Celebrating the Independent Spirit
"Since its debut in 1994, Internationales Filmfest Oldenburg has grown to become the premier European independent festival, dubbed by the trades the “European Sundance.” Festival director Torsten Neumann (himself an accomplished filmmaker, producer of RP Kahl’s recent BEDWAYS from Strand Releasing) has made the annual September event, located in the small medieval German city of Oldenburg roughly equidistant between Hamburg and Amsterdam, an exciting and exhilarating celebration of cinema. Chris Gore, in his definitive The Ultimate Film Festival Survival Guide, rates Oldenburg among the top five fest worldwide, heady praise indeed in a world populated with thousands of international film festivals."
-National Board of Review, Between Action And Cut
Since its inception, the Oldenburg International Film Festival has fostered its success as a festival with a strong commitment to innovative and independent filmmaking.
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 honour 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. 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.
In addition to supporting the discovery of new artists, the Oldenburg Film Festival has hosted the German Premiere Screening of films by such acclaimed filmmakers as Darren Aronofsky, Brian De Palma, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Polish, Johnnie To, Monte Hellmann and Larry Clark, amongst others. Guests of honor have included Jim McBride, Philippe de Broca, Andrzej Zulawski, Ken Russell, Jerry Schatzberg, James Toback, Radley Metzger, Ted Kotcheff, Phedon Papamichael and Mania Akbari who have all attended the festival for Retrospectives of their work. Seymour Cassel, Asia Argento, Ben Gazzara, Luke & Andrew Wilson, Stacy Keach, Peter Lohmeyer, Michael Wadleigh, Scott McGehee & David Siegel, Roger Fritz, Deborah Kara Unger, Matthew Modine, Mira Sorvino, Veronica Ferres and Bobcat Goldthwait have also attended the festival as guests of honor.
Regarded as “one of the most important European festivals for independent cinema" - Tagesschau, German Films also evaluated the Oldenburg International Film Festival as "the most significant and most active festival in the presentation of [international] independent films, and therefore the appropriate platform into the German-speaking market. "As “Germany’s leading indie film fest” -Hollywood Reporter, “Oldenburg: the German Sundance…has become a must on the festival circuit” -Cannes Market News.