Why festivals? Culture and the public 2
2-5 May 2024

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