Being a "non competitive film festival" the Oldenburg Film Festival has an twentyfive year-old tradition of covering 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. An eclectic and attractive programme has been the result for the past years. Offbeat innovation and ideas against the grain are the trademarks of the Festival.

Among our guests of honour were Alex Cox, Frank Oz, James B. Harris, Tim Hunter, Belgian cult director Harry Kumel, Nicolas Cage, Amanda Plummer, Ed Pressman, Jim McBride, Philippe de Broca, Andrzej Zulawski, Ken Russell, Jerry Schatzberg, James Toback, Bruno Barreto, Radley Metzger and Ted Kotcheff who have all attended the Festival for the retrospectives of their work. Iciar Bollain, Seymour Cassel, Asia Argento, Stacy Cochran, Richard Stanley, Ben Gazzara, Larry Clark, Tim Blake Nelson, Luke and Andrew Wilson, Stacy Keach, Michael Wadleigh, Scott McGehee & David Siegel, Timothy Bottoms and Roger Fritz attended the Festival for tributes in their honour.

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", "The Fountain" by Darren Aronofsky, "Tyson" by James Toback, "Villa Amalia" by Benoit Jacquot and indie hits like Larry Fessenden's "Habit", Cory McAbee's "The American Astronaut", Michael Polish's "Northfork", Paul Provenza's "Aristocrats", Susan Buice and Arin Crumley's "Four Eyed Monsters", "The Guatemalan Handshake" by Todd Rohal, "Sisters" by Douglas Buck, "Choke" by Clark Cregg, "Staten Island" by James DeMonaco and "Natural Selection" by Robbie Pickering received their celebrated German premiere in Oldenburg.

As a result of the Festival's superior programme that focuses on independent filmmaking, press and industry often call the Oldenburg Film Festival the European/German Sundance:

"The German Sundance"
Screen International

"Not only the repeatedly quoted comparison with the Sundance Festival in the USA where the Oldenburg International Film Festival is called the European Sundance shows the rapid development of this festival, which was until recently a secret tip in the festival circuit."
Filmecho Filmwoche (German nationwide trade magazine)

"One of the most off-beat festivals in Europe."

"Germany's leading indie film festivals"
The Hollywood Reporter

"An interesting and inspriring mix of great premieres, suprising discoveries and original independent productions. An ecclectic and attractive programme has been the result for the past years."

"Germany’s quirkiest film event still is going strong.”
The Hollywood Reporter

German Independence Award - Best Film
Seymour Cassel Award for an outstanding performance
German Independence Award - Best Short Film

1. General Information
Being a "non competitive film festival" the Oldenburg International Film Festival has a tradition of covering the film scene in all its aspects. Applications of feature films, short films and documentaries of all origins are acceptable.

2. Date
The 25th Oldenburg International Film Festival takes place from Sep 12-16, 2018.

3. The Festival is composed of the following categories:
Independent Section, International Section, Midnite Xpress, Short Film Section, Retrospective, Tribute.

4. Selection
The Oldenburg International Film Festival selection committee decides which films will participate in the Festival. The committee's decision is final and no correspondence will be entered into. Successful submissions will be informed by August 15, 2018 approximately.

5. Film Length
Submitted short films should not be longer than 49 minutes; submitted features must be longer than 49 minutes.

6. Screening Format
For screening purposes DCP, Blu-ray, ProRes all PAL European standard.

7. Conditions of Entry and Eligibility
At the time of entry (if not via filmfreeway) a preview DVD (PAL or NTSC) or a secure online link should be sent at the sender's cost to:
Oldenburg International Film Festival
Bahnhofstrasse 15
26122 Oldenburg
or via mail to:

Along with the screener we welcome you to send us the following material:
* a detailed synopsis of the film
* the biography, filmography and a recent photo of the director
* photographs or transparencies of the film
* press materials and posters
* a listing of the film's participation and awards received at any other film festivals.

All films must be available in German, English or with English subtitles if not in German or English.

The festival is not responsible for returning support material and viewing DVDs.
Participation in the Festival obliges winners to include the logo of the festival and the prize when advertising the film (i.e.) on posters and in advertisements.

8. Awards
Within the Independent Section of the festival, three prizes are awarded:
a) The "German Independence Award – Best Film" for an independent film production is endowed with 2,500 Euro for the director. All films, which are selected for the Independent section, are nominated for the award.

b) The “Seymour Cassel Award” for an outstanding performance.
The award will be judged by an international jury of three members. Following proposals put by the Advisory Board, the festival director will appoint the Jury. The festival director may be present at Jury meetings as a consultant on matters of procedure and regulations but has no right to vote. The nominated films have to be presented with English subtitles. The films are not allowed to have had their cinematic release in Germany before the festival dates.

c) The "German Independence Award - Best Short Film" for an independent short film production is awarded by a jury and is endowed with 500 Euro for the director.
The films submitted for all prizes noted above accept that the Oldenburg International Film Festival can use the winning film for own advertising purposes.

9. Transport Instructions
Film prints accepted for the festival must be available for shipment from August 7, 2018.
The festival agrees to cover the cost of shipping and insuring prints in both directions. The exceptions are shipment to or from other festivals, in which case standard practice of cost sharing will apply. All prints will be returned to the address indicated by the sender within three weeks of the last day of the festival.

10. Liability
In case of loss or damage to a print, the obligation of the festival is limited to compensating the producer or distributor only to the cost of making a new print. Prints are fully insured during the period of possession by the Oldenburg International Film Festival, normal wear and tear excepted.
The director of the festival has the right to rule on all cases not foreseen by these regulations as well as allowing for exceptions. By submitting the entry form the assigned accepts these regulations.

Overall Rating
  • Rise and Shine Films GmbH

    Our whole crew just fell in love with this festival. Thank you so much for having us! We felt very welcomed and had a wonderful festival experience! Great films, interesting people, lovely staff and lots of fun – we'll be back!

    October 2017