67th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 1-10 May 2021
The competitions of the 67th Festival have been selected
A strong short film year
All competitions of the 67th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen have now been selected. Around 140 short films and music videos from almost 50 countries are now competing in the International Competition, the German Competition, the NRW Competition, the Children's and Youth Film Competition and the German and International MuVi Awards. Together with the online-only competitions, held for the first time this year, Oberhausen is now showing a total of over 190 works from more than 50 countries in eight competitions, more than ever before. The traditionally high proportion of female directors has grown once again in 2021: in almost all competitions it is well over 50 percent. The prize money has also increased: the festival now awards prizes worth a total of almost 52,000 euros, 15,500 euros of which are awarded in the online-only competitions. All competition organisers unanimously praise the quality and diversity of the short films, all of which were produced under the difficult conditions of 2020.
The International Competition
44 films from 34 countries were selected for this competition. Outstanding works come from Africa, which is represented by three original productions from Rwanda, Senegal and South Africa: Lindiwe Maggalamele's South African feature film The Town sensitively shows the everyday life of a seven-year-old somewhere in the province. From Rwanda comes Sensory Overload, the impressive visualisation of a poem, while the internationally celebrated fashion designer Selly Raby Kane tells an opulently decorated and politically accurate fable from Dakar with Tang Jër.
Also in the line-up is the Chinese-American co-production I am the People_2 by Xiaofei Li,the second part of a trilogy, the first part of which was awarded the FIPRESCI Prize at Oberhausen in 2020. With Josef Dabernig, Katie Davis, Su Zhong and John Smith, other former award winners of the Festival are returning to Oberhausen with new works. The German entry selected is the new work by Christoph Girardet and Matthias Müller, Misty Picture, a found footage compilation of images of the World Trade Center in New York.
"Although we had fewer submissions than usual, we were impressed by the overall quality of the works. The competition reflects the diversity of cinematographies, themes and forms that currently exist in short film and that we want to depict – from an adaptation of an Instagram performance from France to an imaginatively equipped political statement from Senegal to an ornithological observation that visually impressively documents a disappearing ecological habitat in Singapore," says Hilke Doering, Director of the International Competition.
The German Competition
For the German Competition, 21 works were selected from almost 700 submissions. "German short film production seems to have been less affected by Corona than we feared, especially since we were also impressed by the quality of the works," says Carsten Spicher, Head of the German Competition. There is an unusually large number of feature films in the selection. For example, Adrian Figueroa tells of the "working poor" in Proll!; Luise Donschen follows a father and child on their walk through the botanical garden in Elle; Jovana Reisinger's Die klaffende Wunde is a homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder, while Mareike Wegener sets her "surreal road movie" X against the backdrop of the post-industrial coalfields of West Germany. At the other end of the spectrum are works from the art context such as Maya Schweizer's Voices and Shells, a commissioned work for the Villa Stuck in Munich, and Bjørn Melhus' Doors of Reception, one of the few explicit "corona films".
"The contributions are not only very heterogeneous in terms of the contexts they come from. They cover the entire spectrum from high-end productions to very small and personal films," says Carsten Spicher.
The NRW Competition
Eleven films produced in NRW were selected for this competition. Here, too, the diversity of forms dominates, from documentary to animation. Johannes Klais and Florian Pawliczek portray three people during the Corona crisis in Aus aktuellenm Anlass: a cobbler, a pub landlady and a cellist; Oliver Gather delves into the culture of hunters in Hoch Sitzen, Volker Köster and Frédérique Laffont take a look at traditional haymaking in the French Alps in La Bâche. Working with found footage are Rainer Knepperges, who in Tricks for Transformation processes old footage of beauty experiments from the 1960s - complete with egg yolk and strawberries, or Christian Becker, who in LYDIA creates an unusual portrait of his uncle and aunt from old family films.
"The independent productions outweigh by far this year; only three works come from universities. This is a competition in which many new and interesting voices can be discovered," says Carsten Spicher, director of the NRW competition.
The Children's and Youth Film Competition
40 films from 24 countries have been selected for this competition, which will be screened in seven programmes according to age, starting at three years old.
The German MuVi and International Awards
the music video selection will be announced separately.
Oberhausen, 28 March 2021
Press contact: Sabine Niewalda, phone +49 (0)208 825-3073, niewalda(at)kurzfilmtage.de