Oldenburg International Film Festival

Oldenburg International Film Festival
Photo: filmfest-oldenburg.de
The Oldenburg International Film Festival (Internationales Filmfest Oldenburg) is an annual film festival held in the German city of Oldenburg since 1994. It focuses on independent and innovative cinema, offering an inspiring mix of awaited premieres and unconventional independent productions.

The Oldenburg Film Festival is considered one of Europe’s most prestigious independent film festivals. It has been labeled the “German Sundance” by The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, and Screen International, among others. The festival strives to celebrate and support independent filmmakers, to honor their creativity, and to create an inspiring meeting place for international filmmakers, media professionals, and audiences.

The program of the festival offers a mix of first films by emerging filmmakers and new works by established directors, such as Takeshi Kitano, Kevin Spacey, Steven Soderbergh, David Cronenberg, Larry Clark, Andrew Wilson, Darren Arronofsky, Brian De Palma, Michael Polish, Johnnie To, Monte Hellman, and others. Along with the main program, the festival features retrospectives and tributes focused on works by renowned filmmakers.

Although the Oldenburg Film Festival isn’t officially recognized as a competitive festival, it presents several awards to the best independent films. The winner of the German Independence Award is decided based on an audience vote. The award was inaugurated in 1998, its first winner was Richard Schenkman with his film “Went to Coney Island on a Mission from God... Be Back by Five”.

Other awards presented at the festival include the German Independent Award – Best Short Film and the German Independent Award – Best German Film. They are awarded by an international jury. Besides, there are special awards, including the Seymour Cassel Award for actors and the Otto Springer Award for young filmmakers from Northern Germany.

Every year, the Oldenburg Film Festival welcomes guests of honor – internationally renowned filmmakers, film producers, and actors. Past guests of honor have included Frank Oz, Alex Cox, Andrzej Zulawski, Seymour Cassel, Richard Stanley, Larry Clark, and others.

Oldenburg International Film Festival

Photo: Jörg Hemmen




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