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The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen gets bigger and better

Organizers of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen announced today that the festival will create new online competitions and will feature more premieres.

This year the Festival had to cancel screenings in the cinemas due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. The Festival quickly transition to an online edition which was remarkably successful reaching more than 100 countries and selling more than 2,500 festival passes. Oberhausen considers the expansion of its online presence as an opportunity to bring the short format to new target groups and expand its international reach.

In addition to the existing five competitive sections – International, German and NRW Competition, Children’s and Youth Film Competition and MuVi Award for the Best German Music Video – the Festival will launch the International Online Competition, the German Online Competition and an award for International Music videos. Organizers also stated that the festival will extend for more days in 2021, Oberhausen will thus take place from May 1st until 10th.

There are also some interesting changes in the submission requirements. While the International Competition requires to be international premiere, the International Online Competition will only need to be German Premieres. As for the German Competition, films submitted must be German Premieres while no premiere is required in the German Online Competition. Finally, for the Music Video Competitions no Premiere status will be require. This will give more opportunities for getting into the festival.

The Festival will also appoint separate selection committees and juries in the International and German Online Competitions. Each competition will award its own prizes.

Another important change is that from May 1st – 4th the Festival will present its new online sections and from May 5th – 10th, they plan to show the traditional competitions in the cinemas.

Lars Henrik Gass director of the festival stated: “The new competitions are part of an ongoing structural change at Oberhausen which is to usher in new ways of how festivals function. This also opens up a new cultural-political and democratic dimension of film festivals in rapidly changing societies. Festival content will be accessible from almost everywhere. Festivals are changing from events to platforms.”

About the festival:
Oberhausen is not only the oldest short film festival in the world, it is also one of the most important, alongside Tampere and Clermont-Ferrand. The competition provides a good overview of “serious”, avant-garde short film productions (Hamburg, on the other hand, offers the more entertaining films). The festival focuses on innovative, artistic short films, paying special attention to new technical development. Oberhausen hosts the biggest short film market in Germany, attracting the major buyers. All films entered for selection as well as all films of the entry platform reelport.com will be available on video terminals.

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