Local Projects

The Festival has been commited to various local projects in Oberhausen and the surrounding area for many years. Here is a selection of the projects.

School garden in Königshütter Park

In March 2022, a new project started in Königshütter Park. On the initiative of festival director Lars Henrik Gass, the Short Film Festival formally took over a plot of land in the park and transformed it into a school garden. Seventeen fruit trees with various fruits were planted and several raised beds were built. 

The school garden is intended to facilitate sustainable and communal action for a more liveable city. In the process, the Short Film Festival is working together with two neighbouring schools - the Fasia-Jansen-Gesamtschule and the Heinrich-Heine-Gymnasium.

The project is supported by a generous grant from the Deutsche Postcode Lottery.

The Oberhausen Selection

Here the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen brings its films to those who can no longer attend the festival on their own. The special feature: The films are selected by citizens of Oberhausen between the ages of 65 and 90. Every year from January to March, they screen films from the archive of the Short Film Festival and put together a programme. The criteria are set by the participants themselves: The films must be easy to understand, i.e. in German or without text, and shorter than fifteen minutes.

Traditionally, the Oberhausen selection celebrates its premiere during the festival, then goes on tour from autumn. The concept, which was launched in 2015, is enjoying growing popularity and is to be continued in the future.

Thanks to a grant from the Sparkassen-Bürgerstiftung Oberhausen, all screenings are free of charge for the organisers. A projector and screen are brought along if required, and on request the films are presented by a member of the selection group or by the Festival.


A Different Perspective

Participants of the International Integration Café Oberhausen, who put together a joint film programme as a group and then present their favourites to the festival audience. The examination of the programme offers them the opportunity to get to grips with culture and film language - and last but not least to improve their German language skills, as discussions are held in German. Working with the films, contact with the festival visitors and the final presentation of the selected films strengthen the social integration of the participants on numerous levels.

A Different Perspective was created in 2018 in cooperation with the language café in the Zentrum Altenberg. In 2019, the cooperation was extended to the integration café of the terre des hommes group in Oberhausen. 


Susannah Pollheim

Seeing the Other

The project Seeing the Other, launched in 2017, explores the potential of short films for political education. Members of the Youth Parliament of Oberhausen view films from the programmes and archive of the Festival, searching for films and themes that occupy and move them. The result is a film programme curated by young people for young people at the interface of politics and (short) film. The participating young people moderated the programme and led the discussion with the audience.

WAZ Cinema Café

Every first Thursday of the month, our festival cinema, the Lichtburg Filmpalast Oberhausen, presents a special morning programme: In cooperation with the local daily newspaper WAZ and the Backwerk Oberhausen bakery, long films worth seeing are shown. As a special highlight, we are contributing a short film from our film archive that matches the main film to every screening.

You can find the exact dates and the film selection here.


The Oberhausen art collective Filmgeflacker presents films from the competitions every year and invites filmmakers to discuss their work.

Children's Choice

Children are unbiased and open-minded when it comes to movies. In order to strengthen and preserve this quality, however, they need offers outside their viewing habits. In the Children’s Choice project, which ran from 2011 to 2013, primary school pupils from Oberhausen intensively studied the genre of experimental short films and conducted their own experiments to reflect on what they had seen. The children selected their favourites from the films they watched together and presented them in their own programme during the festival. Children’s choice was sponsored by the BHF-Bank Foundation.

Poetry Clip Competition

From 2011 to 2016, schoolkids from Oberhausen addressed the question "How do I see you?" in the run-up to the Festival. In writing workshops, they developed their own texts on this question in order to convert them into jointly produced poetry clips. The results were filmic insights into the lives of young Oberhausen residents, which were presented and awarded prizes at the festival. The Poetry Clip Competition was launched together with the Peter Ustinov Foundation and was a collaboration between the Festival and Energieversorgung Oberhausen.