The Festival in review

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


The Festival in review


The second online edition of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen came to an end on 10 May and, at ten days, was twice as long as usual. In eight competitions, three of them new, the festival awarded prizes worth almost 52,000 euros. The Festival reached audiences in 75 countries; almost 1,400 audience passes were sold, significantly less than in 2020 when the first ever online edition of a film festival in Germany took place. More than 1,000 industry visitors were accredited; more than 200 people also used their THIS IS SHORT pass from the European Short Film Network to watch films on the Oberhausen platform. All in all, the 67th Festival edition registered around 2,600 visitors and almost 60,000 viewings of the roughly 400 films in the programme.


"We could not hope to repeat the surprise success of the previous year. At the moment there is a huge offer of film festivals on the internet; at the same time, fatigue is replacing curiosity with the audience," says festival director Lars Henrik Gass. "But we had set out to develop new models of social interaction on the internet. We succeeded with our digital Festival Space, where countless filmmakers and visitors exchanged ideas and many live discussions took place."


Oberhausen also developed its offer for schools and kindergartens further, which was made accessible nationwide through the online edition and was used by over 100 school classes and kindergartens far beyond Oberhausen, for example in Berlin or Hamburg. In addition, with around 275 participants, more students than ever before took advantage of the festival's offers of student excursions.


"Going online has changed us and will, I hope, change the Festival, so that we as a film festival will also find new answers for a changed reality," Lars Henrik Gass summed up at the digital Award Ceremony.


With the founding of the European Short Film Network and the platform THIS IS SHORT, which has been online since 1 April 2021, Oberhausen, together with three other short film festivals, has considerably expanded its spectrum and reach in terms of space and time, and broken new ground in terms of cooperation. The THIS IS SHORT ( offers can be used until the end of June with the Oberhausen Festival Pass.


The 68th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is scheduled to take place in May 2022 as a hybrid festival on the web and in Oberhausen.


Oberhausen, 11 May 2021


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