Competitions for 2017 edition of Oberhausen unveiled

The 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen - which runs between 11 to 16 May 2017 -will be showing altogether 499 films from 58 countries. Of these, 148 works, selected from among almost 7,000 entries, will be vying for around 42,000 euros in prize money in the festival's five competitions.

For the International Competition, the largest and oldest competition at the Festival, 56 films from 33 countries were selected from among almost 5,500 entries, including one German production (the documentary film TITAN by Johannes Freese). There are also works by John Akomfrah, Louise Botkay, Susannah Gent, William E. Jones, Salomé Lamas and Mika Taanila to be seen, among others.

“What struck is this year was that many works, especially non-European films, address the consequences of geopolitics and identity politics”, says Hilke Doering, head of the International Competition. The Festival is showing more than half of the works as world premières.

In the German Competition, Oberhausen is showing 22 works chosen out of 1,185 entries. They include works by Mariola Brillowska, Christoph Girardet, Miriam Gossing and Lina Sieckmann, and Lukas Marxt and Marcel Odenbach, as well as the world première of Moon Over Da Nang, the new film by Bjørn Melhus, to whom the Festival is also dedicating a Profile programme this year.

“We saw a lot of interesting works coming from art universities and not from traditional film schools this year”, said Carsten Spicher, head of the German Competition. “One reason for this is certainly that Oberhausen is always looking for the unusual. While film schools tend to train their students with a view to the conventions of television and cinema, art schools place more importance on the freedom of form and expression that we are seeking in the films.”

For the NRW Competition, 13 works were selected from among 234 productions from North Rhine-Westphalia. One of them is Ayny by Ahmad Saleh, a film that brought him a Student Oscar in 2016.

“In 2012, we showed Ahmad Saleh's film House, and are now very delighted to be able to present him again as an Oscar winner,” said Carsten Spicher, who is responsible for the NRW Competition as well.

An unusual inclusion is two poetry clips by very young filmmakers, Manche Probleme by Patrick Praschma and Vögel auf Stromleitungen by Dean Ruddock, who have both chosen this form to address issues of identity and their future situation in life. An Oberhausen filmmaker, Volker Köster, is also in the competition with Wo Feuer ist, ist auch Rauch.

For the MuVi Award for the best German music video, Oberhausen will be showing 12 music videos chosen out of a record number of 272 entries. As always, what counts at the MuVi Award is the visual rendering of a piece of music, which means that, among others, artists such as Phil Collins (with Crab Day for Cate Le Bon) and Christoph Girardet (with Second Chance Man for The Tindersticks) are seen here next to works by Friedrich Liechtenstein for Das wird gut and Mary Ocher for Arms, who have both also directed the videos for their own pieces.

Finally, the Children's and Youth Film Competition, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year, will be showing 48 films from 24 countries, two of which are also screening in the International Competition. In addition to the competition, Oberhausen will be showing two special anniversary programmes with films from the history of children's cinema at the festival.

You can see the full programme HERE 

13 April 2017, by Cineuropa Shorts