Internationale Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen

Document archive restructured

65 years of festival and film history

Document archive of the Festival restructured


About 65 years of festival history and thus also German film history are reflected in the document and photo archive of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Correspondence with filmmakers or Luise Albertz' legendary correspondence from the 1960s with the then Interior Minister Werner Höcherl can be found here, as can the protest notes of German filmmakers who withdrew their films from the programme in 1968 because of the scandal surrounding Hellmuth Costard’s Besonders wertvoll, or letters of recommendation from Erich Fried or Volker Schlöndorff for young filmmakers from the 1960s, to the proud press release from 1995 that the Festival can now also be found online, or the "Flyer for Activist Film Criticism" from 2014, which announces the founding of the Critics’ Week at the Berlinale. In addition, there are hundreds of festival photos of filmmakers, guests of honour, jury members – from Lotte Eisner to Tilda Swinton, from Roman Polanski to Romuald Karmakar – all of whom were guests in Oberhausen.


The Oberhausen Archive is a unique reservoir of German and international film history and is designed as a living and working archive. Anyone interested can access the archive upon request; every month the Festival receives enquiries from students, film scholars and journalists. The results of this research include publications such as Andreas Kötzing's "Kultur- und Filmpolitik im Kalten Krieg" (2013), which examines the tensions between East and West using the example of the Oberhausen and Leipzig festivals, or Ralph Eue’s and Lars Henrik Gass' "Provokation der Wirklichkeit" (2012), which documents the enormous influence of the Oberhausen Manifesto of 1962 on German film and cultural history.


Oberhausen began to process this archive in 2013 in preparation for its 60th anniversary in 2014. More than 750 files, 120 boxes from the city archive, far more than 200 photo CDs, posters and documents were registered and processed. The result is almost 100 metres of files on shelves in the Kurzfilmtage-Villa, which have now been moved to an air-conditioned room where they are professionally stored. So far, the documents have been processed until the year 2000, so the project continues.


The Festival would like to take this opportunity to thank the Oberhausen City Archive and the Landschaftsverband Rheinland (LVR) for their expert advice and support.


The project manager:

The historian Dirk Hausmann completed his studies at the University of Duisburg-Essen and has been in charge of the Oberhausen documents archive since 2013. He is also a project staff member of the Oberhausen City Archive and is in charge of the film history collection of the City of Duisburg for Filmforum Duisburg.


Oberhausen, 17 December 2018


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