Award Winners of the 15th NRW Competition

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


Awards of the 15th NRW Competition

Award ceremony: Monday, 1 May 2023, 7:30 p.m. CEST, Lichtburg Filmpalast, Elsässer Str. 26, 46045 Oberhausen

High-resolution stills of award-winning films are available in the Downloads section from Tuesday, 2 May, here:


Members of the Jury:

Birgit Hauska (Cologne), Hilde Hoffmann (Düsseldorf), Ulli Klinkertz (Bonn)


Prize of the NRW Competition

worth 1,000 euros


Ich darf sie immer alles fragen

(I may always ask her anything)

Silke Schönfeld

Netherlands/Germany 2023, 15', colour



We look into a treetop. We hear bird calls, karabiner clicks, winch sounds and the rustling of leaves in the wind. Tree cuttings lie on the ground and workers are at work with crampons. With the first text tableau, the monstrous, the unspeakable unfolds.

"The garden is freed from the colossus" we will later hear from the mother. It needs space and air to breathe. And the sweet red fruits have long tasted bitter. That cherry blossoms stands for purity, innocence, joy and happiness seems perfidious when we learn that the father planted the tree 50 years ago, for the daughter's subtle and clever cinematic reappraisal makes the wound visible. Trust and security are necessary to reclaim life and healing. We are taken along and understand why the cherry tree forms the starting point of an intimate cinematic dialogue about transgenerational trauma between mother and daughter. With the filmmaker, we look for clues in the photos. Just like the filmmaker, we know that she cannot read what she is looking for in the faces.

It is existential that those affected by sexualised violence and abuse do not have to keep quiet about their painful experiences and can overcome them with support and solidarity. Then it becomes possible that the inconceivable suffering is not passed on to subsequent generations. The mother creates a powerful piece of liberation and coping, the chainsaws are running and the container for the tree cuttings is set up.

The Prize of the NRW Competition goes to a strong and courageous cinematic documentation of the filmmaker’s own family history. Vulnerable and empowering, the fifteen-minute filmic reappraisal reveals many things and at the same time shows the unanswerability of many questions.



Promotional Prize of the NRW Competition

worth 500 euros


Everything About a Mutual Acquaintance

Rasam Noori

Germany 2023, 37'45", colour



The film shows a landscape, beautiful and barren – frozen, like the feelings of the protagonists. We are taken on a journey. The conversations, the feelings and the places in the solitude are intense and full of tension. Almost breathless, full of suspense, we follow the glances and conversations about something that cannot or must not be spoken about.

The brilliant acting of the protagonists is evident in the wide range of expressions, as well as in the concentrated reduction. Something fragile develops between them. A relationship that is beautifully translated into aesthetical images. We get to know the protagonists through a virtuoso mise en scène. The depth of emotion, the memories and speechlessness are revealed in the graphic design of the filmic spaces. The next morning, the cinematic narrative takes us back to the starting point and we wonder if it was all just a dream. The fathers who do not speak; the love of two men. What happens to the experiences of war? How do they change us? How are they passed on to the next generation? And what happens to a love that is not lived?



Special Mention


Feel What You’re Feeling

Ale Bachlechner, Elsa Artmann, Samuel Duvoisin

Germany 2022, 18', colour



Film is movement, film is sound, film is language. The contribution that the jury would like to distinguish with a Special Mention combines all of these in a special and idiosyncratic way. At the centre: bodies, words and sounds, and water. Together, the bodies create new body figures that move through a cool space marked by clarity, but which at the same time seems as convoluted and enigmatic as the body movements. The sounds are visceral and come from the depths of these bodies, the words are the language of a young generation, of a free and associative way of thinking. Neo-liberal sentences of permeability and openness, their own training language, humorously exhibited in their ambivalence. And the water goes its own way; once in the body, however, it can be tamed, can produce sounds and turn powder into a foaming mixture. A total work of art that surprised and fascinated the jury.



Prize of the WDR Westart Audience Jury

worth 750 euros, sponsored by WDR Westart


Members of the Jury:

Ralf Bühnen, Heiner Frost, Britta Geschonnek, Ulrike Leggewie-Brohm, Lea Luhn, Christina Menne, Andreas Polka-Radtke, Christian Rychter, Armin Sawicki, Daniela Zalewski-Lange


Everything About a Mutual Acquaintance

Rasam Noori

Germany 2023, 37'45", colour



The film tells the story of a chance encounter between two men. An unusual relationship, suspended between affection and suspicion, develops between the two protagonists. The story subtly evolves into a parable on the male image in a patriarchal society. The depth of the film comes from what is implied and unspoken, portrayed brilliantly by the two actors. We were also convinced by the film’s sensitive use of cinematic language, which perfectly supports the stringently told story.


Oberhausen, 1 May 2023


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