The 68th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is opening its first hybrid edition on Saturday, 30 April 2022. In the first part, the Festival is showing the International and German Online Competitions exclusively on the Internet, followed by the official opening ceremony in the Oberhausen cinemas on 4 May. This marks the Festival’s return to the cinema after two online editions due to COVID. For the first time since 2019, Daniel Schranz, Lord Mayor of the City of Oberhausen, will officially welcome the guests in Oberhausen on behalf of the city.
“Returning to the cinema means a great deal to us – short film belongs on the big screen, and festivals in the cinema. While Oberhausen was the first German festival to go online in 2020, it is now the first festival to implement a succession of independent analogue and digital programming as a guiding principle, doing away with the doctrine that festivals must be limited to a specific place and time,” says Festival Director Lars Henrik Gass.
Oberhausen will be presenting a total of around 600 short films from more than 70 countries, 44 of them online. More than 550 productions will be screened in Oberhausen from 4 to 9 May, including both competitions and curated programmes. More than 800 industry visitors from 72 countries are expected, a sign that Oberhausen remains one of the major short film platforms across the globe in its first post-corona edition: “a hybrid festival that re-defines internationality”, as Isabel Pfeiffer-Poensgen, Minister of Culture and Science of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia, writes in her word of welcome in the festival catalogue.
In seven competitions, Oberhausen will be presenting 163 new short film productions that compete for prizes worth a total of 48,250 euros. The Theme programme Synchronize. Pan-African Film Networks examines the unique production processes on the African continent and the entrepreneurial and artistic ingenuity they have given rise to, which could become a model for Western countries.
In six Profiles, the Festival is presenting legendary and upcoming filmmakers: Morgan Fisher (USA), Sohrab Hura (India), Rainer Komers (Germany), Shalimar Preuss (France), Sylvia Schedelbauer (Germany/Japan) and Eszter Szabó (Hungary). Oberhausen is also celebrating the return to the cinemas with a series of programmes combining moving image projection and live elements, including the Conditional Cinema and Celluloid Expanded series. A special Country Focus highlights films from Lithuania, music videos, children’s films, historic films and many others complete the programme.