Announcing the 2023 competitions

69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 26 April - 1 May 2023


Announcing the 2023 competitions

Artificial Intelligence, current political issues and films between cinema and museum


The 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has selected a total of 120 short works for its five competitions. A strong concern with political topics runs through all the competitions: the films address the Ukraine war or the protests in Iran as well as trans identities, the relationship between humans and animals, the struggles of indigenous communities or the overexploitation of nature, from the Garzweiler open-cast mine to the destruction of the world's oceans. The line-up also demonstrates the exceptional variety of artistic approaches in short film today, ranging from the use of artificial intelligence to traditional documentaries or feature films to sound installations, performance or found footage works.


Ukraine, Iran, Turkey: political themes and media criticism

In the International Competition as well as in the German Competition, outstanding productions on current political conflicts prove that the short film is better suited than any other genre to bring issues to the point and make them accessible to the audience. In his haunting documentary Chornobyl 22, Ukrainian director Oleksiy Radynskicombines images of Russian military convoys with shots of the contaminated exclusion zone and lets locals speculate about whether the "guests" even knew they were invading a death zone. Ana Bilankov, on the other hand, delves into history in her Croatian production Dohvatiti sunce: El Shatt (Chasing the Sun: El Shatt) in a multi-layered approach to the theme of flight. She portrays the refugee camp El Shatt on the Sinai Peninsula, which offered temporary refuge mainly to Croatian refugees during the Second World War. In the German Competition, Narges Kalhor's Sensitive Content assembles footage of the protests in Iran into an indictment of state violence that is all the more forceful because it is almost never seen.


Zeynep Tuna and Nino Klingler disguise their critique of censorship in Turkey as a comedy in KANAL 82 – Pazar Sabah Kuşağı (KANAL 82 – Sunday Morning Programme), where all of a sudden the strangest things happen in the children's programme of a tiny local TV station. Eva Egermann and Cordula Thym take aim at a non-inclusive and ableist media world by means of a satirical talk show in the Austrian production C-TV (Wenn ich Dir sage, ich habe Dich gern...).


Artificial intelligence as a tool

Artificial intelligence has arrived in short film. The Kazakh artist Almagul Menlibayeva, for example, uses artificial intelligence in AI Realism. Qantar 2022 to illustrate statements by people who were persecuted and mistreated during the 2022 protests in Kazakhstan. In Let's Be Friends, Arno Coenen and Rodger Werkhoven have synthetic actors talk about AI acting and the fears of real actors about the effects of AI. In the Children's and Youth Film Competition, the French production PLSTC by Laen Sanchez shows an AI-generated science fiction dystopia that confronts us with the destruction of the world's oceans.


Art Contexts: The permeable boundaries between museum and screen

Numerous artists go back and forth between museum and cinema today. Turner Prize winner Laure Prouvost, for example, is in the International Competition with her latest work Every Sunday, Grand Ma. In Shang Hai Zhi Chun(Shanghai in Spring), Chinese artist Sun Xu processes his experiences with the lockdown that hit him in the middle of preparations for an exhibition in Shanghai. RESOLUTION by Bjørn Melhus as well as Marianna Simnett's excerpt of an installation shown at the Venice Biennale, The Severed Tail, were selected for the German Competition, which also includes Jeanne Faust with her new work trovare as well as Gernot Wieland’s Turtleneck Phantasies. With Gernot Wieland and Sophia Groening (Frau Michels dreht die Zeit zurück), two winners of the German Short Film Award 2022 will be showing their new works in the German Competition.



In the International Competition, the largest and oldest at Oberhausen, 48 titles will be shown, in the German Competition 17 films. Eight works have been selected for the NRW Competition, 36 for the Children's and Youth Film Competition. Finally, 12 new clips have been nominated for the 25th MuVi Award for the best German music video. With 53 world premieres, almost half of the entries are being shown at a film festival for the first time. The festival will award prizes totalling over 43,000 euros. The award ceremony will take place on Monday, 1 May 2023, at the Lichtburg Filmpalast Oberhausen.



International Competition: 27 – 30 April

German Competition: 29 and 30 April

NRW Competition: 28 and 29 April

Children’s and Youth Film Competition: 26 April – 1 May

MuVi Award: 29 April


List of all competition films:


Accreditation deadline: 17 April


Download stills:


Oberhausen, 17 March 2023


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