Two new series on the Kurzfilmtage Channel

68th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 30 April – 9 May 2022


Two new series on the Kurzfilmtage Channel

From 27 February, new videos will go online every day


From 27 Februar 2022, the Kurzfilmtage Channel will offer an extensive programme of moving images of all genres in the run-up to the 68th Oberhausen Festival, including short films, lectures, debates and other formats. These will revolve around two very different topics. From 27 February to 28 April, more than 30 contributions curated by Frank B. Wilderson III will go online under the title “The Social Life of Social Death”. The series addresses Blackness from different angles, incorporating historical documents as well as new works. They will alternate with almost 40 films from Khavn De La Cruz’ project “New Poetic Cinema” that will go online between 28 February and 29 April. “New Poetic Cinema” offers experimental film poems – haikus, pantoums, sonnets, villanelles or rengas – made by young filmmakers in three workshops led by Khavn De La Cruz at the Jihlava Festival 2020 and 2021 and the SeaShorts Festival Malaysia in 2021.


Frank B. Wilderson III, The Social Life of Social Death

In 2020, Frank B. Wilderson III published his book Afropessimism, in which he analyses Blackness through the lens of perpetual slavery, arguing that the social construct of slavery is the very engine that powers our civilization and that without this master-slave dynamic, the calculus bolstering world civilization would collapse. Blackness and the paradigm of violence inherent in the concept is seen as a foil against which what it means to be human can be defined. But what does it mean to the lives of Black people and how has this been rendered cinematically? The series curated by Frank B. Wilderson III addresses very different angles, from Black Social Dance in film through an interview with Malcolm X., the lives of Black Italians today or the legendary debate between James Baldwin and William F. Buckley in 1965 to the issue of the safety and bodily autonomy of Black women.


Frank B. Wilderson III:

Frank B. Wilderson III is Chancellor’s Professor of African American Studies Department at UC Irvine. During the apartheid era he spent five and a half years in South Africa where he was one of two Americans to hold elected office in the African National Congress and was a cadre in the underground. His critically acclaimed book Afropessimism was long-listed for the National Book Award.



“Jump off the cliff and fly”: Khavn De La Cruz, New Poetic Cinema

The Filipino poet, singer, songwriter and filmmaker Khavn De La Cruz has frequently shown films in the Oberhausen competitions; in 2017, he organised the exhibition “Happyland” for the Festival in Oberhausen. Among his most recent works are two collaborations with Alexander Kluge (Happy Lamento, 2019; Orphea, 2021). His project New Poetic Cinema is the result of three workshops with the Jihlava Academy in Prague in 2020 and 2021 and the SeaShorts Film Festival in Malaysia in 2021 and comprises 37 works by workshop participants, all conceived as filmic poems, from self portraits to films from the lockdown to portraits of places or visual experiments.


From Khavn De La Cruz’ introduction to the project (quote):

“what is poetry? / what is cinema? / what is poetic? / what is cinematic? / destroy all definitions and create new ones. / no age requirement. / everyone can pass. / as long as they’re willing to jump off the cliff and fly. / no excuses. / shoot or be shot.”


Khavn De La Cruz

Khavn De La Cruz is a multiple award-winning filmmaker, composer and poet. He has made 47 long and more than 100 short films. He is director of the Philippine .MOV International Film, Music & Literature Festival and president of the film, music and book publishing company Kamias Road. His books include an anthology of Philippine poetry, two poetry collections and a non-fiction compendium on new Philippine cinema.


The Channel


Oberhausen, 25 February 2022


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