Announcing our first 2021 competitions

67. Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, 1.-10. Mai 2021


Announcing Oberhausen’s first online competitions

Many premieres in a year of high-quality short film production


The International Online Competition and the German Online Competition of the 67th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen have been selected. Both will be hosted for the first time in 2021. 40 international and 12 German short films, over half of them made by women, will compete online from 1 to 4 May 2021 for prizes worth a total of 15,500 euros, including the Grand Online Prize of the City of Oberhausen in the International Online Competition. They were selected from over 1,100 international and around 250 German submissions. Hilke Doering, head of the International Competitions, and Carsten Spicher, head of the German Competitions, are unanimous in their praise of the quality of the entries. Oberhausen is presenting a total of 29 world premieres and international premieres here. The selection was also made online.


"Our expectations were more than exceeded," says Hilke Doering, "and this goes not only for the selected line-up, but also for the submissions, whose quality was, as we were able to observe, not affected by the Corona pandemic. Quite obviously, an online competition from Oberhausen is appreciated." Carsten Spicher adds, "Our impression is that the submitters are considering very carefully how they want their work to be seen, whether online or on-site. Just like for our on-site competitions, we looked for the works that break new ground visually, aesthetically or in terms of content - and we found them." This is confirmed, among other things, by the numerous international premieres, which were not a requirement for participation in either competition.


The International Online Competition

40 films from 30 countries have been selected for Oberhausen’s first International Online Competition, more than half of them made by women. The list includes numerous new discoveries, but also works by filmmakers Lynne Sachs, winner of the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen 2020 or Kristian Mercado, Grammy nominee for his music videos and SXSW jury prize winner, or artists such as Eszter Szabó or Sebastian Buerkner. One of the main underlying themes in the selection is the boundary between humans and machines. Avatars, robots, artificial intelligences are the focus of films like Sebastian Buerkner's Surge (UK), my favorite software is being here by Alison Nguyen(USA) or Ieva by Vytautas Plukas and Domas Petronis (Lithuania), which explore the question of what actually makes us human at the intersections between digital and real, between the virtual world and reality.

The online selection committee: Hilke Doering (Kurzfilmtage), Christiane Büchner (filmmaker, Cologne), Greg de Cuir (curator, Belgrade), Javier Estrada (curator, Madrid).


The German Online Competition

12 films were selected from around 250 submissions for Oberhausen’s first German Online Competition. It is a young competition with numerous directors to be discovered. With eight of the 12 films made by women, female filmmakers are strongly represented here, too. Thematically, many works take up current social issues. At the same time, the question of the mechanisms of memory runs through a number of films that work with archive material in very different ways. Safe Space (Mirelle Bora) and Subjekträume (Katharina Voß), for example, look at queer subcultures in New York and Berlin; in disjointed, Clara Helbig uses the example of the meat industry to deal with questions of food production. Deborah Jeromin, on the other hand, uses found footage in Verwundene Fäden / Mπερδεμένες Κλοστές to tell a piece of German history along the history of silk parachutes. The line-up also includes works by Willy Hans, award winner at the 2014 Festival, or Michael Fetter-Nathansky, German Short Film Prize winner 2017 for Gabi.

The online selection committee: Carsten Spicher (Kurzfilmtage), Madeleine Bernstorff (curator, Berlin), Brenda Lien (filmmaker, Frankfurt a.M.), Helena Wittmann (filmmaker, Hamburg)


All films will be presented online on from 1 to 4 May 2021.


High-resolution stills from selected films can be downloaded here.


The films


International Online Competition


+x+=+, Niyaz Saghari, Iran
3xShapes of Home, Elisabeth Brun, Norway
Un très long temps d'exposition (A very long exposure time), Chloé Galibert-Laîné, France
Azkorri árnyéka alatt (Under the Shadow of Azkorri), Eszter Katalin, Spain
Belos Carnavais (Beautiful Carnivals), Thiago B. Mendonça, Brazil
Berlabuh (Anchoring), Haris Yuliyanto, Indonesia
Birthday, Yuka Sato, Japan
Cântec de leagăn (Cradle), Paul Mureșan, Romania
copia de la copia (de la copia), Rafal Morusiewicz, Austria
Dear Aki, Nina Kurtela, Croatia
Dos hombres atentos (Two Watchful Men), Joserraúl Ortiz, USA
Footnote to a Season, Julia Dogra-Brazell, France/UK
Girl Is Presence, Lynne Sachs/Anne Lesley Selcer, USA
Hemen. Gaur. Berriz (Here. Today. Again), Aitor Gametxo Zabala, Spain
Ieva, Vytautas Plukas/Domas Petronis, Lithuania
Kalsubai, Yudhajit Basu, India
La Cumbre, Felipe Lopez Gomez, Colombia
La Promenade sous les arbres (Walk Under the Trees), Nathan Clement, Switzerland
Las Credenciales (The Credentials), Manuel Ferrari, Argentina
Minnen (Memories), Kristin Johannessen, Sweden
my favorite software is being here, Alison Nguyen, USA
Nuevo Rico, Kristian Mercado, USA
Oasielles, Nathalie Rossetti, Belgium
Only Yesterday, Sione Monu, New Zealand
Pole Žin (Fields of Žinas), Marie Lukáčová/Anna Remecova, Czech Republic
Rumi X Phantasm, Khavn, Philippines
SON CHANT, Vivian Ostrovsky, USA
Suodji (Shelter), Marja Helander, Finland, Norway
Surge, Sebastian Buerkner, UK
Széphercegnő (Princess Beauty), Szabó Eszter, Hungary
The Light of Day, Alex Eisenberg/Anne Bean, UK
The Other Garden; Joel’s Garden, Go-Eun Im, Netherlands/South Korea
The Shadows, Paulo Pécora, Argentina
The___________World, Peixuan Ouyang, USA/China
Tracing Utopia, Catarina de Sousa/Nick Tyson, Portugal/USA/Australia
Trampa de luz (Light Trap), Pablo Marín, Argentina
Μεσογειακό Τοπίο (Mediterranean Landscape), Christiana Ioannou, Cyprus
Состязательная инфраструктура (Adversarial Infrastructure), Anna Engelhardt, Russia
Wei Qiao (Dangerous Bridge), Aixing Wang, China
伪装起来了就在你面前 (Guising, In front for you), Zhu Changquan, China


German Online Competition


(Steve) Temple, Tanita Olbrich
Annäherung (Approach) Sonya Schönberger
Centauress, Deniz Şimşek
disjointed, Clara Helbig
Ewig Gast (Eternal Guest), Maximilian Karakatsanis
Levantado do Chão (Raised from the Ground), Melissa Dullius/Gustavo Jahn
Safe Space, Mirelle Borra
SALIDAS, Michael Fetter Nathansky
Subjekträume (Subject Spaces), Katharina Voß
Top Down Memory, Daniel Theiler
Verwundene Fäden / Mπερδεμένες Κλοστές (Riven Threads), Deborah Jeromin
Was wahrscheinlich passiert wäre, wäre ich nicht zuhause geblieben. (What probably would have happened, if I hadn’t stayed at home.), Willy Hans


Oberhausen, 12 February 2021


Press contact: Sabine Niewalda, T +49 (0)208 825-3073, niewalda(at)