New Competitions 2021

67th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 1-10 May 2021


Oberhausen introduces new online competitions

Festival to offer more premieres and a permanent extension on the Internet


The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is expanding its 2021 programme with three new competitions. In addition to the existing five competitive sections – International, German and NRW Competition, Children’s and Youth Film Competition and MuVi Award for the Best German Music Video – the Festival will launch the International Online Competition, the German Online Competition and an award for international music videos in 2021. The traditional competitions in the cinema will be continued. While the International and German competition sections will present different films online and on the big screen, the two music video competitions will present the same line-up both online and in the cinema. The NRW Competition and the Children’s and Youth Film Competition will be shown only in the cinema. From 2021 onwards, the Festival will thus organise eight annual short film competitions. This also extends the Festival by four days; in 2021, Oberhausen will thus take place from 1 to 10 May.


The International and German Competitions will also feature more premieres: an international premiere is required in the International Competition while films in the International Online Competition must be German festival premieres. In the German Competition films must be German festival premieres, while no premiere is required in the German Online Competition. Film may only be submitted for one specific competition. No premieres are required in either of the music video competitions. The Festival will also appoint separate selection committees and juries in the International and German Online Competitions. Each competition will award its own prizes. The Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen will continue to be awarded to a film in the traditional International Competition.


The online competitions will also take place on different dates than the competitions in the cinema: From 1 to 4 May 2021, the Festival will present its new online sections; from 5 May Oberhausen is planning to show the traditional competitions in the cinemas. Prizes for all competitions, with the exception of the music video awards, will be awarded on 9 May 2021.


This expansion is to be continued beyond the end of the Corona pandemic. After the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in May 2020 had to be cancelled in the cinemas due to Corona and after the great success of the online edition which reached almost 100 countries and for which over 2,500 festival passes were sold, Oberhausen considers the expansion of its online presence as an opportunity to bring the short format to new target groups and expand its international reach.


“The new competitions are part of an ongoing structural change at Oberhausen which is to usher in new ways of how festivals function. This also opens up a new cultural-political and democratic dimension of film festivals in rapidly changing societies. Festival content will be accessible from almost everywhere. Festivals are changing from events to platforms,” says festival director Lars Henrik Gass.


Oberhausen, 22 September 2020


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