Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen


How many films are shown on average at the festival?

Every year the Festival shows around 600 films and videos in about 100 programmes. About 140 of these are screened in the competitions.


Where can you buy tickets?

As of mid April, tickets can be booked (also by phone) and collected directly at the festival cinema, Filmpalast Lichtburg, Elsässer Str. 26 Further information


How much are the tickets?

You will find all informations regarding the tickets here.


What exactly does the accreditation of the Festival by FIAPF mean?

FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films) sees to the compliance with strict rules concerning the organisation of competitions as well as to the rights of filmmakers and producers. The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is one of the few short film festivals in the world that is accreditated by the FIAPF since 1960.

How many films are selected for the competitions each year?

Every year the Festival's selection committees select about 140 contributions for the competitions, including around 60 for the International Competition, 20 for the German Competition, 10 for the NRW Competition, around 40 for the International Children's and Youth Film Competition, and about 10 for the MuVi Award.


What is the difference between competitions and the Theme?

The films and videos running in the competitions must be submitted and are then selected by the selection committee. Competition contributions have to comply with the regulations of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. The Theme is non-competitive, specially curated on specific subjects. Under some circumstances competition entries may also be selected for the Theme.


How does one go about applying for the competition?

All submissions for the competitions of the Festival must be made via our website. We only accept preview links. For each submission you have to fill in our online entry form. For this purpose we work together with the film database filmchief. Please find out whether the film/video meets the competition requirements. In case of doubt, the Festival will try to answer any questions.


How does one apply for the Theme?

It is not possible to submit a film specifically for inclusion in the Theme.


How does one apply for the MuVi Online Audience Award?

Only nominations for the MuVi Award can participate in the Online Audience Award competition.


Which awards can be won in Oberhausen?

The main awards in Oberhausen are the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen in the International Competition and the prize for the best contribution to the German Competition. The total prize money in all four competitions amounts to 37,500 euros: 22,000 euros in the International Competition; 7,500 euros in the German Competition; 1,500 euros in the NRW Competition, three prizes each 1,000 in the International Children's and Youth Film Competition, and 3,500 euros in the MuVi competition. All prizes go to the filmmakers. For more detailed information please see the current Festival regulations.

Which film and video formats are accepted for the competitions?


As screening formats the Festival accepts the film formats Super 8, 16mm and 35mm and various digital formats. Details will be checked with the filmmakers after the competition entries have been selected.

Which documents have to be submitted for participation in the competitions?

Each entry must be accompanied by a preview copie (DVD), a black & white or colour still of the film or video, a list of text audible or visible in film in English or German for foreign language films, and a list of festival screening, and a complete and legible entry form. For more detailed information see the Festival regulations.


Is there an entry fee?

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen does not charge for the submission of films and videos.


Which formal criteria should an entry fulfil?

An entry in the International Competition must not exceed 35 minutes; in the German Competition the maximum length is 45 minutes. For the Children's and Youth Film Competition the regulations for the International or the German Competition apply, depending on the country where the film was produced. For the MuVi Award the maximum length is 15 minutes. In well-founded cases the committees may choose to make an exception to this rule. The contributions are selected irrespective of nationality or genre. Works in the International, German, NRW and Children's and Youth Film Competition must have been produced not more than one year before the year of the festival.


How are works assigned to competitions or the Theme?

Entries can participate in all competitions and the Theme insofar as, in the case of the competitions, they meet the requirements specified in the regulations, or, in the case of the Theme, they are considered thematically suitable. The selection committees and the festival direction examine suitability on an individual basis.


Does the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen accept productions that have already been shown at other festivals?

One of Oberhausen's priorities is to screen as many premieres as possible. Submissions to the International Competition are only eligible if they have not been shown at any other German festival before Oberhausen.


May films that have already won awards at other festivals be submitted?

Yes, but the Short Film Festival reserves the right to show such films in its "Award-Winners" programme. For International Productions, a german festival premiere has to be guaranteed.


Can a work that has already been submitted to the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen be submitted again in subsequent years?

It is not possible to submit a work more than once. For this reason the Festival recommends submitting only final versions of films. In isolated and justified cases, replacing a preview tape already submitted with an updated version is possible, but only up until the time previewing is begun.


Does the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen hold any rights to the films submitted?

The Festival does not hold any rights to any of the entries apart from the right to screen the selected contribution up to three times as part of the festival programmes. With the submission of an entry, the copyright holder grants the Festival the right to screen such entry in the competitions for that Festival year. The Festival regulations and entry form, formulated in adherence with FIAPF guidelines, exclude all uses not specifically stipulated therein. Following the Festival, however, the Short Film Festival Oberhausen will in some cases endeavour to obtain the rights for non-commercial distribution, subject to the conclusion of a special contract agreement with the copyright holder.


What happens to entries that are rejected?

All preview copies submitted are made available in the Video Library for individual viewing by an expert audience, as long as no instructions to the contrary have been given by the copyright holder. Preview copies will only be returned to the sender upon receipt of explicit written instructions before the end of the respective year. If no such instructions are received, the author's right to have the film stored by the Festival expires at the end of the year. The costs for the return of preview copies will be charged to the submitting party. Since 2009 rejected films can participate in the Open Screening.

Who decides whether or not an entry will be accepted?

The Selection Committees for the various competitions are made up of members of the Festival direction, filmmakers, cinema operators and freelance curators with long years of experience in the short film genre. There is a balanced relation of female to male committee members. The members of the Selection Committees reach their decisions independently.


Which criteria has the Festival set for the acceptance of an entry?

The question of actual criteria is difficult to answer, since the newest developments in short film each year always place high demands on the established selection criteria. On the other hand, a contribution must always be measured against its claim of representing something new - regardless of genre, production quality and budget. The decisive factor is the film's position with regard to social reality, cultural differences and aesthetic innovation. The Selection Committees are always on the lookout for something surprising, never for works that merely fulfil certain standards.


When is the decision reached on which entries are to be admitted?

The selection decisions are reached by mid-March.


How are the selected participants informed of their acceptance?

The final selection is publicized on-line by mid-March. We cannot respond to any inquiries regarding acceptance before that time. All of those who have submitted works will be informed of the results of the competiton selection.

What is the Open Screening?
This is a programme where films that were submitted in due form to that year's festival but were not selected for the competitions can still be shown at the festival. The condition is that the filmmaker must register in time (first come, first served) and must be willing to come to Oberhausen to present his/her film in person.
What are the eligibility requirements for the Open Screening?
- I submitted a film in due form to this year’s festival.
- I commit to presenting the film in person to the festival audience in Oberhausen. (Each filmmaker may present only one work. Travel expenses cannot be covered.)
- Screening format is DVD.
- Registration for Open Screening by email. The number of participants is limited.
When can I register for the Open Screening?
As the number of participants is limited, places in the programme will be granted in the order in which registrations are received. Registration opens on the day the competition nominees are announced. Filmmakers will be notified by email of the exact date. We will not take into consideration any registrations received before the official starting date.
When will the Open Screening take place?
It will take place during the festival, at the festival cinema Lichtburg Filmpalast. For the exact date, please see the festival programme.
Further information

Which conditions must be fulfilled to obtain accreditation?

Only those persons and institutions with an obvious occupational interest in visiting the Short Film Festival Oberhausen may obtain accreditation. Accreditations for students of film studies, film school students, etc. are limited. Applications should be made jointly by students from each institution and must be accompanied by proof of current enrolment. In case of doubt, further information can be obtained from the Festival.


The accreditation fee, which grants admission to all events taking place in the Festival cinema and includes a copy of the Festival catalogue, must be paid in cash when the visitor's festival badge and information are picked up. Accreditation deadline is beginning of april. Due to the high amount of administrative effort involved, any accreditations after this deadline can only be granted on site in well-founded exceptional cases, at a higher charge.



After applying for accreditation, where does one pick up the accreditation papers?

Provided the application has been accepted, all papers can be picked up starting on the opening day of the Festival at the guest office. See the Service pages for the most important festival addresses.

How can one visit the Video Library?

All accredited persons have free access to the Video Library during the course of the festival. Here all competition entries are available on DVD or for individual viewing, this have to be reserved at place. A online market catalogue in two languages is available containing an index of available films organised by country, title, director, length and other categories. Buyers and festival representatives can access this catalog online starting in April with the help of a password. If you would like to receive this password, or for any other questions regarding the Video Library, please contact Hilke Doering.


What does it cost to enter a film for participation in the Video Library?

Entries can be submitted free of charge since participation in the Video Library is possible only for works submitted (free of charge) to the competitions.


What advantages are there to participating in the Video Library?

Each year, numerous festival screenings and cinema releases of the films on offer are arranged through the Video Library, and many films are purchased by television companies, online providers and film distributors. In addition, members of the press have the opportunity to review contributions at their convenience.


How many of the works available in the Video Library are actually purchased by television companies and distributors?

An average of about 200 purchases are made each year by television companies, especially ones from Europe, Australia and the USA. The Festival's media partners, ARTE and 3sat, selectively purchase films from the festival competition programmes each year.

How is an entry chosen for distribution by the Festival?

The Festival purchases certain festival entries each year, with due consideration of the prize-winning entries, for the purpose of non-commercial distribution and for the Festival archive, in order to afford these films, many of whom have no other distributors, exposure to the greater public.


more information about the distribution programme


Which rights does the Festival acquire for film distribution?

The Festival acquires exclusively non-commercial rights to the copy, which is used for Festival promotion purposes.


Contact: Carsten Spicher