63rd Oberhausen gets underway

Oberhausen begins today and – as always – it promises a diverse selection of film as it explores the intersection between art and film. While the festival competitions promise many delights – of which you can read more HERE - the festival will also present many thematic programmes which will explore important issues of the day

In Social media before the Internet, Dr. Tilman Baumgärtel presents his finds of participatory media which existed before the internet became a fixture in public life. It will include examinations of the media critical work of Harun Farocki from the 60s to the politics of the video format and the promise it bore. The programme comes at a critical stage questioning the internet as it examines whether it is a failed utopia of hate speech and fake news or if there is still promise for the future.

The “Artist web series” panel claims that TV is Coming back Big Time. Estonian curator and art critic Rebeka Põldsam will discuss this specific new sub-genre with LA-based video artist Casey Jane Ellison and Finnish director Jaakko Pallasvuo.

The festival will also examine The authoritarian turn in Turkey: When did it all start? and welcomes Turkish critics and filmmakers to discuss the powers and possibilities of arts within the country.

The festival will also provide an exploration of six international filmmakers by exploring their oeuvre. Amongst them will be the prize-winning Portuguese filmmaker Sandro Aguilar. His early short Estou Perto which received a prize at Locarno will be screened among his more recent work. The renowned artist from the Philippines Khavn De La Cruz, will exhibit HAPPYLAND (pictured above), a remodelling of the correspondent slum in Manila with all its facets in taste, smell and rhythm with live concerts and other events taking place during this week. Oberhausen hereby offers the biggest show of the artist's work outside the Philippines.

Professionals from over 50 countries will attend this year's festival which will be opened by festival director Lars Henrik Gass with a selection of Children's and Youth Films honouring the section's 40th anniversary.

11 May 2017, by Sabine Kues