The online edition of the 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen from 13 to 18 May 2020 has proved far more successful than expected. In total, Internet users in nearly 100 countries watched the festival films on the net. Well over 2,500 festival passes were sold in around 60 countries, over 1,000 trade visitors from almost 70 countries attended the online festival.
33 school classes, or around 1,000 pupils, took up the Festival’s special offer to see short films, mostly in home schooling situations. The professional events were also well attended: around 200 students from 14 universities and colleges as well as over 50 educators took part in the webinars and online conferences. Even the traditional MuVi Online Audience Award benefited, with a record number of more than 2,500 votes. On Monday, 18 May 2020, the festival ended with the online award ceremony. 20 prizes with a total value of almost 42,000 Euros were awarded online.
Festival director Lars Henrik Gass concluded by thanking the filmmakers, the juries, the prize donors, all visitors and his team, summing up: "Our expectations were more than exceeded ... This will take an important place in the history of the festival and points the way to the future with consequences and possibilities far beyond the present day.”
The most important awards
The most important prize of the Festival, the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen in the International Competition, along with 8,000 Euros, went to US filmmaker Lynne Sachs for her work A Month of Single Frames. "For the ability to find poetry and complexity in simple things, for its profound love for life and people", the International Jury wrote in their statement.
The Prize for the best contribution to the German Competition went to Bjørn Melhus for his film SUGAR, a film set in a post-apocalyptic world that "sets out to restore humanity to humankind," according to the jury of the German Competition.
In the NRW Competition, the 1,500-Euro prize for the best contribution went to the omnibus film Berzah by Deren Ercenk, "a gripping triptych of quasi powerless situations of fight", according to the jury of the NRW Competition.
The 1st Prize in the MuVi Award 2020, endowed with 2,000 Euros, went to Andreas Reihse and Zaza Rusadze for their clip Eurydike for Kreidler.
In the Children's and Youth Film Competition, the children's jury awarded its prize, which comes with 1,000 Euros, to the film Furthest From by Kyung Sok Kim, USA. The youth jury awarded its prize, also worth 1,000 Euros, to the German production Becky's Weightloss Palace by Bela Brillowska.
The Principal Prize in the International Competition, endowed with 4,000 Euros, went to India to Sohrab Hura for his work Bittersweet, a study of the relationship between the filmmaker's mother and her son, which the International Jury awarded for "his complex depictions of love". Bittersweet also won the 2nd Prize of the Jury of the Ministry of Science and Culture NRW, along with a prize money of 3,000 Euros. The e-flux Prize , also worth 3,000 Euros, went to the Greek production BELLA by Thelyia Petraki.
The Jury of the Ministry of Science and Culture NRW awarded its first prize of 5,000 Euros to the French-South African-German co-production Shepherds by Teboho Edkins, a portrait of rustlers in a Lesotho prison. The film also received the Prize of the Ecumenical Jury, which comes with 1,500 Euros.
The International Film Critics’ Prize, the Fipresci Prize, went to the Chinese production I Am the People_? by Xiaofei Li.
A complete list of all awards and special mentions can be found here:
Watch award winning films
The Festival is extending its programme with a selection of award-winning films as well as a further programme of award-winning films from the Children's and Youth Film Competition. Both programmes can be viewed online at the Festival Hub from Monday evening until Wednesday, 20 May, 9 am CEST. All accredited persons and holders of a festival pass have access to the films until then.