Film education

Since 1978, exceptional short films for children and youth have had a firm place in Oberhausen. Along with  the International Children's and Youth Film Competition curated programmes are shown. In addition to the short film programme, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen offers workshops and seminars every year for educators, multiplicators as well as for young film enthusiasts and school classes.


Trained Eyes

The film education project Trained Eyes brings short films into schools and pupils into the cinema. Five school classes from four different cities in NRW have been taking part in the pilot project since May 2022. The project kicked off with the Oberhausen classes' visit to our 68th Festival.
Trained Eyes ties in with a core area of Oberhausen's film education work: Training eyes, using cinema as a place to show outstanding films, strengthening the special potential of short films for film education and making them accessible.
The pupils from Oberhausen, Bielefeld, Ratingen and Cologne change roles: they are not merely recipients of a (film) educational experience, they become (film) mediators themselves. As such, they learn about and evaluate unusual films and mediation concepts, design methods and implement them. The result is a multimedia education programme for each short film selected by the pupils themselves.

The results will be presented at the Children's and Youth Cinema of the 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in April 2023.

Short film inclusive: subtitles

It has become a tradition: Now in its fifth year, all programmes of the Youth Film Competition are equipped with German subtitles for the hearing impaired. The screenings in the 12+, 14+ and 16+ programmes are on request also accompanied by sign language interpreters.


School performances for all age groups

The programs of the children's and youth film competition are shown during the festival on weekdays in morning events especially for schools. The programs are carefully tailored to seven age groups from three to sixteen years, both in terms of content and form. All programs are moderated in an age-appropriate manner by pupils from Oberhausen. Filmmakers from all over the world are present during the screenings and answer questions from the young audience. School classes can register for the screenings from mid-April via kiju(at) We are also happy to provide suggestions on how the films shown can be incorporated into lessons. Don't hesitate to contact us.


Partner school project

Since 2009, the annually changing partner schools have been actively involved in shaping the programmes of the Children's and Youth Cinema. A secondary school and a primary school from Oberhausen nominate groups of schoolchildren who gain insight into the festival through various tasks.

Two juries of five schoolkids each evaluate the films of the Children's and Youth Film Competition and award the prizes. In a joint project week, pupils from both schools develop the trailer for the Children's and Youth Cinema and produce it together with filmmakers from Oberhausen. And last but not least, after intensive preparation, a group from the secondary school act as moderators of the programmes in the Children's and Youth Film Competition. This also includes moderating the discussions with the international filmmakers present.

If you are interested in working with us as a partner school, please contact us.

Kindergarten programme

Short films are a wonderful way for the very youngest to get to know the cinema as a place and film as a medium. For more than ten years now, our Festival has been inviting newcomers to the cinema to take part in a film and interactive programme. Age-appropriate short films of various genres are embedded in an accompanying programme of moderation, questions, movement and games. The programme is open to kindergartens as well as private individuals with children aged 3 and older. The visit is free of charge. Please contact us!



Short films are more suitable for educational work than almost any other genre. They offer starting points for the most diverse topics, for political education as well as for language teaching and not least for film analysis and the development of media competence. This is why Oberhausen has been organising annual conferences for educators in cooperation with various partner insitutions for more than 25 years. Through cooperation with institutions such as Matthias-Film and Katholisches Filmwerk, our Festival is also involved in the distribution of children's short films. There are also screenings especially for school classes.

Continuing education for religious education

Organised in cooperation with the secretariat of the German Bishops' Conference: Church and Society of the Protestant Church in the Rhineland and Westphalia, this workshop is aimed at religion teachers in particular. Outstanding contributions from the current Children's and Youth Film Competition are viewed together, analysed and discussed with regard to their use in religious education. Every year, Matthias Film and the Katholisches Filmwerk purchase films for educational work under the title "Edition Kurzfilmtage".

Trailer 2024

By Lina Walde in collaboration with the children of the partner schools 2024.
Rolandschule: Annabell Pöhlker, Armin Mujagic, Amelie Pöhlker
Fasia-Jansen-Gesamtschule: Lina Alyssia Coolhaas, Mia Louisa Hommel, Aria Mohammadi

European Children’s Film Association (ECFA)

ECFA is the open network organisation for a wide range of professionals in the field of children and youth film as well as film and media education, based upon sharing knowledge and mutual solidarity among its members. The Festival is a member since 2007 and will host the ECFA Board Meeting during the 65th edition in May in Oberhausen.

Furthermore, the festival has initiated the ECFA Short Film Award in 2017. Each year, a jury nominates a short film shown in Oberhausen for the short list of the ECFA Award.