Short film is still the prime source of innovation for the art of film - the experimental field in which future cinematic vocabularies first crystallize. Today its diversity of forms, themes and approaches across the globe is greater than ever - video or film, short fiction film or essay, installation, graduation film or artist's video, animation, documentary, and all imaginable hybrids thereof.
The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has been part of this highly charged field for over 60 years now, as a catalyst and a showcase for contemporary developments, a forum for what are often heated discussions, a discoverer of new trends and talent, and not least as one of the most important short film institutions anywhere in the world. Some 7,000 films submitted on average per year, around 500 films shown in the festival programmes and over 1,100 accredited industry professionals are proof enough.
In the course of more than five decades, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has become one of the world's most respected film events - a place where filmmakers and artists ranging from Roman Polanski to Cate Shortland, from George Lucas to Pipilotti Rist have presented their first films. Oberhausen has managed to instigate various political and aesthetical developments, for instance through the Oberhausen Manifesto, perhaps the most important group document in the history of German film. Careful programming and a pioneering choice of subjects has helped the Festival to build up its exclusive position in an increasingly unpredictable market.
Due to the Corona pandemic in 2020, the Festival organised its 66th edition completely online for the first time. With over 2,500 festival passes sold and users in nearly 100 countries, the new format proved far more successful than expected.
The winner of the short film competition automatically qualifies for the OSCAR competition for the Best Short Film.
- International Competition,
- National Competition,
- NRW Competition,
- International Children´s and Youth Film Competition (5-16 years),
- Music Videos from Germany,
- Open Screening,
- Special Programs (certain subjects or genres),
- Film Market.