Artists on Screen

Short film and video is still the prime source of innovation for the art of film. In addition, it is being adopted by an ever increasing number of artists as a form of expression. Today its diversity of forms, themes and approaches across the globe is greater than ever, in the cinemas or in the galleries.

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen has been part of this highly charged field for over 50 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 6500 films submitted in 2007, around 500 films shown in the festival programmes and over 1100 accredited industry professionals are proof enough.

Films

In addition to its four competitions, Oberhausen is known for its extensive thematic programmes and retrospectives. In 2008, the main theme programme, entitled “Border-Crossers and Trouble-Makers” and curated by Sherry Millner and Ernest Larsen (USA) and Madeleine Bernstorff (Germany), will explore the history of political film, looking at strategies and practices of resistance from legendary political landmarks such as Chris Marker or the Yugoslavian Black Film to works reacting to today“s permanent state of emergency.

A second theme programme, “Whose History?”, curated by Ian White, will explore the question how artists” film and video look at history, including works by Marcel Broodthaers, Ken Jacobs, Alexander Kluge, Malcolm LeGrice, Lis Rhodes and Emily Wardill.

In the 2008 profiles, the festival features four artists whose works range from classic abstract experiments to political video art. The programme of works by French filmmaker Patrice Kirchhofer offers a rare opportunity to see his radical experiments. Two programmes each are dedicated to British filmmaker and artist Andrew Kőtting and Lebanese video artist Akram Zaatari. The last profile will feature the work of British artist Lis Rhodes.

Discussions

The Podium series of discussions, established in 2006, brings scholars, curators, artists and authors together to discuss current aesthetic, technological, cultural policy and economic issues. Questions to be debated this year will include “Film festivals as a new contemporary film museum?” and “Is criticism still pertinent?”, as well as two discussions complementing the thematic programmes. Participants include Ann Demeester, Ruth Noack, Emily Roysdon, Keith Sanborn, Hito Steyerl and Zelimir Zilnik.

Market

An excellently equipped Video Library with an estimated 6000 new short films to chose from and a series of market Screenings by the leading international distributors of experimental film and video are available to buyers, distributors, festival programmers, commissioning editors and other industry visitors.

Book: Kinomuseum – Towards an Artists’ Cinema

Now available is the anthology Kinomuseum – Towards an Artists” Cinema, edited by Mike Sperlinger and Ian White, a collection of essays and texts by some of the most influential artists and curators working with the moving image today. The book is based on the successful screening series “Kinomuseum” which Oberhausen presented in 2007. Texts by Ian White, Morgan Fisher, Dan Graham, Lucian Harris, Emily Pethick; Mary Kelly, Achim Borchardt-Hume, AA Bronson, Mark Leckey, Lars Henrik Gass. (Published by Walther Koenig, Cologne, ISBN 978-3-86560-325-8).

Accreditation

Accreditation deadline: 7 April 2008