59th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Germany, May 2 - May 7 2013
The prestigious International Short Film Festival Oberhausen was founded in 1954, and is not only the oldest, but also one of the most important short film festivals in the world. Furthermore, the festival has its place in film history with The Oberhausen Manifesto, declared at the festival in 1962 by a group of 26 young film makers calling for the establishing of a “new German feature film”.
The festival views short film as the prime source of innovation for the art film, focusing on experimental films rather than conventional, narrative cinema.
The Short Film Festival/Kurzfilmtage in Oberhausen holds an International Competition, German Competition and International Children’s and Youth Film Competition. In addition, the festival holds the MuVi Award for best German music video, introduced in 1999 as the first festival award for music videos, and, since 2009, the NRW Competition for productions from the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia.
During the past years, the Kurzfilmtage has presented thematically oriented programs, regarded by the festival to be just as important as the competitions. The festival also presents profiles of selected film makers.
The 59th edition of the Oberhausen Film Festival was held on May 2-7, 2013. With a total of around 6 700 entries from 107 different countries, the festival received more films than ever. 4 960 of the entries were submitted to the international competition.
Out of these, 57 films from 29 countries were selected, including two German films. With nine films, Great Britain was the country with most films in the international competition, followed by the USA with six and Austria and Poland with four films each.
The theme of this year’s festival in Oberhausen was Flatness: Cinema after the internet, presented in eight different film programs. Furthermore, the festival presented profiles of the filmmakers Luther Price, Petar Krelja, Krsto Papic and Zoran Tadic (the latter three in the same program), Helga Fanderl, Ho Tzu Nyen and Laure Prouvost, as well as various podium discussions and symposiums. Among these wereWhat was Cinema, where Maeve Connolly and Thomas Elsaesser shared their thoughts on the changes in film content and exhibition practices, and also the symposium How Would Kracauer Do It?, organized by the German Film Critic’s Association, discussing new perspectives on film criticism.The festival also introduced a new archives section, focusing on the archiving and restoration of experimental films.
The festival has several juries and prizes. The International Jury awards three prizes, and there are awards from the Ecumenical Jury, the Jury of the German Competition, the Children’s and Youth jury, among others. The FIPRESCI jury gives the International Film Critics’ award to a film from the international competition program. The International Jury gave the following prizes: The Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen (8,000 Euros)was awarded Kirik Beyaz Laleler (Off-White Tulips) by Aykan Safoglu (Turkey/Germany, 2013), the Principal Prize (4,000 Euros) went to Ziegenort by Tomasz Popakul (Poland, 2013), and the ARTE Prize for a European Short Film (2,500 Euros) was awarded Dad’s Stick by John Smith (Great Britain 2012). (Aleksander Huser)
International Short Film Festival Oberhausen: www.kurzfilmtage.de