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.

Labelled ‘the European 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.

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’.

In addition to supporting the discovery of new artists, Oldenburg has hosted German Premieres of films by such acclaimed filmmakers as Darren Aronofsky, Brian De Palma, Steven Soderbergh, Michael Polish, Johnnie To, Chan-wook Park, and 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, George Armitage, Christophe Honoré, & Edward R. Pressman, who’ve all attended the festival for Retrospectives of their work.

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, and Matthew Modine are also amongst many who have attended with their works as honored guests of the festival.

Rated #1 in Germany on The Most Important Autumn Film Festivals List for and by the German Film Industry (Blickpunkt Film),Oldenburg is regarded as »one of the most important European festivals for independent cinema« (Tagesschau). As »Germany’s leading indie film fest« (The Hollywood Reporter), »Oldenburg: the European Sundance…has become a must on the festival circuit« (Cannes Market News)”.