By Indiewire | Indiewire April 27, 2004 at 2:00AM
Oberhausen To Present 375 Films During 50th Anniversary Fest
by Wendy Mitchell
The world's oldest short film festival, the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, will kick off its 50th anniversary event on Thursday, running through May 4 in Oberhausen, Germany. German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder will attend the grand opening along with filmmakers including Wim Wenders and Romuald Karmakar.
During the festival, organizers will screen about 375 films, up from last year's 360. There are 140 films playing in four competition sections. This year's picks were selected from 5,256 submissions, up from 4,895. The films will represent about 50 countries.
The international competition will present 23,000 euros in prizes; the international jury comprises French video artist Robert Cahen, Polish curator Piotr Krajewski, Swedish curator Catrin Lundqvist, U.K. filmmaker Jayne Parker, and American filmmaker Abraham Ravett. Among the 68 films in the international competition are Juan Ramón Ojuez's "Hogares" (Argentina), Tim Sharp's "Traveller's Tales" (Austria), Denis Côté's "La Sphatte" (Canada), Matthias Müller & Christoph Girardet's "Mirror" (Germany), Anna Thew's "L.F.M.C. Demolition" (U.K.), Mahmoud Reza Sani's "Siyamo" (Iran), Kazuhiro Goshima's "FADE into WHITE #4" (Japan), Rui Goulart's "Estranhos Dias" (Portugal), Manussak Dokmai's "Ya Leum Chan" (Thailand), and Torsten Zenas Burns & Darrin Martin's "I Am Today's Lesson Plan" (U.S.).
Other competition sections are devoted to German films, children's and youth films, and German music videos.
Programming for this anniversary year will include a look back at the Oberhausen festival's history as well as a look at the future of the short film format. The festival retrospective will include past shorts from directors including Alain Resnais, Roman Polanski, Agnès Varda, George Lucas, Toshio Matsumoto, Chantal Akerman, and Alexander Sokurov. Special programs will look at works by Yamada Isao and Jayne Parker.
In addition to film screenings, the festival will host a workshop on short film criticism, a producer's day seminar on digital distribution, and other discussions and parties. Oberhausen also hosts a film market, where all films submitted to the festival can be viewed.
[ For more information, please visit: http://www.kurzfilmtage.de ]