Other programmes


Sport in Film: Focus on Historic Sports Films

“Sport and film have one essential basic element in common: movement”, Hilmar Hoffmann stated in the catalogue of the first Sportfilmtage (Sports Film Days) in 1968. They are “both children of our time”, as the then North Rhine-Westphalian Minister of the Interior Willi Weyer wrote in his foreword as the president of the Sportfilmtage, the aim being “to capture, bundle and activate all the forces existing in the wide fields of sport and film.” The Sportfilmtage took place bi-annually in Oberhausen until 1977 – with festivals in 1968, 1973, 1975 and 1977. The “International Film and Television Festival” screened and awarded prizes to international sports films of all kinds – loosely defined as “films that deal with sports themes”. The event was independent, but closely linked to Kurzfilmtage, with Hilmar Hoffmann as its vice president. A number of award-winning films and other prints were collected in the Kurzfilmtage Archive. Now Oberhausen is presenting a rediscovery of this festival with a selection of films in five programmes, curated by Cologne-based media theorist, writer and director Dietrich Leder.

The Sportfilmtage programmes covered a broad spectrum, ranging from legendary films like Werner Herzog’s Die große Ekstase des Bildschnitzers Steiner (The Great Ecstasy of Woodcarver Steiner, 1974) or largely unknown works by filmmaker like Jacques Doillon, Elem Klimov, Marcel Łoziński or Michael Pfleghaar through to educational films like Neue Wege zum Wedeln (New Ways to Wedeling). The programme “Sport in Film” will be grouped around topics such as physical movement, heroes, spectators, women’s sports or sport as social action, with the majority of the films coming from the Sportfilmtage archive holdings, plus a few individual productions that were screened at Kurzfilmtage. All in all, around 25 films will be screened in the cinemas at the 70th festival, with selected works presented online on the Kurzfilmtage Channel in the run-up to the festival.

“Sport in Film” will be complemented by “Sport im Ruhrgebiet in Filmdokumenten” (Sport in the Ruhr Area in Film Documents): Paul Hofmann presents works from the holdings of the Kinemathek im Ruhrgebiet, with the oldest dating from 1924, a film about a municipal sports festival in the city of Essen.

The curators

Sport in film
Dietrich Leder
, born 1954 in Essen, studied German philology and theatre arts in Cologne, author of publications on media criticism and media studies (most recently Die Erfindung des Mediensports (The Genesis of Media Sport) with Daniela Schaaf and Jörg-Uwe Nieland) and from 1994 to 2021 professor for television culture at the Academy of Media Arts Cologne (KHM).

Sport in the Ruhr area
Paul Hofmann
, born in 1950, has been active in the Ruhr region since 1976 and worked together with Roland and Janne Günter from 1976 to 1978 to create the retrospective "Das Ruhrgebiet im Film" for the 1978 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Since then, he has continued this documentation work and founded the "Kinemathek im Ruhrgebiet" in 1988, at that time as „Filmarchiv für die Region". Hofmann was co-curator of the exhibitions "Rock & Pop im Pott" (2016) and "Glück auf, Film ab!" (2024) and worked as a (co-)author on various WDR productions. Hofmann lives in Duisburg.

About the Theme programme

Just as important as the competitions and, since the 1990s, a central and successful part of Oberhausen’s profile is the Theme, a comprehensive programme on annually changing issues. Here, the Festival reflects the enormous variety of the short form, whether avant-garde, advertising or scientific film, whether expanded cinema or linear installation excerpt, within thematic contexts, creating a forum for cinematic and social discussions that, starting with the short film, extend far beyond film-related issues and engage in an overarching dialogue on image production in the arts, new technologies and sciences.

Recent Theme programmes

Topics covered in recent years include: "Solidarity as Disruption" (2021), "Leaving the Cinema – Knokke, Hamburg, Oberhausen (1967–1971)" (2018), "Social media before the Internet" (2017), "El Pueblo - Searching for Contemporary Latin America" (2016),  "The Third Image – 3D Cinema as )Experiment" (2015); "Memories Can't Wait - Film without Film"(2014), "Flatness: Cinema After The Internet" (2013), "Provoking reality: Mavericks, MouveMents, Manifestos" (2012), "Shooting Animals. A Brief History of Animal Film" (2011), "From the Deep: The Great Experiment 1898-1918" (2010), "Unreal Asia" (2009), "Bordercrossers and Troublemakers",  "Whose History" (2008), "Kinomuseum" and "Don't turn around! Children, Childhood, Cinema" (2007), "Solidarity As Disruption – Epilogue" (2022), "Synchronize. Pan-African Film Networks" (2022), "Against Gravity. The Art of Machinima" (2023)



The Oberhausen Profiles are traditionally dedicated to the works of outstanding filmmakers, some of whom have dealt with short films for decades. The programmes are always presented personally by the artists or filmmakers*.

Abraham Ravett

Born in Poland in 1947, and raised in Israel and the United States, Abraham Ravett has been producing films about his family for a few decades now, exploring the aftereffects of the Holocaust, a historical trauma that both of his parents were affected by. To Ravett, the genocidal past and its aftereffects are not merely relics of yore; they are a never-ending task and a calling. He often takes a historical photograph as his starting point, exploring timelines and potentialities, using sound very sparingly – often in the form of conversations as in one of his best-known films, The March (1999). Oberhausen is presenting a survey of his oeuvre in three programmes.

Mox Mäkelä

The Finnish conceptual artist has been active since 1976 and has exhibited her work widely at museums as well as film festivals. Her focus is on the exploration of ecocritical and literary themes in her films and installations, the clash between nature and human beings, which she takes up in a very distinctive and unique way. Her 2023 Oberhausen Zonta Prize winner Noita Miettien (Thinking about That), for example, is an uninterrupted rant on the world of consumption, a waterfall of words with leaps of thought and invented words – experimental and mesmerizing. Oberhausen is screening two programmes of her works, selected by the artist herself.

John Torres

John Torres, born in 1975, is a filmmaker, writer and musician from Manila and one of the most interesting independent filmmakers coming from the Philippines today, acclaimed for his personal and poetical style. Among his oeuvre are short films, feature films, installation works. His debut feature Todo Todo Teros (2006) won multiple awards, as did the films that followed. He also co-runs Los Otros, a Manila-based space, film lab and platform committed to the intersection of film and art. Oberhausen will be presenting his short film works in two programmes.

Davorin Marc

Davorin Marc, born in Izola (present day Slovenia) in 1964, started making films in 1976. When he permanently stopped at the age of 23 he had produced 150 short films, all on super 8. His style was praised as unprecedented even then. After the break-up of Yugoslavia only a handful of these films were projected on one single occasion, so this programme offers a rare opportunity to view his early works, especially as new prints were discovered recently. His early films will be shown on super 8 in the main part of the programme. After a 27-year hiatus Marc started making films again, just as suddenly as he stopped. His new body of abstract video work is equally unique and fascinating but has no obvious connections to his past. The International Competition 2018 at Oberhausen has already shown Dobrodošlica. (Welcome.) in 2018. The historical super 8 screening of his early works will be accompanied by a second programme featuring a 30-minute installation of this contemporary strand.

Previous Profiles

Sandor Aguilar (2017), Eija-Lisa Ahtila (2000), Victor Alimpiev/Olga Stolpovskaya (2006), Wojciech Bakowski (2014), Craig Baldwin (2000), Baloji (2021), Melika Bass (2021), Guy Ben-Ner (2007), Majoleine Boonstra (2007), Louise Botkay (2018), Marcel Broodthaers (2023), Linda Christanell (2012), Raquel Chalfi (2016), Yamashiro Chikako (2023), Jem Cohen (2001), Josef Dabernig (2016), Kiri Dalena (2019), Amit Dutta (2010), Nicolás Echevarría (2009), Teboho Edkins (2023), Heinz Emigholz (2001), Factory of Found Clothes (2009), Helga Fanderl (2013), Jeanne Faust (2016), Morgan Fisher (2022), Herbert Fritsch (2009), Susannah Gent (2020), Karpo Godina/Želimir Žilnik (2002), Marina Grižnić/Aina Šmid (2003), Alexandra Gulea (2023), Bert Haanstra (1998), Anne Haugsgjerd (2016), Stefan Hayn (2005), James Herbert (1999), Sohrab Hura (2022), Yamada Isao (2004), Ito Takashi (2015), Ken Jacobs (1996), Jim Jennings (1998), William E. Jones (2011), Larry Jordan (2001), Aryan Kaganof (2014), Kanai Katsu (2007), Patrice Kirchhofer (2008), Ken Kobland (2007), Rainer Komers (2022), Eva Könnemann (2018), Andrew Kötting (2008), Petar Krelja, Krsto Papić and Zoran Tadic (2013), Grzegorz Królikiewicz (2011), Mark Lewis (2005), Salomé Lamas (2018), Marie Lukáčová (2021), Dušan Makavejev (2003), Mara Mattuschka (2014), John Maybury (2002), Philbert Aimé Mbabazi Sharangabo (2020), Bjørn Melhus (2017), Deimantas Narkevicius (2014), Erkka Nissinen (2015), Matsumotu Toshio (2009), Münchner Gruppe: Klaus Lemke/Rudolf Thome/Max Zihlmann (2003), Gunvor Nelson (2010), Robert Nelson (2006), Vera Neubauer (2012), Ho Tzu Nyen (2013), No Wave (2010), Jayne Parker (2004), Kayako Oki (2019), Miranda Pennell (2006), Ilppo Pohjola (2012), Shalimar Preuss (2022), Luther Price (2013), Laure Prouvost (2013), William Raban (2015), Jennifer Reeder (2015), Lis Rhodes  (2008), Jósef Robakowski (2005), Roee Rosen (2012), Roter Hahn 1907 (2011), Lynne Sachs (2023), Larissa Sansour (2017), Sarajevo Documentary School (2009), Boris Schafgans (2006), Sylvia Schedelbauer (2022), Maya Schweizer (2020), John Smith (2002), Alexander Sokurov (2019), Eva Stefani (2019), Barbara Sternberg (2017), Sun Xun (2016), Eszter Szabó (2022), Jaan Toomik (2017), Salla Tykkä (2021), Robert Van Ackeren (2001), Mona Vătămanu & Florin Tudor (2018), Vipin Vijay (2015), Laura Waddington (2005), Orson Welles (2000), Joyce Wieland (2002), Charles Wilp (2001), John Wood & Paul Harrison (1999), Fred Worden (2010), Nina Yuen (2017) and Akram Zaatari (2008).

Profiles in retrospect

Here you can find the profiles from the last year.


Conference and Podium


Longing for freedom from contradiction: Culture and the public 1

In recent years, confrontations with sexism, racism and other forms of misanthropy have led to a critical examination of the programmes and attitudes of cultural institutions. By today, however, these demands seem to have fallen into a trap. The term »cancel culture«, originally introduced by right-wing actors, is being used more and more frequently, calls for boycotts and protests arise against collaboration with people or institutions because of their positioning, the idea of criticism threatens to turn into conformism. Based on a campaign against the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, supporters, opponents and observers of this and similar campaigns discuss the question: Does the greatest danger for critical discussions about how to deal with political issues within the cultural sector come from the cultural sector itself?

1 May, 13 h, Eisenlager im Altenberg


Keynote Bazon Brock
13:00 h


Panel Cultural Theory
Bazon Brock, art theorist
Sara Rukaj, writer
Lea Wohl von Haselberg, film scholar and festival director
Moderated by Ute Cohen, writer and journalist
13:30 h


Panel The Cultural Scene
Sergio Edelsztein, curator
Ruth Herzberg, writer
Andreas Hoffmann, managing director documenta
Ronya Othmann, writer and journalist
Moderated by Ute Cohen, writer and journalist
16:30 h


Panel at the Festival Opening Ceremony
Lars Henrik Gass, festival director
Alexandra Schauer, sociologist
Rüdiger Suchsland, film critic
19:30 h, Lichtburg Filmpalast


Why festivals? Culture and the public 2
With the transformation of film culture and cinema in the last two decades due to the establishment of the internet as a mass medium and the digitalisation and economisation of all areas of life, film festivals are confronted with numerous new tasks and challenges. The cinema as a venue for film festivals and public discourse has been pushed to the sidelines of society; economic conditions are deteriorating rapidly in the wake of the great pandemic and armed conflicts. This raises the question as to what remains of the original universalist self-image of film festivals and whether and how film festivals can continue to fulfil their mission. Oberhausen investigates this question in four panel discussions.


Are festivals still a universalist project?
2 May, 10-12 h

Harald Kimpel, art scientist
Andreas Kilb, film critic (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)
Ariel Schweitzer, film critic (Cahiers du cinéma)
Lea Wohl von Haselberg, film scholar and festival director
Moderated by Dunja Bialas, film critic and film curator


What legitimizes festivals?
3 May, 10-12 h

Martina Genetti, film curator 
Daniel Hadenius-Ebner, Vienna Shorts
Keiko Okamura, film curator
Heinz Peter Schwerfel, art critic and festival director
Moderated by Dunja Bialas, film critic and film curator


International Style
4 May, 9.30-11.30 h

Moritz Baßler, literary scholar
Susanne Heinrich, writer and filmmaker
Marco Müller, film curator and festival director
Moderated by Ulrike Sprenger, literary scholar


The politicization of culture
5 May, 10-12 h

Lars Henrik Gass, author and festival director
Alexander Karschnia, theatre producer, writer and theorist
Benjamin Moldenhauer, film critic
Shahrzad Eden Osterer, journalist (Bayerischer Rundfunk)
Moderated by Dunja Bialas, film critic and film curator

Podium topics of the last years

Introduced in 2006, this series of discussions has quickly established as a place to engage with film. Here, scholars, curators, artists and authors discuss current aesthetic, technological, cultural-political and economic issues relating to short film. The steadily growing audience is invited to participate. Among those who have been in Oberhausen so far are: Catherine David, Chris Dercon, Diedrich Diederichsen, Adrienne Goehler, Alexander Horwath, Oskar Negt, Jonathan Rosenbaum, Martha Rosler and Akram Zaatari.

Topics 2022

Western Canons and Local Legacies. Do Our Oceans Meet?
Larger Than Screens. The Many African Cinemas You Only Think You Know
Collecting and archiving analogue film today
20th anniversary of AG Kurzfilm: film education and short film

Topics 2019

Between marketing and art: the cinema of coming attractions
Video-on-Demand: new opportunities for filmmakers and festivals?
Rebooting the celluloid agenda?
Are film festivals the place for 360° and Virtual Reality?


Topics 2018

Collaboration among film festivals - the new key to success
Leaving the cinema and its consequences
After youtube - music video after the internet
Exhibition and the cinema


More information in our Looking back


re-selected: Bringing archives to life

Since 2018, the archive of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has served as a material basis for the research and curated programmes of the re-selected section. This year, two programmes recall cinematic awakenings in Hungary in the late 1960s and in the Soviet Union in the mid-1980s, which found a platform in Oberhausen because the Festival had long defined itself as a „bridge between East and West“ – a juxtaposition that has long since lost its meaning and which even then may have generated more misunderstandings than insights. In any case, both the Hungarian films that guest curator Borjana Gaković has selected here for an idiosyncratic homage to János Herskó and the Soviet films that came to Oberhausen during the Glasnost period from 1985 onwards were sensational in their time because they turned against the ideologization of what takes place between people – some angrily, some playfully.

This year, for the first time, all films in the re-selected programs will be shown as original prints from the Oberhausen Archive. The guests are Borjana Gaković, and Karola Gramann, Oberhausen festival director from 1985 to 1989.

re-selected has been curated by Tobias Hering, freelance curator and writer, since 2018. He lives in Berlin and Mecklenburg.

About re-selected: film history as history of copies

Launched in 2018, the re-selected project devotes itself to selected films from the analogue stock of the Oberhausen archive at the designated "end of the analogue age" and examines film history as the history of individual film copies.

Rather than propagating the digital "rescue" of a cinematic work as an ideal, the project is interested precisely in the peculiarities of a copy, which are usually erased during digitisation. They can provide information about a concrete development, local public spheres and contemporary historical constellations. Where and when was a film shown at all, who saw it, in which version, in which composition?

Every copy is an original – and not only when it turns out to be the only remaining copy of a film.


Katharina Schröder


In cinema, no one is surprised anymore!

Philosophical toys are objects and instruments that make processes and interdependencies sensorially perceptible and relatable, clear and comprehensible. Unlike models, which primarily serve as demonstrations, philosophical toys belong to the tradition of experimental culture. They are not so much end products of insight as tools of insight. As their name implies, they are designed to be used playfully in a manner that stimulates thought and the imagination. Philosophical toys have been very popular since the 18th century. Many of these toys were initially made for scientific observations, only later becoming sought-after objects for young and old. Among the most fascinating ones are surely the optical-kinetic toys and the jouets séditieux: figures — often steles, seals or walking-stick knobs —  turned from wood in whose silhouettes, when cast on a wall using some source of light, one can recognise profiles of political personages, for example. With the programme Expanded, we investigate the question of how philosophical toys look and function today. As part of this interrogation, we show experimental set-ups in which autonomous machines create a shadow play on an overhead projector that makes visible the process of sound production by means of interactions of hand and movement. In an electrochemical machine performance, a mesh of molten metal is filmed by several cameras and projected live on to a  screen. An accompanying soundscape generated by a direct conversion of the electrochemical processes of the liquid invites us to speculate on a heterogeneous technological culture, while the humorous duet between a robot goat and a performance and installation artist stupefies and unsettles us, ultimately calling familiar habits of viewing and listening into question.


Expanded 1: Uncontrolled Manifold 
songs from my analogue utopia

2.5., 22:30 h
Verein für aktuelle Kunst

Expanded 2: Tintin Patrone

3.5., 22:30 h
Verein für aktuelle Kunst

Expanded 3: Ralf Baecker
A Natural Histroy of Networks/Softmachine

4.5., 22:30 h
Verein für aktuelle Kunst


Jan Ehlen fills in here and there when someone has to cancel. He has been able to nurture his passion for audiovisual media through his work for the Nekes Collection for many years. As a member of the RaumZeitPiraten for over ten years, he describes himself as a professional dilettante who is constantly overwhelmed.


Individual consultation with Filmbüro NW for filmmakers from NRW

A free offer to all filmmakers from NRW who can consult members of the Filmbüro NW on all questions of production, funding and festival placement of short films. Prior registration required!

Register: dw(at)kurzfilmtage.de


ESFAA Shorts

Nine audience award winners from other European short film festivals demonstrate the creative diversity of European cinema in two programmes.

European Short Film Network (ESFN)

As the European Short Film Network (ESFN), Oberhausen runs the THIS IS SHORT streaming platform together with five other European short film festivals. For a change, the network is showing a programme in the cinema with favourite films from the member festivals on the theme of "The World We Live in". The selection will be shown at three further network festivals in the course of 2024.


Oberhausen’s Filmgeflacker art collective is presenting films from this year’s competitions and inviting the filmmakers to discuss their works with the audience.

For Wolfgang J. Ruf

A personal selection by former festival director Wolfgang J. Ruf on the occasion of his 80th birthday with films by Wojciech Wiszniewski, Vuk Babić and Zbigniew Rybczynski.

The Team Favourites 2024

To mark the conclusion of the festival, the Oberhausen team will personally introduce their favourites from this year’s competitions.

MuVi International

Since 1998, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen shows a selection of trend-setting international music videos and formally exceptional works - a showcase of current developments in the music video genre.

Jessica Manstetten

MuVi 14+

A programme of international music videos for kids aged 14 and older. MuVi 14+ is a rich and varied cross section of recent video clips ranging from handmade to computer-generated. 

NRW in person

Filmmakers from North Rhine-Westphalia get carte blanche for a programme of their own films and formative works by other filmmakers. This year by and with Carolin Schmitz from Cologne.

Award Winners 2024

On the day after the award ceremony, we will show the most important award winners of the five competitions of the Short Film Festival 2024 in one programme.

Award Winners of Other Festivals

On its first day, Oberhausen traditionally shows short films that have received awards at other festivals. A cross-section of the past festival season.

The One Minutes

In cooperation with the One Minutes Foundation, Oberhausen presents one-minute films in two series curated for the festival.

Xenia Fehrholz

The One Minutes Jr.

42 one-minute films from Europe, made by and for young people.


In 2006 the Festival expanded its market by screenings from the catalogues of selected international distributors of experimental and artistic short films. The success was overwhelming: from the very first day, the halls were fully occupied and the audience showed great interest. 

Jessica Manstetten

Films out of use?

Networking event for collectors, curators and researchers in the field of useful film

All those interested in educational and commercial film are invited to gain an overview of the various archives and collections, to gain insights into their projects and activities and to discuss challenges in working with this special film heritage as part of the Festival.

Organised by Julia Eckel and Stephan Ahrens (Paderborn University).

Correction: Starting at 1:30 p.m.

More Info

Overlooked Films

At the 12th Oberhausen Festival in 1966, the then festival director introduced a "Prize for the Misjudged Film" as a corrective to the decisions of the official juries. Oberhausen owes some of its most valuable archive treasures to this award, which, among others, was called the "Staff Award" and today is known as the "ZONTA Award". Some of the most important works from these holdings, including films by Rubén Gámez, Robert Nelson and Virpi Suutari, will be screened again in two programmes.