Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen


How many films are shown on average at the festival?


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


Where can I buy tickets?


Tickets can be reserved directly from mid-April (also by telephone) at the festival cinemas Lichtburg Filmpalast Oberhausen and Kino im Walzenlager. They can also be purchased online a few weeks before the festival via the Festival website. Further information.

How much do the tickets cost?


A single ticket costs 8 Euro (reduced 7 Euro). A single ticket for the Children's and Youth Film Cinema costs 3 euros for children and 4 euros for adults. In addition, there are also various special offers, including a book of 10 tickets for 40 euros. Further information on ticket prices can be found here.

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


FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films) monitors festivals’ compliance with strict rules concerning the organisation of competitions as well as the rights of filmmakers and producers. The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is one of the few short film festivals in the world that are annually accredited by 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, 40 for the International Children's and Youth Film Competition, and 10 for the MuVi Award.

What is the difference between competitions and other programmes?


Works screened in the competitions must be submitted and are then selected by the selection committees. Competition entries must comply with the regulations of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. The other programmes are non-competitive and curated, that is selected and compiled with regard to specific themes or persons. These include the Theme programme, the Profiles and Archives programmes and others. You will find further information on these programmes under Sections.

How do I apply for the competitions?


All submissions to the competitions of the Festival must be made via our website. Please find detailed and current information under Film Submission. We only accept preview links. You have to fill in our online entry form for each submitted film. For this purpose we collaborate with the Filmchief film database. Please check whether your film meets the competition requirements as listed in our regulations. The MuVi Award has its own set of regulations. In case of doubt, please contact the festival office for more information.

How do I apply for the other programmes?


It is not possible to submit a film specifically for inclusion in the Theme or other curated programmes.

How do I apply for the MuVi Online Audience Award?


Only nominations for the MuVi Award can participate in the MuVi Online Audience Award. Further information about submitting a work to the MuVi Award can be found here.

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 40,750 euros: 25,000 euros in the International Competition; 7,500 euros in the German Competition; 2,250 euros in the NRW Competition, two prizes of 1,000 euros each 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 screening formats are accepted for the competitions?


Super 8, 16mm and 35mm and DCP are the screening formats accepted by the Festival. Details will be checked with the filmmakers after the competition entries have been selected.

Which materials must be submitted for participation in the competition?


Each submission must be accompanied by a preview link, a still of the film, a list of text audible or visible in the film in English or German in case of non-German or non-English language language films, and a list of festival screening and the completed entry form. For more detailed information see the Festival regulations.

Is there an entry fee?


The submission of the first five works by one submitter is free of charge. From the sixth submission onwards, a processing fee of 20 euros will be charged.

Which formal criteria should an submission meet?


A submission to 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. For more detailed information see the Festival regulations.

How are works assigned to competitions or other programmes?


Entries can be chosen for all competitions and other programmes if, in the case of the competitions, they meet the requirements specified in the regulations, or, in the case of the other programmes, they are considered thematically suitable. The selection committees and the festival management will determine 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. This rule does not apply to the other competitions.

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


Yes, but the Festival reserves the right to show such films in its "Award-Winners" programme. For international productions, a German festival premiere must 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 start of the preview process.

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 submissions apart from the right to screen the selected contribution up to five times as part of the festival programmes. With the submission, the copyright holder grants the Festival the right to screen this work 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 purchase 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 links 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. Since 2009 rejected films can also 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 management, filmmakers, cinema operators and freelance curators with a long experience in the short film genre. There is a balanced ration 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 a submission?


The question of actual criteria is difficult to answer, since the new developments in short film each year regularly place high demands on the 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 surprising works, never for specific standards.

When is the decision reached on which submissions have been selected?


The selection decisions are reached by mid-March.

How are the selected submitters informed of their acceptance?


The final selection is publicised online in mid-March. We cannot respond to any inquiries regarding selection before that time. All submitters will be informed of the results of the competition selection.

What is the Open Screening?


A programme in which films that were submitted in due form to the respective year’s festival but were not selected for the competitions can still be shown at the Festival. The condition is that the filmmakers register in good time and are prepared to come to Oberhausen in person. More detailed information can be found in the regulations. The Open Screening will take place during the festival at the festival cinema Lichtburg Filmpalast. The exact date can be found in the festival programme. Further information on Open Screening can also be found here.

What are the prerequisites for taking part in Open Screening?


The entry has been submitted in due form for the current festival year and has not been selected for the competitions. The film must be personally presented by the filmmakers in Oberhausen. Each filmmaker may present only one work. Travel expenses cannot be covered. The screening format is DCP. Registration for the Open Screening is by e-mail. The number of participants is limited.

When can I register for Open Screening?


Since the number of participants is limited, the places will be allocated in the order in which registrations are received. Registration always starts after the publication of the selected work. The exact date and time will be announced to the filmmakers by e-mail. Any attempt to register before the official registration date will not be considered.

Which conditions must be fulfilled to obtain an 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 and must be made jointly by students from each institution and accompanied by proof of current enrolment. In case of doubt, further information can be obtained from the Festival.


The accreditation fee of 75 euros, which grants admission to all events taking place in the Festival cinema and includes a copy of the Festival catalogue, can be paid online before the festival or must be paid in cash when the visitor's festival badge and information are picked up. All accreditation documents will be available at the Festival guest office from opening day. You will find the most important addresses of Festival venues on our Service pages.


The accreditation deadline is in April. Due to the administrative effort involved, any accreditations after this deadline can only be granted on site in well-founded exceptional cases, at a higher charge.

How can I use the Video Library?


All accredited persons have free access to the Video Library during the duration of the festival. Here all competition entries are available for individual viewing. It is recommended to reserve viewing slots in time on location. An online Video Library catalogue with search options by country, title, director, length and other categories will be published. Buyers and festival representatives can access this password-protected catalogue online starting in mid-April. If you would like to apply for a password or have 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?


Inclusion of submitted works in the Video Library is determined by the regulations for submissions to the competition.

What advantages are there to participating in the Video Library?


Every year, the Video Library results in numerous festival and cinema screenings as well as purchases by television companies, online providers and film distributors of the films on offer. 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 US. The Festival's media partners, ARTE and 3sat, purchase films from the festival competition programmes each year.

How is an entry chosen for distribution by the Festival?


The Festival purchases a number of festival entries each year, with a special focus on prize-winning films, for its non-commercial distribution branch and archive in order to promote these films, many of whom have no other distributors, to a larger audience.


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 that is used for Festival promotion purposes.


Contact: Carsten Spicher