons.

 

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

you and me
Karsten Krause
Germany 2009, 4', DV, colour

Statement:
A love poem by e. e. cummings illustrated by Super 8 home movies. We see a woman who visibly enjoys the man's eyes on her through the camera. Their married bliss is repeatedly staged against the backdrop of spectacular postcard landscapes spanning a period of 40 years. Great minimalist cinema in narrow gauge format.

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury

Murphy
Bjørn Melhus
Germany 2008, 3,5 min, DV, colour

Statement:
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

Fly in the Sky
Vera Neubauer
Great Britain 2010, 5', Beta SP, colour
Statement:
The total picture: a former abbey as a place of idyllic silence and withdrawal from the world. The dirty details: imprisonment, desperate attempts to escape. No one here gets out alive. Insect horror and sacral art enter into a sleazy union.

 

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with 500 €

Hand Soap
Oyama Kei
Japan 2008, 16', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
When the jury decisions are known, the festival's selection committee traditionally awards a prize intended to draw attention to a work that we think is particularly relevant. The Japanese animation Hand Soap uses extraordinary techniques to find impressive images for the physical-psychological experience of an adolescent boy. We are happy to award the 500 € prize to Oyama Kei.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Gesang der Jünglinge
Andree Korpys, Markus Löffler
Germany 2009, 14'30'', Beta SP, colour

Statement:
A shot, an electric shock, a scream. Impotence and loss of control. A surprising and stylistically reduced film with a strong concept that focuses on this one moment. The film provokes physical reactions and makes us experience the vulnerability of man.

 

3sat-Promotional-Award
endowed with 2,500 €, for a contribution with a particularly innovative approach. In addition the award includes a buying option on the awarded work to be broadcast on 3sat.

Nach Klara (After Klara)
Stefan Butzmühlen
Germany 2010, 15', Digi Beta, colour

Statement:
A young man experiences what it is like to be desired. Light snapshots from the life of a young man who is searching for sexual orientation but unable to abandon himself to anything but the passing moment.

 

Special Mentions of the Jury of the German Competition

Shadows Inside
Moana Vonstadl
Germany 2009, 6', Digi Beta, b/w
Statement:
This black and white animation convinces by its coherent conception, condensed atmosphere and artistic implementation.

Amerika
Eldar Grigorian
Germany 2010, 23', Digi Beta, b/w
Statement:
An epic narrative distinguished by its lucid visual language and its
respectful approach to its characters.

 

First Prize of the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the NRW.BANK

Holding Still
Florian Riegel
Germany 2010, 26'30'', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
A film that develops its narrative slowly. Edited to reveal nothing predictable, it takes its audience right into the tensions of a moving story that gradually unfolds to achieve its full power. The fact that the author takes up this story and the way he does it, even though he came across it by chance, is testimony to his ability to recognise an impressive subject and treat it with respect. A thoughtful cinematography steers us through its own images and the protagonist's, which are her means of access to her world via her laptop. At the end, the perspective expands once more to include the outside world and gives us a moment of respite.

 

Second Prize of the NRW Competition
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.BANK

Legenden
Angélique Dubois
Germany 2009, 29', HDCAM, colour

Statement:
The impressive portrait of an industrial town at a turning point. The legends of industry are determined by different values today. The director takes a bold risk in using a western movie mood as a foil for the city and succeeds. She uses dialogues from various movies, while the city provides the backdrop and local actors perform the parts. Even if this concept is not always perfectly realised, the film works on many levels, not least by its impressive and unusual images of the city of Leverkusen.

 

Special Mention

Driving Élodie
Lars Henning
Germany 2009, 18'30'', 35mm, colour

Statement:
Desire. Illusion. Projection. Cinema can be all this. And so can this film which, set among the members of a film team, looks for the right motifs and finds them. Extremely atmospheric images tell the story of an encounter between a reticent set driver and his passenger, a beautiful French actress. It is not a modern fairy-tale but a well-rounded short distance road movie taking some -- apparent -- detours.

 

Prize of the Children Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Neue Ruhr Zeitung

Jongens zijn we
Tomas Kaan
Netherlands 2009, 17'30'', Digi Beta, colour

Statement:
We gave the first prize to the film Jongens zijn we because it is really funny and exciting and because it is about real friendship and sticking together. The boys experiment a lot and have fun together, and they get up to a lot of mischief.

 

Special Mention of the Children Jury

Das Kleine und das Biest
Uwe Heidschötter, Johannes Weiland
Germany 2009, 7', Digi Beta, colour
Statement:
We gave the second prize, a special mention, to the film Der Kleine und das Biest, because the characters in this film looked funny and the whole film was very funny, too. We liked the colours. It is very interesting, too, and we all thought the animation was beautiful. The music was very good, too.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Peter Ustinov Stiftung

luzazul
Osiris Luciano
Mexico 2010, 15', 35mm, colour

Statement:
We decided on a film that is structured like a book, since one chapter is closed and another opens during the film. It is a film that suits all age levels because everyone can identify with this situation. In addition, the film leaves some space for our own imagination. By its intimate atmosphere, the film shows that upheavals and change are part of life and not necessarily negative.

 

Special Mentions of the Youth Jury

Eni
Ingo Monitor
Germany 2009, 24'30'', HD, colour
Statement:
For our first special mention we chose a film that tells a very touching story. It works with beautiful colours and you can recognise changes in the situations by the colours. In many scenes of the film you can imagine what is going to happen yourself – or something like it. Congratulations and a great compliment to the film that we also liked very much, Eni!

bro
Chris Dundon
Great Britain 2009, 18', HD, colour
Statement:
The jury could not agree on one special mention, which is why there is a second one this year. It goes to Chris Dundon’s film bro, a perceptive study of a family with a mentally disabled son. Chris Dundon manages to look at the problems of all concerned parties: the problems of a single mother of a disabled and a healthy son, but also the problems of the healthy son who bears a lot of the responsibility for taking care of his brother.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

Lightning Strikes
a film by: Sönke Held
music: Felix Kubin
production: Sönke Held
label: Raum für Projektion
Germany, 2009

Statement:
The first prize goes, almost without discussion, to Sönke Held for Lightning Strikes. More than any of the other selected works, this video manages to create its own, self-contained world. We also applaud its stylistically confident use of minimal digital technology, and the way it presents Felix Kubin as a character – a cross between Klaus Nomi and expressionist film star.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,500 €

Bit by Bit
a film by: Felix Hüffelmann and Philip Frowein
music: Comfort Fit
production: Nachteule Productions
label: Tokyo Dawn Records
Germany, 2009

Statement:
The second prize goes to Felix Hüffelmann und Philip Frowein for Bit by Bit, because their video is an excellent example for the straightforward realisation of a simple idea. The video teaches, almost admonishes us, how hard it is to construct an adult personality in unprotected freedom. Incidentally, we could all identify easily with the gradual dilapidation of the flat.

 

3rd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

u_08-1 (future past perfect pt.3)
a film by: Carsten Nicolai and Simon Mayer
music: alva noto feat. Anne-James Chaton
production: Studio Carsten Nicolai
label: raster-noton
Germany, 2009

Statement:
The third prize goes to Carsten Nicolai and Simon Mayer for u 08-1, because it is a good example of how visuals and music can be made to interlock in a playful way. The video gets extra credits for stylising a soda vending machine to make it look like an old-fashioned computer interface, as some of the jury members are fans of both vending machines and old-fashioned computer interfaces.

 

The MuVi Online Audience Award
endowed with 500 €, determined by the all internet users who casted their votes at www.muvipreis.de (in co-operation with www.intro.de).

Lifeguide
a video by Gitti & Kitti
production: Gitti & Kitti
music: PappkameradenGermany, 2009

Trailer

Trailer of the 56th International Short Film Oberhausen
by Mattuschka/Haring/Cumming, Austria 2010

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2010 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2009

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

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

Statement:
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 
endowed with 3,500 €

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

Statement:
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
endowed with 3,500 €

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

Statement:
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
endowed with 2,500 €

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

Statement:
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

Nora
Alla Kovgan und David Hinton
USA 2009, 36', Beta SP, colour
Statement:
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
endowed with 5,000 €

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

Statement:
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.

 

Special Mention

Elefantenhaut
Severin Fiala and Ulrike Putzer
Austria 2009, 34'30'', 35 mm, colour
Statement:
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)

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

Statement:
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.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

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

Statement:
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.

 

Special Mention

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

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

Statement:
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.

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury

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

Statement:
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

Booo
Alicja Jaworski
Sweden 2009, 7', 35 mm, colour
Statement:
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
endowed with 500 €

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

Statement:
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.

 

Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition ex aequo
endowed with 2,500 €

n.n.
Michel Klöfkorn
Germany 2009, 11', DV, colour

Statement:
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
endowed with 2,500 €

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

Statement:
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
endowed with 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.

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

Statement:
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.

 

First Prize of the NRW Competition
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by the NRW.BANK

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

Statement:
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
endowed with 500 €, sponsored by the NRW.BANK

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

Statement:
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

Luft
(Air)
Natalia Stürz
Germany, 1', DV, colour
Statement:
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
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Neue Ruhr Zeitung

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

Statement:
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 Mentions of the Children Jury

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

Poes en de maan
director: Suzanne Tuynman
Netherlands 2006
Statement:
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.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Peter Ustinov Stiftung

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

Statement:
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.

 

Special Mention of the Youth Jury

Varde
(Cairn)
Hanne Larsen
Norway 2008, 15'30'', 35 mm, colour
Statement:
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.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

Pasajeros peregrinos pilotos
a video by: Thomas Köner
music: Porter Ricks
production: Thomas Köner
label: Chain Reaction, Hardwax
Germany, 2008

Statement:
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 MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,500 €

Egodyston
a video by Xenia Lesniewski
production: Xenia Lesniewski, HfG Offenbach
music: Groenland Orchestra
label: Staubgold
Germany, 2009

Statement:
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 MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

Graf
a video by Karl Kliem
production: Dienststelle
music: Lithops
label: Thrill Jockey
Germany, 2008

Statement:
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
endowed with 500 €, determined by the all internet users who casted their votes at www.muvipreis.de (in co-operation with www.intro.de).

Zum König geboren
a video by Daniel Franke und Martin W. Maier
production: We Are Chop Chop
music: Marteria
label: Four Music
Germany, 2009

Trailer

Trailer of the 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Editing, Sound, Graphic Design: Volker Schreiner, Germany 2009

Press review

It is one of the assets of this festival that, unlike comparable events, it keeps reflecting its own positions with a surprising degree of self-criticism and on a very high level.
Rüdiger Suchsland, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 May 2009

Oberhausen has long become a brand, one that stands for high artistic quality, a cultural mission and constant discourse about the short form on film. The festival never seems to rest on its achievements, questioning its aesthetics and concepts, standards and duties all the time.
Oliver Baumgarten, Blickpunkt:Film, No. 21+22/2009

Oberhausen is anything but a complaisant festival. Austerity, the rejection of all-too-neat solutions and emotional manipulations, an enigmatic quality and the negation of all expectations, including those of industry visitors, are positive values here, and this deserves nothing but praise.
Dieter Wieczorek, schnitt.com, May 2009

The 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen confronted the films so precisely with each other and initiated dialogues between genres and topics so cleverly that the composition of the programmes alone would have been worth an award this year.
Kristina Tieke, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 May 2009

Even while festival director Lars Henrik Gass is as yet unable to estimate the financial losses in sponsoring, discussions about a general cancellation of this traditional festival, triggered by the municipal budget freeze, sprang up in other places. This would be a shame, since the festival is presenting itself in its 55th edition as a cultural ambassador par excellence.
Martin Boldt, Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger, 5 May 2009

Long a destination for filmmakers to showcase their work, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has expanded its program in recent years to incorporate experimental film and video art. I finally had the chance to see Matsumoto Toshio's work in a theatre for the first time during the festival, after only viewing his films through UbuWeb. Sound is a central component to his films, something the theatre setting brought out for me in a major way.
Ceci Moss, rhizome.org, 13 May 2009

The 55th edition of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has just ended; an event with a long history, which has energetically resisted decline by adapting itself to the countless newly founded similar festivals on the one hand and to the rapid development of technologies, not just in the production but also in the distribution and projection, of artist film and videos.
Montse Badia, www.a-desk.org, Spain, 9 May 2009

Lars Henrik Gass, the head of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, takes a more radical stance than his colleagues in Schnitt. Because films earn less and less profit in the cinemas and more and more on DVD and through digital channels, film as a commodity does not need festivals any more, perhaps not even cinemas. This did not necessarily mean the ruin of film festivals. On the contrary, it was a historic chance to show better films at last.
Der Spiegel, 11 May 2009

In addition, festival director Lars Henrik Gass had cut the programmes to 80 minutes, which left enough time to discover the variety of the short form in the excellently curated theme programmes: for example in the ten-part programme Unreal Asia.
Gabrielle Schultz, Die Welt, 8 May 2009

Two more of Weerasethakul's short films were screened in the Unreal Asia theme programme, which presented the wealth of South East Asian cinematic languages, especially those beyond the big three China, Korea, Japan: an extraordinarily rich and breathtakingly exciting compilation of 71 representative works.
Rüdiger Suchsland, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 May 2009

Over the past few years, Asia has become the focus of film festivals and the art world. The Oberhausen Short Film Festival, which lately managed to re-position itself at the intersection between those two worlds, responded to the wealth of short and medium-length works, shot primarily on video and offering the chance to compile a complex image of the developments in the Far East, with Unreal Asia.
Bert Rebhandl, Der Standard, Austria, 6 May 2009

Unreal Asia is the latest in a range of thematic programmes that distinguish Oberhausen from many festivals which rarely commit on this scale to such wide ranging thematic explorations. In recent years programmes have explored the parallels between European and American experimental film and their counterparts in the Soviet Union, looked at the middle east through the prism of Lebanon and reflections on successive conflicts and the relation of the cinema to the museum in the influential programme Kinomuseum. Unreal Asia proposed a similarly fascinating series of questions and proposals while also crucially presenting a wide range of work that is rarely if ever shown outside of the countries of origin.
George Clark, animateprojects.blogspot.com, Great Britain, 11 May 2009

It can be no coincidence that the boldest hybrids in cinematic narratives come from there [Asia]; narratives that move between the lines of documentary and fiction as effortlessly as birds used to move across the former borderline between the two Germanys.
Matthias Dell, der Freitag, 7 May 2009

Michel Klöfkorn, a master of visual music, richly deserved the award of the German Competition. The Frankfurt-based animator who became famous with his Star Escalator garage door clip for Sensorama animated a completely immobile object this time: the anti pigeon spikes that are mounted on ledges to keep pigeons away. Cut to sampled beats, they are not only a tribute to Dadaism, but to the soul behind the objects, the beauty found in ugliness.
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 7 May 2009

The new centre of Oberhausen is situated on the edge of town, a closed system under video surveillance. Many of the contributions to the festival wondered how a public can be constructed under such circumstances.
Dietmar Kammerer, die tageszeitung, 7 May 2009

The difference in terms says it all: the Anglo-Saxon copyright is a reader's and viewer's right, accorded to him or her under certain conditions and limitations. In dubio pro user. The Urheberrecht found in the German Civil Code is a creator's right, protecting his or her work against undesired use. In dubio pro creator.
A discussion at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen showed how hard it is to reconcile these to rights. The title, printed in German and English, already suggested the whole tension of a debate between the euphoria of possibilities and the fear of risks.
Rüdiger Suchsland, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12 May 2009

The great interest in music videos at Oberhausen is a fascinating and extraordinary phenomenon, since this special form of short films has been in constant transformation since the decline of music television and the final result is still completely open.
Oliver Baumgarten, schnitt.com, May 2009

The contributions to the German MuVi Award fitted seamlessly into a visually astounding festival. In the spirit of music television is dead, long life the music short film, the Saturday night competition showed twelve short films of the most diverse visual languages.
Michael Schmitz, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 4 May 2009

This year, the NRZ will again donate the prize for the best film in the children's programme of the Oberhausen Short Film Festival. Our paper is very happy to do this. The film festival is famous and exciting every year. And we think that it is a very good idea to show a special programme for kids and to award a prize to the best film.
Rüdiger Oppers, NRZ children's supplement, Oberhausen spezial, May 2009

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2009 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2008

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

Chainsaw
director: Dennis Tupicoff
Australia 2007

Statement:
For its masterful synthesis of social commentary, formal experimentation, and its exploration of bareback riding both within the rodeo arena and beyond.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Alexandra
director: Radu Jude
Romania 2007

Statement:
For revealing an honest image of the complex emotional terrain of family life through a rigorous and understated use of cinematic means.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Kak stat stervoi
director: Alina Rudnitskaya
Russia 2008

Statement:
For its poignant reflections on the reconstruction of femininity in post-communist Russia.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with 2,500 €

Kempinsky
director: Neil Belouta
France 2007

Statement:
For its disquieting evocation of a world emerging from the shadows of a kidnapped future.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Running Sushi
director: Mara Mattuschka and Chris Harring
Austria 2008

Jai
director: Anocha Suwichakornpong
Thailand 2007

 

Prize of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Parlez-moi d'amour
director: Alexia Bonta
Belgium 2008

Statement:
A hospital - two old women at the end of their lives. When faced with such circumstances, we usually associate them with decay and death. In Parlez moi d'amour, Belgian filmmaker Alexia Bonta shows us that this attitude may be careless, that there is a lot of experience to collect here, a knowledge relevant to all of us.
Using a formally reduced documentary approach, the director manages to make two people talk, to make them communicate their experience of life, but also their disappointments, their stubbornness and their sense of humour to the succeeding generation.
For this conversation about love and intimacy, supposedly at the wrong time in the wrong place, the jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia awards its prize to Alexia Bonta and her film Parlez moi d'amour.

 

Prize of the Jury of FIPRESCI (Jury of International Film Critics)

Nezrimoe
director: Pavel Medvedev
Russia 2007

Statement:
Taking the G8 summit in St. Petersburg in 2006 as an example, director Pavel Medvedev exposes the rituals of the contemporary business of politics in Nezrimoe: The tired choreography of the press, the brutal ballet of horrendous security machines, the rusty gestures of symbol politics. Like an ethnologist, he approaches the subject from the edges. Images that stand for themselves, without commentary or additional music and which no doubt belong to the large screen and invite the viewer to look again and again add up to this quite elegant film full of reserved, exact observation, full of sensitivity and which, in addition, tells us a lot about the present conditions of oligarchy and Putinism in Russia. A film of distances: as an alienating contrast, there is a graveyard and a stonemason, who chisels away at gravestones. This reminds us of Brecht and his lines on the transience of power: "At the Moldau the stones are moved/Three emperors are buried in Prague/The great one stays great, but the small one not small/The night has twelve hours and then already comes the break of day."

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Senko
director: Kawamura Yuki
Frankreich 2008

Statement:
A young Japanese family is confronted with the mother's death. This impressive short feature film shows us in deeply symbolic images how little Yu and his father are borne up by the security offered by the family.

 

Special Mention of the Ecumenical Jury

Setu
director: Shyamal Karmakar/Sanghamitra Karmakar
Indien 2007
Statement:
In an Indian boomtown, a little girl is trying to preserve its childhood world. In highly contrasting images, this documentary shows how childhood is threatened by urbanisation. 

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury
for the best 35mm film under 15 minutes in the International and German Competition, in connection with a buying option on the awarded work by the Short Film Agency Hamburg

Jos Kaadun
director: Hannaleena Hauru
Finnland 2007

Statement:
At a first glance, the finnish production Jos Kaadun tells an everyday story - nevertheless the film provides different levels of access, amongst them a documentary approach. Many fondly observed details and the high technical quality make the film a screen-filling cinematic experience.

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury
for the best 35mm film under 15 minutes in the Children's and Youth Competition, in connection with a buying option on the awarded work by the Short Film Agency Hamburg

Tôt ou tard
director: Jadwiga Kowalska
Switzerland 2007

Statement:
The animation Tôt ou tard from Switzerland impresses with its simple, poetic story and with its appropriate technical realization. A film about day, night, and the power of friendship, entertaining both for children and adults.

 

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with 500 €

Armulaud
Regie: Jaan Toomik
Estonia 2007

Statement:
The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen awards its prize to a disturbing film which reflects, in a few precise scenes, a man's fear of commitment who can find comfort neither in his relationship nor in religious communities nor in nature.

 

Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Die Tragöden aus der Stadt
Director: Eva Könnemann
Germany 2008

Statement:
Eva Könnemann's film convinced us through its complexity, its sense of humour and efficient montage. The director follows the rehearsals of a production of "Hamlet" by Fabian Hinrichs and Laurent Chétouane, which results in some intelligent interaction between Shakespeare's play and the plot of the film. The film offers profound insights into the creative process with all its contradictions, highs and lows.
We have chosen four films which illustrate an escalated social reality in different ways.

 

3sat-Promotional-Award
-ex aequo- 3sat-Promotional-Award, endowed with 2,500 € (ex aequo: 1,250 €) for a work with a particulary innovative approach. This award includes an option for 3sat to purchase the winning title and broadcast it on 3sat.

Supersensibel
Director: Xenia Yvon Lesniewski
Germany 2008

Statement:
What we liked about Supersensibel was the way the director combines pop animation with the playful representation of a polymorph sexuality, adding enigmatic comments which lend the film a furious energy.

 

3sat-Promotional-Award
-ex aequo- (2,500 €, ex aequo: 1,250 €) for a work with a particulary innovative approach. This award includes an option for 3sat to purchase the winning title and broadcast it on 3sat

I Killed the Butterflies
Director: Cyrill Lachauer
Germany 2007

Statement:
I Killed the Butterflies
 finds archaic images for a ritual of liberation set in a wintery mountain landscape. The rough, unpolished camera corresponds to the physical immediacy of this film.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the German Competition

Heidelberg
Director: Norman Richter
Germany 2008
Statement:
In Heidelberg, Norman Richter takes a trip back into his family history. He reflects on memory, decline and death in quiet, precise images, circling around the pain connected with these things.

Eure Kinder werden so wie wir (Your Children Will Be Like Us)
Director: Andree Korpys and Markus Löffler
Germany 2007
Statement:
Eure Kinder werden so wie wir is one of the few films in this programme to choose a political subject. Andree Korpys and Markus Löffler film the confrontations between protesters and policemen in Gorleben and Heiligendamm as an apparently ritualised trial of strength.

 

Prize of the Children Jury
endowed with 1,000 €

Koest!
director: Simone van Dusseldorp
Netherlands 2007

Statement:
This film is funny, but it has a serious background. A boy behaves like a dog to recover his parents' attention. We think that unfortunately this is the everyday life in many families. The strong acting also convinced us.

 

Special Mention of the Children Jury

Animatou
director: Claude Luyet
Switzerland 2007
Statement:
The cat and the mouse were animated in various ways. The film shows the technical and artistic possibilities and represents a "journey through time", from pencil drawings to computer animation.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 €

Pajerama
director: Leonardo Cadaval
Brazil 2008

Statement:
Urbanity - ignorance - the rain forest. This fast-paced animated story of a Brazilian native Indian starts with a harmless hunt. The film manages, without words, to depict the conflict between civilisation and nature in fascinating animated pictures. The tension between the cultures is underlined by an intelligently adapted noise and sound design. An audiovisual masterpiece, produced almost single-handedly by the director.

 

Special Mention of the Youth Jury

The Sound of People
director: Simon Fitzmaurice
Ireland 2007

Statement:
"The day I die the Internet arrives." The director manages to find an impressive and poetic visual language to convey his philosophical reflections on life and death.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

Ich bin der Stricherjunge
a video by: Simone Gilges
music: Stereo Total
production: SimGil Production
label: Disko B
Germany, 2007

Statement:
It has the essence of pop, it's showing friends, fashion and fun, it's spontaneous, improvised, authentic, do it yourself and shows good production values. The visual aesthetics are connected in a good way to the lo-fi sound of the song. The director seems part of the scene, at least he shares the style-codes of the band. The best stuff comes from something that you are passionate about. It's a document of the Berlin punk scene.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,500 €

Das beste deutsche Musikvideo
director: Luigi Archetti, Bo Wiget
production: Archetti & Wiget
music: Luigi Archetti, Bo Wiget
label: Happy System
Germany, 2008

Statement:
It's ironic, trippy, pretentious, obviously arty, though the music and video were going really well together. It plays with the conventions of music videos, it's an anti choreography, anti video, simple and elegant. It made us debate and since it became number two, it's not the "bestes deutsches musikvideo".
 

3rd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

Dot
director: Jörg Petri
production: Jörg Petri
musik: Michael Fakesch
label: !K7 Records
Germany, 2007

Statement:
The method is its strength: it focuses on one simple idea, connecting traditional craftsmanship to contemporary aesthetics, making good use of the constraints of the letterpress.

 

The MuVi Online Audience Award
endowed with 500 €, determined by the all internet users who casted their votes at www.muvipreis.de (in co-operation with www.intro.de and Hobnox).

Aus meinem Kopf (Erdmöbel)
director: Sandeep Mehta
production: Sandeep Mehta
music: Erdmöbel
label: Sony BMG
Germany, 2007

Trailer

Trailer of the 54th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Director, Photographer, Editor: Christine Gensheimer, Germany 2008

Press review

Oberhausen, perception workshop, wild hip hop discourse and festival of cine-philosophical questions, is, based on the short film, trying to explain cinema, art and the world in screenings, discussions, and encounters. Oberhausen also attempts to balance its political past with the latest schools of thought in art and social criticism. A beautiful but difficult balance, because at the moment politics are worn by many a cool cineaste like a fashionable and extremely vague accessory. 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 8 May 2008

Perhaps Europe in fifteen years will have turned into a giant museum of lost culture in which we will all function as service providers, documenta curator Ruth Noack speculated in a discussion. Somehow this disillusioned vision fits well into the environment of the festival - though its specials and retrospectives, contrary to the pervading sense of crisis, demonstrate how to illuminate film history through intelligent programming and how to generate an enthusiasm for drawing comparisons with our present age. 
Claudia Lenssen, die tageszeitung, 8 May 2008

Some of the best contributions struck sparks out of the friction between reality and fiction, documentary and performance ... Because the festival this year was as exciting and passionate as a rodeo. Oberhausen remains the perfect place for the sparkling variety of the short film. 
Kristina Tieke, Hannoversche Allgemeine Zeitung, 7 May 2008

Ever since the days of founder and director Hilmar Hoffmann, Oberhausen has always been the festival of film teachers. There has been a return from the academic discourse which dominated the festival years ago to the solid ground of a knowledgeable love of the cinema: Each screening is presented by someone who has actually selected the films. That's nothing new in Oberhausen, though it has become almost a rarity today. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 8 May 2008

The return to oppositional forms [in the 'Border-Crossers and Trouble-Makers' programme] is no coincidence at a time when short film is increasingly marginalized and, far away from cinemas and television, thrown back on a few festivals or enjoying the protection of the museum. This commitment to spontaneous, uncontrolled and imperfect aesthetics reminds one of better times with quite different opportunities and goes back a long way. 
Andreas Rossmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 8 May 2008

The age of scandals and protests seems to be over, too. Which is not to say that short film has become unpoliticial. The 54th edition Oberhausen short film festival offered a number of politically ambitious works. The 'Border-Crossers and Trouble-Makers' and the 'Whose History?' sections in particular offered some impressive documents of their time. 
Gabrielle Schultz, Die Welt, 7 May 2008

[Ausfegen] was screened in Oberhausen in the ten-part programme entitled 'Border-Crossers and Trouble-Makers' which told a subjective history of more than 50 years of political film. This is where subversion met information, agitprop, documentary and artistic experiments. Some of the works were made for the screen, others for the practical activist emergency. The festival reflected its own history here. 
Mark Stöhr, www.zeit.de, 7 May 2008

The 'Oberhausen Manifesto', this rejection of the entertainment cinema of the 1950s, is more than 45 years old today. And festival director Lars Henrik Gass's renewed emphasis on the challenges to 'film as a festival commodity' this year underscores the fact that the 'Border-Crossers and Trouble-Makers' - the special programme of the 54th festival - are still active in Oberhausen. 
Martina Schürmann/NRZ, Neue Ruhr Zeitung, 3 May 2008

Sometimes it [the 'Border-Crossers and Trouble-Makers' programme] delivered only corny jokes or slightly too simple agitprop. But at the centre shone some well-compiled programmes in which anarchic silent film turbulences communicated meaningfully with intense observations of real street-fights and political key events or smart student interventions. 
Isabella Reicher, Der Standard, Austria, 7 May 2008

This acclaimed short-film festival dates back to 1954, but it took on particular relevance in 1962, when Alexander Kluge, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Wim Wenders, Werner Herzog and 22 others initiated what would become the New German Cinema with their polemical 'Oberhausen Manifesto'. 
Stuart Comer, Art Review, May 2008

These extremely rare films were screened at Oberhausen in the presence of the filmmaker, on the big screen of the Lichtburg festival cinema. You could not have wished for a more intelligent or beautiful presentation of this almost classic avant-garde oeuvre. The Kirchhofer special, among other things a return to the radical cinematic experiment, was without question one of the highlights of this year's festival. 
Hans Schifferle, epd film No. 6, 2008

Lis Rhodes' film 'A Cold Draft' from 1988 was the best I saw in Oberhausen this year. In any case, at the moment of being captured, while I was watching the film, I felt precisely this: This is it now, this is what I feel, what I think _ now and probably for the foreseeable future. What you see: baroque prison landscapes, a London skyline at twilight, at the mercy of the greedy deliriums of private investors, more prisons and fences. What you hear: the sounds of wind coming straight from a freezing late-capitalist hell and the voice of a woman reading a text, aggressively resigned, a story of greed and violence. 
Peer Schmidt, junge Welt, 6 May 2008

Responses to the market innovations were largely positive. Shane Smith of the Canadian broadcaster 'Movieola - The Short Film Channel' was quite enthusiastic about the search options on the CD-Rom. "Other festivals should do the same, I always like to take the disc back home, especially as it weighs only 80 grams." Like Smith, Dawn Sharpless of the British 'dazzleShortFilmLabel' praised the good organisation of the festival which made 'cherry picking' very easy. In addition, the atmosphere at Oberhausen was more relaxed than in the turbulent market of the French Clermont-Ferrand short film festival.
Reinhard Kleber, Filmecho/Filmwoche, May 2008

None of the nominees for best music video in Oberhausen could be accused of lack of passion. Their formal variety was impressive. This gives one hope: in spite of all the swan songs, the music video lives on. For the tenth time, a selection of the best German music clips was presented at the Oberhausen short film festival. An anniversary which demonstrates the creative potential of this medium while also raising questions about its future. 
Matthias Schönebäumer, www.zeit.de, 7 May 2008

Most short films are shown on the Internet. You can search for 'short films' at www.youtube.com. But of course it is nicer to see the films at the cinema - for example at the Oberhausen short film festival. Because this is such a special festival, the directors of the films screened there will come from all over the world to Oberhausen. And there the audience can ask them questions about their films. 
NRZ children's page 'Knuts Klartext für Kinder', special festival edition, May 2008

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2008 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2007

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

On the Third Planet from the Sun
director: Pavel Medvedev
Russia 2006

Statement:
On the Third Planet from the Sun
 extends the boundary of the creative documentary through a striking visual exploration of environmental destruction and the rebirth of a community in northern Russia.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Metamorphosis
director: Clare Langan
Ireland 2007

Statement:
In Metamorphosis landscape encounters the imagination of the future in a visually stunning experimental piece.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Sân thu'o'ng
director: Hà Phong Ngyên
Vietnam 2006

Statement:
Sân thu'o'ng
 is a poignant, heartfelt tale of father and son told in an elegant cinematic style.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with 2,500 €

Dad
director: Daniel Mulloy
Great Britain 2006

Statement:
Dad
 offers a challenging and sexually charged reconfiguration of family relations.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

Orquesta típica
director: Nicolas Entel
Argentina 2005
Statement:
Orquesta típica
 combines irony and social insight in this Argentinean episode of street theatre.

We Will Win
director: Mahmoud Hojeij
Lebanon 2006
Statement:
We Will Win
 playfully enacts the Middle East conflict on a human scale.

Mic Jean-Louis
director: Kathy Sebbah
France 2007
Statement:
Mic Jean-Louis
 is a touching rural narrative and a surprising synthesis of genres.

 

Prize of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

Capitalism: Slavery
director: Ken Jacobs
USA 2006

Statement:
The Jury of the Prime Minister of North Rhine-Westphalia honours a film that, based on poor-quality found footage, sends the audience on a universal journey. The filmmaker animates a stereoscopic photo of slaves picking cotton into a complex narrative. But the film is not about the mere metamorphosis from static images into moving images. It is about something completely new: the length and rhythm of the movement make the length of the narrative visible again. This cineastic miniature activates the spectator's view and directs it to a present where the economic laws of the historic scenes shown maintain an undiminished validity.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia

On the Third Planet from the Sun
director: Pavel Medvedev
Russia 2006
Statement:
A seemingly archaic landscape, with lost metal objects scattered about - and people who walk strenuous paths to collect these objects. The objects are the scrap of a future which has now passed, remnants of the history of technology. The location at which the film was made is in the north of Russia, a former test area for rockets and bombs. Pavel Medvedev's documentary film shows not only a life which looks primitive but also is one after the modern age; he makes it possible for us to experience the physical efforts and makes the cinema a space to experience another life.

 

Prize of the Jury of FIPRESCI
(Jury of International Film Critics)

Kramasha
director: Amit Dutta
Indien 2007

Statement:
An appeal to the viewer's imagination rendered in all the virtues of 35 mm.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Tolya
director: Rodeon Brodsky
Israel 2006

Statement:
A Russian guest worker in Israel must cope with the fading memory of his home. In a moment of confusion he manages to make his wife and himself laugh on the phone over a surprising action of his. Refreshing, humane, and affectionate - a convincing debut film.

 

Special Mentions of the Ecumenical Jury

We Will Win
director: Mahmoud Hojeij
Lebanon 2006
Statement:
A revealing allegory on the Arab-Israel conflict, realised with the most basic means.

Nemam ti šta reć' lijepo
director: Goran Dević
Kroatien 2006
Statement:
The film confronts the processes of suppression in the post-war era in a Croatian village. As long as people refuse to deal with the truth, the light cannot shine in this place.

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury
for the best 35mm film under 15 minutes in the International and German Competition, in connection with a buying option on the awarded work by the Short Film Agency Hamburg

Dad
director: Daniel Mulloy
Great Britain 2006

Statement:
Dad
 shows intimacy and sexuality as parts of normal everyday life. The unerring direction creates a moving and memorable film.

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury
for the best 35mm film under 15 minutes in the Children's and Youth Competition, in connection with a buying option on the awarded work by the Short Film Agency Hamburg

The Girl Who Swallowed Bees
director: Paul McDermott
Australia 2006

Statement:
Paul McDermott creates an imaginative and expressive world of his own. His poetic visual and verbal narrative style seduces both children and adults.

 

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with 500 €

Ãgtux
Regie: Tania Anaya
Brazil 2005

Statement:
The Prize of the Festival goes to a film to which we want to draw attention. In this film we, the spectators, are drawn into a process of observation that allows us to enter into partial relationships without resolving existing distances. The director, Tania Anaya, offers an intelligent mixture of animation and documentary film.

 

Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €, ex aequo: 1,667 €

Mammal
Director: Astrid Rieger
Germany 2006

 

Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €, ex aequo: 1,667 €

Three Notes
Director: Jeannette Gaussi
Germany 2006

 

Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €, ex aequo: 1,667 €

Vali Asr - Juli 2006
Regie: Norman Richter
Deutschland/Iran 2007

 

3sat-Promotional-Award
endowed with 2,500 €, for a work with a particulary innovative approach. This award includes an option for 3sat to purchase the winning title and broadcast it on 3sat.

Hit the Floor
Director: Kays Khalil
Germany 2006

Statement of the Jury for the German Competition:
A selection of films within which a jury is supposed to move unconsciously consciously excludes many things. If an individual objects to this exclusion or even just comments on it, it is very easy to throw his or her statements back at him/her as his/her personal problem. This is a lie which hides a very rigid political agenda.
We have chosen four films which illustrate an escalated social reality in different ways.

 

Prize of the Children Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Kinderkanal, the ARD/ZDF Children's channel.

Under There
director: Jeremy Lanni
USA 2006

Statement:
We chose this film as the winner because it is funny and sad at the same time. Two opinions - an adult's and a child's - clash, but the child refuses to be influenced by the man and sticks to her beliefs. That's why the award for the best children's film goes to Jeremy Lanni for Under There.

 

Special Mentions of the Children Jury

Ediths glasslott
director: Tove Cecilie Sverdrup, Sunniva Nervik
Norway 2006
Statement:
This film is worth a Special Mention because a small boy learns a lot about death from an old woman, which helps him overcome his fear of death. We liked the glass house and the crystals especially. The Children’s Jury gives a special mention to Ediths glasslott.

Poes en de maan
director: Suzanne Tuynman
Netherlands 2006
Statement:
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.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Kinderkanal, the ARD/ZDF Children's channel.

Schnäbi
director: Luzius Wespe
Schweiz 2006

Statement:
The winning film is both funny and a little serious at the same time. It tells of a day at school of our age group and thereby corresponds to our own experiences and problems. The film is not too long and not too short and certainly not boring. The actors were like our own fellow pupils and we felt that we could identify with the film. We can well imagine that this film can also be shown in schools. And we are certain that everyone here in the hall will enjoy the film this evening. The winning film is by Luzius Wespe with his really successful, imaginative, funny, interesting and entertaining film Schnäbi.

 

Special Mentions of the Youth Jury

Emily's Song
director: Thomas Kennedy, Frank Kelly
Ireland 2006
Statement:
The first film is funny, spritely and entertaining and came very close to the winning film of this year's Festival. It shows that there is also a soft side to an insane boy and that family ties are also important. The film both moved us and made us laugh. The special mention goes to Frank Kelly und Thomas Kennedy from Ireland for their film Emily's Song.

Emilka placze
dierctor: Rafal Kapelinski
Polen 2006
Statement:
The second film is dramatic, sentimental, exciting, informative and conveys a nostalgic atmosphere. It is a black and white film which authentically shows life as it used to be. We therefore want to give a special mention to the film Emilka placze by Rafal Kapelinski from Poland.

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

Domin, libra nos
a video by: Oliver Pietsch
music: The Space Lady
production: Oliver Pietsch
Germany, 2006

Statement:
The video Domin, libra nos by Oliver Pietsch we chose as the winner because it is conceptually pure. Impactful. It illustrates that music video is a grown-up art form. It can be edgy and brutal, not just entertaining and fun.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,500 €

I Have Seen You Dancing Better Than This
director: Luigi Archetti, Bo Wiget
production: Archetti & Wiget
music: Luigi Archetti, Bo Wiget
label: Rune Grammofon
Germany, 2006

Statement:
We, the jury, chose this film for its seductive simplicity and humour. It perfectly complements the beauty and sincerity of the music. The musicians, directing their own piece, add a new dimension to the music.

 

3rd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

H.O.N.D. Aerobic
director: Mariola Brillowska
production: Interpol Filmproduktion
musik: Felix Kubin
label: Gagarin Records
Germany, 2007

Statements:
What we liked about H.O.N.D. Aerobic was that it integrates performance art into the world of video clips in very humorous fashion and also its very graphic do-it-yourself aesthetics. Mariola Brillowska managed to develop her own refreshing and wonderfully bizarre visual language.

 

MuVi Audience Award
endowed with 500 €, determined by the all internet users who cast their votes at www.muvipreis.de (in co-operation with www.bunch.tv, www.intro.de and ARTE Tracks).

1., 2., 3. (Bela B. feat. Charlotte Roche)
director: Norbert Heitker
production: Q Filmproduktion
music: Bela B. feat. Charlotte Roche
label: Four Music
Germany, 2006

Trailer

Trailer of the 53rd Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Directing, Photography, Editing: Deborah Schamoni
Text: Deborah Schamoni, Judith Hopf
Cast: Jens Naumann
Music: Brezel Göring
Germany 2007, 0'40'', English with German subtitles

Press review

This year, Oberhausen was a festival of existential tests and questions. Also a festival of viewer reflection. As if, in a time when an incredible quantity of short films is being produced (over 6,500 films were submitted to Oberhausen), the act of watching is something that has to be re-learned. Curators are becoming more and more important - in the best cases, such as AA Bronson and Ian White, who was in charge of the entire "Kinomuseum" programme, they are not so much highly qualified DJs as something like intellectual cinematic storytellers. 
Hans Schifferle, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 11 May 2007

... even in its 53rd season, the Short Film Festival Oberhausen is still a one-of-a-kind event on the film scene. This status helps it to attract guests from all over the world, with a selection of cutting-edge films and themes. Addressed here are the latest short film trends, but just as importantly the current crisis phenomena. 
Ruediger Suchsland, Koelner Stadtanzeiger, 10 May 2007

Oberhausen is one of the most important places [for the short film] - above all because the genre and its creators do not just celebrate themselves here, during the International Short Film Festival, but rather try, via the various festival sections and discussions, to look beyond the horizon of familiar certainties. And that's where, outside the box of traditional cinema, astonishing discoveries can be made. 
Barbara Schweizerhof, epd Film Nr. 7/2007

The Kinomuseum as envisioned by the festival, however, unites the best of both worlds: cinema's broad public and free circulation of commodities with the museum's power to restore a film's mystic aura. The latter is guaranteed by the classic projection in the cinema itself which, considering its traditional dramaturgy of architectural prelude, slow dimming of the lights and secular consecration through the rising curtain, leaves every museum presentation far behind. 
Michael Kohler, film-dienst 12/2007, 7. Juni 2007

The German Competition as the second most important festival section was scheduled in prime time programme slots and offered four "feature-length" compilations uniting a wide range of forms between documentation, fiction, experimental and animation film (digital as well as analogue). It was the increasing blurring of boundaries which was most noticeable here, in terms of genre or technical classification as well as in the definition of what a short film of German origin ought to be. [...] It is from these cultural phase shifts that some fascinating tensions evolve. 
Claus Löser, film-dienst 12/2007, 7. Juni 2007

Ever since its fledgling days, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has been regarded as a particularly political festival. And with the Oberhausen Manifesto in 1962, the founding fathers of Young German Film adopted the most significant group document in the history of German cinema. This is a tradition that festival director Lars Henrik Gass likes to carry forward. While he caused a stir last year with provocative theses on the state of German film promotion, this time around he predicted in his opening speech, referring to the increasing isolation of film reception through the Internet, DVDs and VoD and the migration of artistic short film to museums and galleries, that "the collective experience of cinema could soon be a thing of the past or at least play a minor role". 
Filmecho / Filmwoche No. 20, 18 May 2007

The fact that cinema with its interest in commercialisation cannot offer art a home is well-known. Filmmakers like Alexander Kluge and Peter Schamoni demanded in the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962 that short film must remain a "natural field for experiment". New to the struggle for survival of the small species is the way it is looking toward the museum and demanding that it open itself to short film. 
Verena Friederike Hasel, Der Tagesspiegel, 9 May 2007

The good old short film, which we still remember as a prelude to a feature film at the cinema, is in its death throes. The new short film, created with increasing frequency on the computer, is everywhere: as music video, as short documentary, as feature, as art object. How does cinema have to change in order to present it, so that it doesn't end up in the kind of niche existence that to some extent has internalised the act of zapping? Oberhausen is trying to stem this tide with a steady series of new retros and panel discussions on the films. Short film is understood here as an important part of film culture, part of a cineaste public space. 
Hans Schifferle, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 11 May 2007

In times when cinema is surrendering to commerce and celebrity hype, [filmmakers] feel more at home in the museum. Oberhausen set up a corresponding situation with its "Kinomuseum". It was only temporary, but impressive nonetheless, demonstrating that, even in its fifty-third year, the festival is still non-conformist and up-to-the-minute. 
Andreas Rossmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 11 May 2007

"I am the museum, you are the museum." This is how he [Ian White] opened every single programme during the four days of the series, which became a kind of cult event. Festival director Lars Henrik Gass remarked approvingly at the closing ceremony that people still didn't know what it was all about. This is in itself nothing new for the special programmes at Oberhausen, which have long outshone the competitions. What was new in this case was that this time no contribution was made to a cutting-edge scholarly discourse, but the audience was instead being initiated into an open and highly exciting associative chain. Starting from the neat observation that films often function as museums, but also are frequently put to use in the latter, the series celebrated above all the act of curating. It is only through short films that the joy of experiencing evident connections between exhibits can be transferred to the cinema at all. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 11 May 2007

In the hands of London film curator Ian White, the ten programmes and one panel discussion of ["Kinomuseum"] revolved around the "white cube" and "black box". Film can be art, but the spaces in which cinematic art is presented obey disparate, sometimes even contrary laws. Gallery visitors are not expected to watch a thirty-minute artist's video from beginning to end, while at the cinema the comfortable seats alone entice visitors to stay seated and watch at length, for example, dirty grey skulls being brushed in Marina Abramovic's "Cleaning the Mirror". 
Dietmar Kammerer, taz - die tageszeitung, 10 May 2007

Particularly in the International Competition, in which 64 entries from 37 countries vied, there was a clear trend toward visually and dramaturgically exceptional documentaries, which uncover what is special about everyday life, in subtle and sometimes surprising ways. 
Gabrielle Schultz, Die Welt, 10 May 2007

And then there's the grandmother. Elevated to a mythical figure, she is a bulwark against the vagaries of existence. In Meghana Bisineer's touching and charming animated film "A Journey across Grandmother", a little girl wanders around her grandma's massive body as if trekking through a splendid landscape; the Japanese entry "Halu" pays homage to an illiterate grandmother who invented her own kind of writing. 
Verena Friederike Hasel, Der Tagesspiegel, 9 May 2007

All's well that ends well. Rarely in the past decades has it been possible to agree so wholeheartedly with the award decisions made at the Short Film Festival. The choices of the international jurors honoured the classic documentary as well as the bold experiment and the trend toward intimately told stories from the filmmaker's own family.
This jury is thus not alone in reflecting the enormous variety offered by the 53rd festival. And it was offered on a level that has not been seen at Oberhausen for a long time now. So much for the prophesies of doom: the short film form lives on more intensively than ever, only more colourful and certainly increasingly on a different media basis. The juries won't be able to decorate 35mm films much longer. A pity, certainly, but a development that can no longer be halted. 
Michael Schmitz, WAZ Oberhausen, 9 May 2007

The two music video programmes shown in Oberhausen, divided into "national" and "international" sections, were the best evidence of the fact that the decadent phase of a cultural phenomenon can often be more interesting than its heyday. While an abundance of small new independent producers and labels has sprouted here from the soil of the past, the few high-gloss productions that are still produced at great expense can only be viewed with the requisite melancholy. 
Barbara Schweizerhof, Friday, 11 May 2007

Art, culture is not an "extra"; it is an existential part of life. People, children who do not experience culture suffer from deficiencies. And there can be no talk here of missing class. Ever seen a programme of children's and youth films? In one-and-a-half hours you can not only gain insights into the various genres of film, but also take a journey around the world. From England to South Korea to New Zealand, Brazil, the USA and then Australia; it's about dreams, identity, feeling like a stranger and feeling accepted, about passion and hope, about religion, death and love... Missing class? Every film is a microcosm; the 90-minute programme, a miniature universe. 
Monika Idems, NRZ Oberhausen, 5 May 2007

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2007 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2006

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

N12°13.062'/W001°32.619' Extended
director: Vincent Meessen
Belgium/Burkina Faso 2005

Statement:
For its evocative treatment of archeology as an abstract, negative space, its strong visual character, its haunting soundscape, and its elegant treatment of the politics of space and time, we are pleased to award the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen to N12°13.062'/W001°32.619' Extended by Vincent Meessen.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Toi, Waguih
director: Namir Abdel Messeeh
France 2005

Statement:
For using the camera's lens to interrogate borders between past and present, father and son intimacy and geographical dislocation, for its emotional impact and political complexity, and for the film's straightforward approach, we would like to award Toi, Waguih by Namir Abdel Messeeh with a Principal Prize.

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Civil Status
director: Alina Rudnitskaya
Russia 2005

Statement:
The second Principal Prize goes to a work that deserves recognition for its careful editing, its dry humour, its revelation of character, and its elegant pace. For providing an aperture into personal lives in contemporary Russia through the country's broader social and bureaucratic machinery, we would like to award Civil Status by Alina Rudnitskaya.

 

ARTE Prize for a european short film
endowed with 2,500 €

Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars
director: Sean Snyder
Germany 2005

Statement:
This is an insightful film essay deconstructing photo journalism and its connections to commodity culture and the economies of branding. Its impressive research links it to a distinguished tradition of essayistic filmmaking and conceptual photography. For these reasons, we would like to award Casio, Seiko, Sheraton, Toyota, Mars by Sean Snyder with the ARTE Prize.

 

Special Mentions of the International Jury

El crucero
director: Juan Carlos Rulfo
Mexico 2005
Statement:
El crucero
 by Juan Carlos Rulfo is a precise and endearing distillation of labour and life in urban Mexico.

Me First
director: Wiliam Owusu
Kenya 2005
Statement:
William Owusu shows in Me First how masculine subjectivity unravels at the end of a relationship in a modern city.

Two Women and a Man
director: Roee Rosen
Israel 2005
Statement:
Two Women and a Man
 by Roee Rosen is a surrealistic game whose rewarding deceptions offer a playful approach to the construction of history and gender.

Zakaria
director: Gianluca & Massimiliano De Serio
Italy 2005
Statement:
Zakaria
 by Gianluca and Massimiliano De Serio displays a strong visual treatment of the acquisition of language and faith.

 

Prize of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia
endowed with 5,000 €

City Scenes
director: Zhao Liang
China 2005

Statement:
City Scenes
 is a series of snapshots taken in the streets and squares of a Beijing preparing for the Olympic Games. The filmmaker captures everyday reality in static shots: leisure activities, street scenes, latent violence. The long, continuous and carefully framed shots draw attention to places and details, to the way the people there move and interact. Zhao Liang makes impressive use of cinema's capacity to make reality visible as it is.

 

Special Mention of the Jury of the Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia

Rugby Boyz
director: Khavn de la Cruz
Philippines 2006
Statement:
Rugby Boyz
 is a documentary about boys living in Philippine slums. With a unique colour and lighting design and a poetic narrative approach, the filmmaker manages to show the boys' indomitable will to live and the fragility of their situation in life.

 

Prize of the Jury of FIPRESCI
(Jury of International Film Critics)

Toi, Waguih
director: Namir Abdel Messeeh
France 2005

Statement:
The jury found a radical mixture of films that challenged us to make comparisons. We watched everything from rigorous formal experimentation to raw documentary. But one film stood out. For its sincerity, its psychological depth and the nuance of its technique, the FIPRESCI jury gives the International Critics Award to Toi, Waguih, director Namir Abdel Messeeh's story of what happens when a child uproots his father's political history.

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

Me First
director: William Owusu
Kenya 2005

Statement:
A man sensitively reflects his broken relationship, emphatically overcomes his self-doubt and at last goes his own way. It is the translation of his emotional condition into a visual language which is impressive in this film. Not the least of its quality lies in the fact that the film offers us an unfamiliar picture of Africa.

 

Special Mentions of the Ecumenical Jury

Civil Status
director: Alina Rudnitskaya
Russia 2005
Statement:
In a civil registry office, the filmmaker captures human reactions to milestones in life like marriage, divorce, birth, or death. The gestures and facial expressions of the participants break through the bureaucratic framework and the documentary character of this film. Emotions will not be subjugated by the administrative machinery.

A Moment of Love
director: James Lee
Malaysia 2005
Statement:
A Moment of Love
 is a film about a dying relationship which leaves the audience a lot of space to empathise with the protagonist. Its expressive images and sparse dialogue capture the audience without suggesting a final solution.

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury
in connection with a buying option on the awarded work by the KurzFilmAgentur Hamburg

Zakaria
director: Gianluca & Massimiliano De Serio
Italy 2005

Statement:
An Italian boy of Arab descent learns the language of his ancestors and tries to get to know more about Islam. In an age of quick judgements or prejudices about Islam, Zakaria approaches this unknown - from our point of view - culture slowly and respectfully. Opinions fixed in our minds are questioned, softened and changed. The film encourages us to learn more about Islam, which is an important condition for productive dialogue. A film which in the opinion of this jury serves an important purpose and deserves a big cinema audience.

 

Special Mention of the Cinema Jury

Kein Platz für Gerold
director: Daniel Nocke
Germany 2005
Statement:
This humorous and light film takes an ironic look at everyday rituals in a German flat share. We observe several representatives of our species hiding their real interests behind a show of banal conflicts. At the same time, this film is a parody of a naive society which opens its doors to the omnipresent cameras of talk shows and Reality TV. What is private and authentic is lost by being declared an issue of public debate.

 

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with 500 €

Hanne
director: Éva Magyarósi
Hungary 2005

Statement:
Based on a personal experience, torn between two men, the director creates a dizzying visual cosmos. Tragedy is lurking under the surface of deliberately kitschy images: If I can't hold someone, I must devour/eat him.

 

Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Rien du tout
director: Maya Schweizer  Clemens von Wedemeyer
Germany/France 2006

Statement:
The German jury awards the prize for the best contribution to the German Competition to the film Rien du tout by Clemens von Wedemeyer and Maya Schweizer. The film is an accurate depiction of the precarious working conditions which increasingly determine our social life today. It does not do this, however, in the style of a social report with a predictable punchline. Instead, Wedemeyer and Schweizer create a series of scenes that could be happening during rehearsals for a play. This alienation reveals the dependencies, insecurities and resistance which determine the labour relations between the characters even more clearly. Each of these relations is different, the camera focuses on details, stays restless until it gathers together all the protagonist in a surprising final tableau which shows a society where everything falls apart while everyone remains dependent on everyone else.

 

3sat-Promotional-Award
endowed with 2,500 €, for a work with a particulary innovative approach. This award includes an option for 3sat to purchase the winning title and broadcast it on 3sat

o.T.
director: Anna Berger
Germany 2005

Statement:
The 3sat Promotional Award goes to the film o.T. by Anna Berger. The film deals with the pain felt at the death of one's mother. A young woman's voice-over talks about the impossibility of coming to terms with this pain through various therapies. She does this with the same laconic humour which marks the images of the film. They are images of absurd moments which reveal the faultline running through the world, when everything in life seems somehow wrong. It makes us laugh, but this laughter is always a way to recognise a pain that won't go away. Anna Berger uses simple means to find strong images and words for a form of mourning based on humour.

 

Special Mentions of the Jury of the German Competition

Gut möglich, dass ich fliegen kann
director: Anna Doose
Germany 2006

with you
director: Eva Könnemann
Germany 2006

Statement:
The German Jury also awards special mentions to two films which in our opinion demonstrate in different ways how films can be made. The first is Gut möglich, dass ich fliegen kann by Hanna Doose who uses the means of the short film to direct a complete melodrama, finding a surprising expression for the excess of emotions generated here in musical interludes. The other is with you by Eva Könneman who films an individual character in a real situation with only a voice-over to combine the images into a narrative.

 

Prize of the Children Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Kinderkanal, the ARD/ZDF Children's channel.

Maré Capoeira
director: Paoloa Barreto Leblanc
Brazil 2005

Statement:
We chose this film because it is very interesting to see how children in other countries spend their time with the country's national sport. It was interesting to get to know about another country's national sport. The music is very entertaining, well-chosen and interesting, too.

 

Special Mention of the Children Jury

Big Girl
director: Renuka Jeyapalan
Canada 2005
Statement:
This film deserves a special mention because the story could really happen and because the film is funny, sad and exciting at the same time. It is the story of a young girl who does not get along with her mother's new boyfriend until she gets to know him better.

 

Prize of the Youth Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, sponsored by Kinderkanal, the ARD/ZDF Children's channel.

Pandasyndromet
director: Rune Schjøtt
Denmark 2005

Statement:
We chose this film as best film because it is particularly funny and exciting and interesting from the start. The film is about a boy who has an embarrassing teenager problem. We like it that you can make a comedy out of such a serious subject. Besides, the story truly happened.

 

Special Mentions of the Youth Jury

Basti
director: Ralf Beckert/Chris Rubino
Germany 2005
Statement:
This film gets a special mention because it is very real. It is also about a serious subject. The locations, costumes and props were also very well chosen.

The First Day of My Life
dierctor: David Uloth
Canada 2005
Statement:
This film is worth a special mention because the story is funny and serious at the same time. Many colourful objects were used to make the images prettier. They were also well matched by the music they selected and used.

 

1st MuVi Prize
- ex aequo - endowed with 2,000 €

Black Lead
director, script, editon: Corine Stübi
music: Death in Vergas
label: Drone
production: KHM Köln, Love London
Germany, 2006

Statement:
We found there is no stand-out first prize winner this year, so we decided to give two second prizes and one honourable mention. The second prizes are in no particular order and are awarded along with 2,000 € each.

 

2nd MuVi Prize
- ex aequo - endowed with 2,000 €

It's All Blooming Now Mt. Heart Attack
director: Markus Wambsganss
production: KHM Köln
music: Liars
label: Mute Records
Germany, 2005

Statement:
We found there is no stand-out first prize winner this year, so we decided to give two second prizes and one honourable mention. The second prizes are in no particular order and are awarded along with 2,000 € each.

 

Special Mention
endowed with 1,000 €

Maybe Not
director: Oliver Pietsch
production: Oliver Pietsch
music: Catpower
label: Matador Records
Germany, 2005

 

MuVi Online Audience Award
endowed with 500 €, determined by the all internet users who cast their votes at www.muvipreis.de (supported by INTRO and NIL).

Chirurgie 2010
director: Pyrolator
production: atatak
music: Fehlfarben
label: V2 Records
Germany, 2006

Trailer

Trailer of the 52nd Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Concept, Sound, Editing, Production: Aleesa Cohene, Benny Nemeofsky Ramsay
Freeze Frames: BOROS, Agentur für Kommunikation, Wuppertal, Germany, 2006, 0'39''

Press review

Oberhausen is one of the oldest and most avant-garde film festivals in the world. [...] Because it presents short films of all types - from documentaries and fictions to artworks and music videos - and welcomes short films in all media - from Super 8 and 16 millimeter to 35 millimeter and digital video - it has become known as a prime scouting ground for new talent. The festival doesn't just blend the line between commercial and noncommercial film - arguably, it is the line. 
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie, The Daily Star, Lebanon, 12 May 2006

One of the famous experimental laboratories of cinema for more than 50 years. 
Stern, Germany, 20 April 2006

The correspondences between the "Radical Closure" series which never ceased to question the truth of images and the competition films showed very clearly that politics and aesthetics are no opposites in Oberhausen. 
Hans Schifferle, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, 11 May 2006

Perhaps the best thing about Oberhausen is that it does not seek to smooth off the edges or to be defensive about its provincial setting.. Festivals, after all, are celebrations: happy are the margins. 
Mike Sperlinger, Frieze, September 2006

Short film does not have to re-invent itself all the time, and yet it does. Perhaps precisely because it is not exposed to the commercial pressures of ticket sales. The 52nd Oberhausen festival was overwhelming proof that the short film can school us in the pleasures of seeing. Since Lars Henrik Gass took over as director, once a year long queues form at the ticket counters for one week. Because the team around Gass have guided the oldest short film festival in the world back to its roots with films that break our viewing habits and reveal unexpectedly, but with split second explosive force, astonishing new angles on life. 
Gabrielle Schultz, Die Welt, Germany, 10 May 2006

Maybe [Robert] Nelsons films are something like Southern Californian dadaism, playful, meditative, dense montages of elements from vaudeville, slapstick, pin-up and car culture, married to the spirit of the I ching. But in spite, or maybe because of this, one feels their greatness. It is a greatness founded in a genuinely American kind of nonchalance and a beautiful modesty, and of course in their radical freedom in the treatment of image and sound. [...] Nelson's images today seem like a reminder of freedom, of a lost age when fun was still an important part of making and watching films. Questions around this kind of freedom and its counterpoint, closure, were at the centre of this year's festival. 
Hans Schifferle, Sueddeutsche Zeitung, Germany, 11 May 2006

The most ambitious and convincing short films were those that reflected their own medium. 
Andreas Rossmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Germany, 11 May 2006

What is art? What is theatre? What is film? We have become used to resorting to agency contexts when we answer that question. Art is what the art museums present, theatre is what's performed on the stages, and film is what's screened in the movie theatres. This simple rule will go a long way on the practical level. It reminds us that the definition of art has nothing to do with its quality. It cannot, however, explain the short film, because that has no home. One might say, of course, that short film is what's screened in Oberhausen. But this didn't satisfy even the signatories of the famous 1962 manifesto. Since the 1980s, if not earlier, when film theorist Karola Gramann took over as director, the significance of this festival lies in its production of context. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, Germany, 11 May 2006

Our film "Reigen der Ziegen" (Round dance of the goats) on a huge screen in the packed Lichtburg cinema; a bit like being in a fairytale. Oberhausen International Short Film Festivals: six days of short films, six days of first-class Oberhausen hospitality. 
Michael Sasdi, Switzerland, filmmaker (Reigen der Ziegen in the International Competition 2006)

The noticeable tendency towards documentary, technically un-perfect, "rough" images might also be interpreted as a yearning for immediate access to reality, or even for a new seriousness. The Oberhausen festival makers underlined this by introducing a remarkably well-attended series of debates on topical subjects. Generally, the festival director showed a sense of the contemporary, in the selection of side programmes as well as in the festival's openness to new media - podcasts on the website - which countered any negative associations connected with "time-honoured tradition" and at the same time rather successfully continued the tradition of commitment for which Oberhausen is also known. 
Barbara Schweizerhof, epd film, Germany, 7/2006

The osmosis between the film industry and the art world which has been observable for quite a while now was made explicit in a special section. Twelve distributors of experimental films presented selections from their catalogues ranging from classical museum-loops to finger exercises by renowned artists like Lawrence Weiner's "Inherent in the Rhumb Line" (USA 2005). Anyone trying to draw a strict line between such art market-screenings and the competition programmes though soon found themselves in deep water. 
Michael Kohler, film-dienst, Germany, 12/2006,

(...) A first-class phalanx of documentary films not seen since the happy days of the Eastern European documentary film studios. 
Georg Immich, Film & TV Kameramann, Germany, 6/2006

With its deftly staffed panel discussions about cultural politics and media education, internet television and sales strategies for moving images Oberhausen in its new shape lived up to its reputation of being a festival of discussion and reflection. 
Reinhard Kleber, filmecho/filmwoche, Germany, 20 May 2006

The artistic extremes coming from all over the world are not exactly easily consumable - and yet the international film avant-garde find their audience. Not just the sold-out cinemas but the crowded auditorium of the panel discussions are proof of this. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Blickpunkt:Film, Germany, 22 May 2006

The Oberhausen festival once more confirmed the unique ability of the international short film to put its finger on the emotions and problems of today's societies and communicate them with penetrating aesthetic force. 
Dieter Wieczorek, Documents, France, 3/2006

True, Oberhausen is perfectly willing to insist on gruelling seriousness - but only if absolutely necessary, as demonstrated again this year by the best works of the programmes in which subtleties and experiments were combined with brilliant technical skills and a deep love of their object of presentation. 
Carsten Tritt, Schnitt, No. 43, 3/2006

Film/montage in the lab, a never-ending series of possible connections, divisions, duplications, permanent shifts of meaning, interstices. Film as the fixation of a potential at a specific point. In view of all this it seems almost logical for Nelson to re-work some of his films (ca. 30) years later, to re-edit or destroy them. They are provisional works which (can) change constantly or even disappear, leaving behind only a title. Films which cancel out any traditional idea of the work of art based on unity, contingency and continuity. 
Tanja Widmann in Malmoe, Austria, No. 32, late spring 2006

Apart from the topical political dimension of directed artistic interventions [in the "Radical Closure" programme], Oberhausen once more reminded us that the short form has always been recognised in the avant-garde. That the question of the length of a film constitutes first of all a conceptual decision conforming to certain kinds of content or cinematic experiments. 
Isabella Reicher, Der Standard, Austria, 10 May 2006

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2006 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).

2005

Award Winners

Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen
endowed with 7,500 €

man.road.river, Marcellvs L., Brazil 2004

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

A Tree in Tanjung Malim, Tan Chui Mui, Malaysia 2004

 

Principal Prize
endowed with 3,500 €

Wild Boy, Guy Ben-Ner, Israel 2004

 

ARTE Award for a European Short Film
endowed with 2,500 €

Stationary Music, Jayne Parker, UK 2005

 

Special Mentions

A vue, Joshua Mosley, USA 2004

Malenkaya Katerina, Ivan Golovnev, Russia 2004

 

Prize of the North Rhine-Westphalia Government Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, Culture and Sport
endowed with 5,000 €

Pistache, Valèrie Pirson, France 2004

 

Special Mention

Useless Dog, Ken Wardrop, Ireland 2004

 

Prize of the FIPRESCI-Jury

The Future Is Behind You, Abigail Child, USA 2004

 

Prize of the Ecumenical Jury
endowed with 1,500 €

City Paradise, Gaëlle Denis, UK 2004

 

Special Mention 

Border, Laura Waddington, F/UK 2005

 

Prize of the Cinema Jury
(Buying option by the Short Film Agency Hamburg)

Darazsak, ludak, körtefa, László Csáki, Hungary 2004

 

Special Mention

Strange Little Girls, Savina Dellicour, UK 2004

 

Prize of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
endowed with 500 €

Mariko's 30 Pirates, Mariko Tetsuya, Japan 2004

 

Prize for the Best Contribution to the German Competition
endowed with 5,000 €

Remake, Hangover Ltd. (C. Groß, S. Huber, U. Schall, T. Turanskyj, C. Splitt), 2004

 

3sat Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

Cousin Cousine, Maria Mohr, 2005

 

Special Mention

Album, Matthias Möller, 2004

 

Prize of the Children's Jury
endowed with 1,000 €, for programmes for children aged 5 to 12, sponsored by the children's channel of ARD/ZDF

Gabriel, Cherie Knott/Janine Burchett, Australia 2004

 

Special Mention

Bauch Beine Bürzel, Harun Celebi, Germany 2004

 

Prize of the Youth Jury for programmes
endowed with 1,000 €, for programmes for children aged 12 to 16, sponsored by the children's channel of ARD/ZDF

Fliegenpflicht für Quadratköpfe, Stephan-Flint Müller, Germany 2004

 

Special Mentions

Grey Avenue, Eugene Foo, Malaysia 2003

Som min søster, Marianne O. Ulrichsen, Norway 2003

 

1st MuVi Prize
endowed with 2,500 €

The Zoo (Funkstörung) Zeitguised, Stuttgart, 2004

 

2nd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,500 €

Lightning Bolts & Man Hands (Hymie's Basement) Markus Wambsganss, Berlin, 2004

 

3rd MuVi Prize
endowed with 1,000 €

Rocker (Alter Ego), Corine Stübi, Cologne, 2004

 

Special Mention

Cut (Bit Meddler) Till Heim, Wiesbaden, 2004

 

MuVi Online Audience Award

1st Prize
Never
 (Maj Mlakar) Thomas Kiel & Nico Vogelsang, Hannover, 2004

2nd Prize
Zombi
 (Kante), Showcase Beat Le Mot, Germany 2004

3rd Prize
bloodsample
 (losoul), Fordbrothers, Germany 2004

Trailer

Trailer of the 51st Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Concept, Sound, Editing, Production: Jan Verbeek
Freeze Frames: BOROS, Agentur für Kommunikation, Wuppertal, Germany, 2005, 0'39''

Press review

Short film, insofar as it is not devoted to advertising or economic purposes, is by its very nature not glamorous, but experimental, fragmentary, beginning and testing ground, diploma film and launch pad. Oberhausen is not a home of the "big" movies, but sometimes these are targeted, or filmmakers reach for them, if only for twenty minutes. 
Andreas Rossmann, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 12 May 2005

What united the Festival was a sparkling concept of artistic difference. You can't ask for anything better. At the heart of this was the retrospective. One might argue that the programme "The Fallen Curtain: The Self and the Other since 1989" was even less clear than its predecessors, the traditional special programmes, about what it was really about, but that was irrelevant. ...The fact of the matter was that each individual programme teemed with discoveries from the history of cinema and that they triggered more through their associative compilation than any theory. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 12 May 2005

A permanent latent opposition of digital video and film was discernible at Oberhausen this year. Celluloid seems to fade to a mere cinema archetype - the material one longs for but that has become impractical. 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12 May 2005

With 134 contributions from 36 countries, the Oberhausen festival once again offered a cross-section of the genre. It confidently focused on itself in the "Fallen Curtain" special programme. Films from the USA, China, Russia, Germany, Poland and England documented the history of the short film since the Iron Curtain fell. 
Gabrielle Schultz, Die Welt, 11 May 2005

Cinema between yesterday and tomorrow was the focus of the great Oberhausen retrospective. Under the title "The Fallen Curtain", images and ideas of the capitalist West and the socialist East were juxtaposed, the after-effects of the fall of the Berlin wall were investigated. An incredible jungle of images and genres revealing any number of differences but also many strange similarities, for example the rigid, very closed US society that emerges in 'educational films'. 
Hans Schifferle, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 12 May 2005

No established festival in Germany makes us aware of the historicity of media to any comparable degree. Nowhere else is the history of cinema used more creatively. 
Daniel Kothenschulte, Frankfurter Rundschau, 12 May 2005

... Oberhausen is not the place for "normality" or routine, of all things - again and again, the range and variety of the works presented there prove to be too diverse. 
Dietmar Kammerer, die tageszeitung, 11 May 2005

The special programme once more lent the Oberhausen festival its distinctive character. Nonetheless, the competitions and specials also contributed to demonstrating the cinematic interweaving of the political and the experimental, which for years has not only been the declared festival motto but also projected on the screens. 
Barbara Wurm, Freitag, 13 May 2005

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has frequently played the role of pioneer in recent years, on the technical or programming level. It was among the first German film festivals to present CD-ROMs, internet projects, interactive media and virtual worlds. In addition, the team around festival director Lars Henrik Gass helped music videos achieve recognition as an artistic short film genre of their own by introducing special programmes and a competition. With reelport, a new online film submission platform Oberhausen now takes the technological lead again and once again proves itself to be one of the most innovative film festivals around. 
Reinhard Kleber, Filmecho/Filmwoche, Nr. 20/2005

There were a number of these small films which stop, reflect, sometimes accept the status quo in a resigned way but then look hopefully into the future again. This year's Oberhausen festival finally proved once more that short film can still be the spice of cinema. 
Rolf-Rüdiger Hamacher, Westfälische Rundschau, 11 May 2005

The 51st International Short Film Festival in Oberhausen (5 to 10 May) takes place under the banner of a rapprochement of the arts and the short film. ART, May 2005

The Festival is [...] also an economic factor. One should not forget this when the costs of film funding are once more heatedly debated in North Rhine-Westphalia these days. 
Michael Vaupel, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 5 May 2005

At half-time, the festival with its rich tradition surprised, even after the golden anniversary last year, with frequently sold-out screenings - and, in the International Competition, with a series of amazingly good contributions from rather new film nations. 
Michael Schmitz, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, 9 May 2005

Short films are addictive, and so is the atmosphere at Oberhausen. If you go there once, you are sure to come back again. [...] Of course, the Festival is a special experience not just for the audience, but also for the filmmakers who compete with other artists in the competitions. Tanja Turanskyj has returned from Berlin to her old hometown. She made the film "Remake", together with her three colleagues from the "Hangover Ltd." directors' collective, a film that is all about four women and one man during a Vodka-soaked night: "It's exciting to be back in Oberhausen," says the 38-year-old filmmaker who left 20 years ago, "As a teenager, I worked for the Filmothek der Jugend for five years". Being invited to Oberhausen with her film is a big compliment, she says. 
Monika Idems, Neue Ruhr Zeitung, 9 May 2005

After six days of intense programmes, you return from Oberhausen not with any definite answers in hand but with a convoluted strand of questions. [...] One thing is certain: In Oberhausen, the borders between works intended for cinematic release and works intended for contemporary art galleries are fading. 
Elena Marchesi, il manifesto (Italy), 28 May 2005

In the films and videos screened there, it was also clearly discernible that politics and a (political) attitude are not a "wrong theme" at a film festival: national identity, criticism of capitalist everyday life, migration and illegal immigration were at the focus of works in which these themes were often combined with the filmmakers' biographies or a reflection on image production. 
Claudia Slanar, Der Standard (Austria), 12 May 2005

The programmes of this festival which has always seen itself as a political festival presented themselves as "having a mind of their own" in the very best sense. Ranging from structuralist experiments (Józef Robakowski) to Super-8-poetry (Anarchistische GummiZelle) and bombastic cinemascope symphony ("Optinen ääni" by Finnish filmmaker Mika Taanila) to a looped fight ("Fisticuffs" by Miranda Pennell) and an installation by Christoph Girardet, they offered an alluring sea of styles and aesthetics. 
Oliver Baumgarten, Blickpunkt:Film, 30 May 2005

The programme of German music videos proved to be all the more surprising in its variety. [...] Their playful, at first sight naive approach to technology in particular sometimes resulted in an effectively transformed perspective on German lifestyles. 
Oliver Rahayel, film-dienst, Nr. 12/2005

In May, the small town of Oberhausen transforms itself into the cutting edge focal point of the global short film scene. Considered too experimental for some, and too conventional for others, the festival is essentially defined by its commitment to discovering innovation with the moving image and for its distinctive and uncompromising nature. 
Shai Heredia, The Hindu (India), 29 May 2005

Catalogue

The Festival Catalogue 2005 is available for download as PDF or you can get the print version for 15 € (incl. VAT plus shipping costs).