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60th International Short Film Festival, Oberhausen, 2014

Just Like Us
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"Just Like Us" (Jesse Mclean)

In its 60th year, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen ran from May 1-6, 2014. From almost 5,000 submissions, the festival presented 440 films from 66 countries, with 134 films in the five competition sections. The competition sections include International, German and regional North Rhine-Westphalia, Children's and Youth, and MuVi (music video). In addition, the festival holds a yearly theme programme, this year, entitled Memories Can't Wait — Film without Film, profile programs of Wojciech Bakowski, Aryan Kaganof, Mara Mattuschka, and Deimantas Narkevicius, and a showcase of moving image distributors and archives from around the world.

The festival's tradition of presenting a richly diverse selection of short films makes the task of awarding select films challenging. The Jury of the International Competition awarded La Estancia the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen. The filmmaker, Federico Adorno, issued a statement explaining his abstinence from attending the festival. His film depicts the peasants of the Campos Morombí massacre in Paraguay who, charged with the killings, do not have the freedom to move freely within their own lands. In solidarity, the filmmaker didn't feel it was appropriate for him to exercise his freedom and privilege to travel across the world to the festival. Other notable prizes included the Principle Prize, which was awarded to the South African film Gangster Backstage by Teboho Edkins, and the ARTE Prize for a European Short Film went to Maria Kourkouta for her film Returning to Aeolus Street (Epistrofi stin odo ailolu). The FIPRESCI jury awarded the International Critics Prize to Jesse McLean for her film Just Like Us.

The six days spent in the cinemas of Oberhausen proved fruitful and inspiring. (Aily Nash)

Oberhausen (Germany, International Short Film Festival, May 1-6, 2014). Prize: Just Like Us by Jesse Mclean (USA, 2013). Jury: Antti Selkokari, Finland ("Aamulehti"), Aily Nash, USA ("The Brooklyn Rail"), Pamela Cohn, Germany ("DOX Magazine of the European Documentary Network"). Print source: Video Data Bank, Mary Scherer, USA, Phn: +1 312 3453550, e-mail: distro@vdb.org.
Festival: www.kurzfilmtage.de

Reports

The Short Film Mecca Turns Sixty. "Celebrating its 60th anniversary", reports Aily Nash, "the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen opened with a ceremony commemorating its history through a program of video messages from festival alumni including John Smith, Werner Herzog, George Lucas (surprisingly), Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Miranda July, and others... Smith charmingly recounted all the firsts Oberhausen had marked in his life: it was where he received his first award, first German kiss, first sekt, where he launched his first book and DVD, and where he met his wife." arrow.
Hiding in Plain Sight. Pamela Cohn reviews La Estancia, Paraguayan Frederico Adorno's spare and elegant 14-minute film. "Adorno's film", she writes, "is a ghost story told in fragments, based on a deadly clash that occurred in June of 2012. The film won the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen. arrow.
Acting As Yourself or As Somebody Else — Re-enactments in Film. Quite a lot of films bring forth different aspects of re-enactment in Oberhausen. Antti Selkokari's report. arrow.

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Oberhausen 2014

bullet. Index
bullet. The Anniversary
bullet. "La Estancia"
bullet. Acting As Yourself

Language editor:
Pamela Cohn