“The Biggest Little Fest In Europe” - The Hollywood Reporter

Rated among the top 5 Film Festivals worldwide for Independent Films by American film critic Chris Gore in his esteemed “Ultimate Film Festival Guide”, and ranked “Top 25 Coolest Festivals in the World” by MovieMaker, Oldenburg has fostered its success with a strong commitment to innovative and Independent filmmaking.

“If there's anything that could be considered the Promised Land of Independent Cinema in Europe today, it is Oldenburg.” - Accred - L'actualité des festivals de cinéma

Labelled ‘the German Sundance’ by Variety, Hollywood Reporter, and Screen International, amongst others, Oldenburg has evolved while preserving its intimate atmosphere and founding purpose: to celebrate and support the diverse voices and visions of independent filmmakers, to honor the creativity of the artists upon which the Festival depends, and to create a unique experience and inspiring meeting place for filmmakers, audiences, and media professionals.

“Oldenburg - renown for its determination, cinephilia, and openness for the extremes - impresses with its brilliant programming.” - GRIP

Additionally, in an effort to raise awareness and build bridges between worlds through the common language of film, Oldenburg is the only Film Festival in the world that annually screens part of its regular program to incarcerated individuals who share the experience with members of the general public in an actual high-security Prison environment, known as ‘The Alcatraz of the North’.

“Oldenburg thrives as a discovery channel.” - Screen International

In addition to supporting the discovery of new artists, Oldenburg has hosted the German Premieres of films by such acclaimed filmmakers as Darren Aronofsky, Brian De Palma, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Polish, Johnnie To, Chan-wook Park, Monte Hellmann, & Takeshi Kitano amongst others. Guests of honor have included Jim McBride, Larry Clark, Philippe de Broca, Andrzej Zulawski, Ken Russell, Jerry Schatzberg, James Toback, Radley Metzger, Ted Kotcheff, Phedon Papmichael, George Armitage, Christophe Honoré, Edward R. Pressman, & Bruce Robinson who have all attended the festival for Retrospectives of their work.

“Just as impressive as the films was the festival itself, which, under the inspired direction of Torsten Neumann, combined intelligent cinephilia with a laid-back atmosphere of democratic equality.” - Sight and Sound

Nicolas Cage, Seymour Cassel, Asia Argento, Keira Knightley, Deborah Kara Unger, Mira Sorvino, Bobcat Goldthwait, Michael Wadleigh, Joanna Cassidy, Luke Wilson, Ben Gazzara, Stacy Keach, Amanda Plummer, Keith Carradine, Sean Baker, & Matthew Modine are amongst many who have attended as honored guests or for Tributes in their honor.

“Alongside Venice and Toronto, Oldenburg is considered one of the most important Autumn Festivals for Independent Cinema” - de Telegraaf

Rated #1 in Germany on The Most Important Autumn Film Festivals List for and by the German Film Industry (Blickpunkt Film), and #3 internationally after Venice & TIFF, Oldenburg is regarded as “one of the most important European festivals for independent cinema" (Tagesschau).

“Oldenburg is a pilgrimage for cineastes.”- Die Zeit

German Independence Award - Best Film
Seymour Cassel Award - 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 26th Oldenburg International Film Festival takes place from Sep 11-15, 2019.

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 16, 2019 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: submissions@filmfest-oldenburg.de

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 20, 2019.
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
  • Harry Ayiotis

    My short film premiered in Oldenburg and I have nothing but praise regarding quality of venues, communication with staff and an overall great experience for filmmakers.

    September 2018
  • 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