Besides a leading European festival in its genre, setting standards for all other festivals in the short film field, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen was also one of the first to give shorts for children a rightful place in its programme.
This year’s celebration of the 40th edition of the Children’s Film Programme (in a 63 years long festival tradition) marked the perfect moment for joining ECFA as new member.
This year the festival opening ceremony was focused on children’s shorts, showcasing a few remarkable highlights from the history of children’s film programming, a cross section illustrating Oberhausen’s vision and nerve throughout the years, from SIENTJE (Christa Moesker) to EN EL ESPEJO DEL CIELO (Carlos Salces) and JOY (Cate Shortland). In his opening speech Festival Director Lars Henrik Gass stated that the Oberhausen festival “wants to give the young audience access to another reality, just like we do with our adult audiences. We see them as articulate and free people, with one eye on the future.”
In the Children’s & Youth Film Competition, films are brought together in very specific age categories, ranging from a 3+ to 16+ audience, covering the entire spectrum in between: short documentaries in live action (DAUGHTER OF GUANG NAN by Michael Mellemløkken, Norway) or animation (SCENT OF GERANIUM by Naghmeh Farzaneh, USA), innocent cartoons for pre-schoolers (KOZLY, by Yekaterina Filippova, Russia), music clips, coming-of-age testimonies (RAKASTAN ANNAA, by Joonas Rutanen, Finland), poetic beauty (ODD IS AN EGG by Kristin Ulseth, Norway) to challenging video experiments for teenagers (TOWER XYZ by Ayo Akingbade, UK).
This year’s festival awards in the Children’s & Youth Film Competition went to:
SCRAP DOLLS by Aude Cuenod, USA
A WELL SPENT AFTERNOON by Martin Turk, Slovenia / Croatia
Special Mention: MRS MCCUTCHEON by John Sheedy, Australia
INTO THE BLUE by Antoneta Kusijanović, Slovenia / Croatia
Special Mentions: SCENT OF GERANIUM by Naghmeh Farzaneh, USA and WOLFE by Claire Randall, Australia
Find all award winners here.