Oldenburg International Film Festival

The festival logo

Situated in Northwest Germany, the Oldenburg International Film Festival covers since 1994 the international movie scene in all of its aspects. This open minded approach leads to an inspiring mix of great premieres, surprising discoveries and original independent productions. Off beat innovation and ideas against the grain are the trademarks of the festival.

Among the guests of honor were Alex Cox, Frank Oz, James B. Harris, Tim Hunter, Belgian cult director Harry Kümel, Jim McBride, Philippe de Broca, Andrzej Żuławski, Ken Russell and Jerry Schatzberg who have all attended the festival for the retrospectives of their work. Icíar Bollaín, Seymour Cassel, Asia Argento, Stacy Cochran, Richard Stanley, Ben Gazzara, Larry Clark, Tim Blake Nelson as well as Luke and Andrew Wilson have attended the festival for tributes in their honor.

Internationally acclaimed films, such as Takeshi Kitano’s Kids Return, Kevin Spacey’s Albino Alligator, Steven Soderbergh’s Out of Sight, David Cronenberg’s Spider, Larry Clark’s Ken Park, Luke and Andrew Wilson’s The Wendell Baker Story, and The Fountain by Darren Aronofsky or indie hits like Larry Fessenden’s Habit, Cory McAbee’s The American Astronaut, Michael Polish’s Northfork, Paul Provenza’s The Aristocrats, Susan Buice and Arin Crumley’s Four Eyed Monsters or The Guatemalan Handshake by Todd Rohal, received their celebrated German premiere in Oldenburg.

Tributes and RetrospectivesEdit

Tributes (by year)


German Independence Award: Audience AwardEdit

German Independence Award: Best German FilmEdit

The Best German Film award is juried by an international panel of five—filmmakers, actors, artists, writers, producers—of which at least three members come from other countries than Germany. The films are shown in original version with English subtitles. Jury members have been, e.g., in 2011: Matteo Lovadina, Radley Metzger, Ildi Toth Davy, Soopum Sohn, and Matthew Modine. The 2012 festival saw an all-woman jury, consisting of Tamar Simon Hoffs, Gabrielle Miller, Lana Morgan, Debbie Rochon, and Mira Sorvino.

  • 2004: Andreas Struck — Sugar Orange — Germany, 2004
  • 2005: Catharina Deus — About a Girl (Die Boxerin) — Germany, 2005
  • 2006: Birgit Grosskopf — Princess (Prinzessin) — Germany, 2006
  • 2007: Jakob Moritz Erwa — All the Invisible Things (Heile Welt) — Austria, 2006
  • 2008: Emily AtefThe Stranger in Me (Das Fremde in mir) — Germany, 2008
  • 2009: Thomas Sieben — Distance — Germany, 2009
  • 2010: Philip Koch — Picco — Germany, 2010
  • 2011: Linus de Paoli — Dr. Ketel — Germany, 2010
  • 2012: Jan-Ole GersterOh Boy — Germany, 2012
  • 2013: Tom Lass — Kaptn Oskar — Germany, 2013
  • not awarded since 2014 because of budget cuts

German Independence Award: Best Short FilmEdit

  • 2007: Marcos Valin, David Alonso — Atención al cliente (Customer Service) — Spain, 2007
  • 2008: Liz Adams — Side Effect — USA, 2008
  • 2009: Hassan Said — Mute — USA, 2009 (Best foreign-language short film)
  • 2009: Tom Bewilogua — SCISSU — Germany, 2009 (Best German-language short film)
  • 2010: Jeremy Bradley, Reuben Sack — Salvation Insurance — USA, 2010
  • 2011: Markus Engel — Der letzte Gast (The Last Guest) — Austria, 2011
  • 2012: Meghna Gupta, Gigi Berardi — Unravel — United Kingdom / India, 2012
  • 2013: Patrick Baumeister — Preis — Germany, 2013
  • 2014: Kevin Meul — Cadet — Belgium, 2014
  • 2015: Martijn de Jong — Free — Netherlands, 2014
  • 2016: Ruken Tekes — The Circle (Hevêrk) — Turkey, 2016
  • 2017: Thierry Bessling, Loïc Tanson — Sur le fil — Luxembourg, 2017
  • 2018: Jeremy Comte — Fauve — Canada, 2018

German Independence Honorary AwardEdit

Otto Sprenger AwardEdit

  • 2007: Ben Reding, Dominik Reding — For The Unknown Dog (Für den unbekannten Hund) — Germany, 2005
  • 2008: Emily AtefThe Stranger in Me (Das Fremde in mir) — Germany, 2008

Seymour Cassel Award: Outstanding PerformanceEdit

This actor’s prize is awarded for performances in films nominated for the Best German Film award.

  • 2012: Tom Schilling for his role as Niko Fischer in Oh Boy — Germany, 2012
  • 2013: Martina Schöne-Radunski for her role as Alex in Kaptn Oskar — Germany, 2013
  • 2014: Victoria Schulz for her role as Ruby in Von jetzt an kein zurück — Germany, 2014
  • 2015: Sarah Silverman for her role as Laney in I Smile Back — USA, 2015
  • 2015: Nikola Rakočević for his role as Slav in Travelator — Serbia, 2014
  • 2016: Noémie Merlant for her role as Claire in Twisting Fate (À tous les vents du ciel) — France, 2016
  • 2016: André M. Hennicke for his role as Udo in Strawberry Bubblegums — Germany, 2016
  • 2017: Gregory Kasyan for his role as Mills in Quest — USA, 2017
  • 2018: Victoria Carmen Sonne for her role as Sascha in Holiday — Denmark, 2018 and Gabriela Ramos for her role as Lili in Is that you? — UK, 2018


Because of the festival programme and its focus on independent filmmaking, press and industry professionals have dubbed the festival the “European/German Sundance”.

  • “One of the most offbeat festivals in Europe.” (Variety 2009)[2]
  • “Now in its 16th edition, Oldenburg proves that, justifying its reputation as Germany’s premiere indie fest by putting innovative filmmaking ahead of boxoffice glamour, while still filtering out the dregs of the low-budget scene.” (The Hollywood Reporter 2009)[3]
  • “Oldenburg: The German Sundance (…) has become a must in the festival circuit.” (Cannes Market News)
  • “The German Sundance” (Screen International)


  1. ^ Staff (October 8, 2010). "Oldenburg International Film Festival honors a master of erotic cinema Radley Metzger". Oldenburg International Film Festival. Retrieved January 28, 2016.
  2. ^ Kirschbaum, Erik (September 11, 2009). "Indies put Oldenburg on Map – Fest ups programme with sharp programming, artist outreach". Variety.
  3. ^ Roxborough, Scott (August 27, 2009). "Spotlight: Oldenburg Film Festival". The Hollywood Reporter.

External linksEdit