Filmfest Gala: The wonderful world of the prairie has its premiere/ A tribute for Seymour Cassel/ Danish Happy End for the Closing Night Gala at the State Theatre / The program is complete

»Adamstown«, a unique Western, celebrates its world premiere at the Festival Gala. Numerous premieres by young filmmakers are other highlights. The program is complete.The German premiere of Hella Joof's »Happy Ending« closes this year's Oldenburg International Film Festival. And the Festival pays Tribute to Seymour Cassel.

Wild West for the festival gala

Adamstown, Deutschland 2019, by Patrick Merz & Henning Wötzel-Herber

Adamstown is music, Adamstown is a graphic novel. Adamstown is damnation, Adamstown is our last hope. And now Adamstown has become a movie. Patrick Merz and Henning Wötzel-Herber have brought the graphic novel by Hamburg-based artist Verena Braun to the screen as a Cinemascope Western-musical set in the North German plains.

The special thing about that: the film was made without any traditional film-funding. It was produced by ABC Bildungs- und Tagungszentrum, the Hüller Medienwerkstatt and DirectorsCut. Involved in the filming were people with or without disabilities, refugee-backgrounds as well as people with diverse gender-identities, cultural and religious backgrounds. The Oldenburg International Film Festival is proud to have invited nearly the entire ensemble to the world premiere.

Filmfest Gala, Saturday, September 14, 7 pm, Oldenburg State Theatre


Closing Night – with Happy End

Happy Ending, Denmark 2018, by Hella Joof

Helle has looked forward to her husband Peter's retirement for a while. Finally, she wants to enjoy her time with him, be alone with him and travel all over the world. Have a life. Before, there was never enough time. But Peter sees things differently. Without consulting her, he invests their life-savings in a vineyard. They fight and Peter asks for a divorce. Now in their 70s and single again, they fluctuate between newly won freedom and fear of loneliness, clinging to what united them. And while Helle still believes in jointly retiring, Peter flees into a late-life crisis.

Director Hella Joof expertly portrays the changes in society and makes it clear that aging happily is also possible in a world that prizes the alleged vigor of youth above everything else. In Oldenburg, the film »Happy Ending« will celebrate its German premiere with the Closing Night. The film will come to German cinemas in November 2019. (German distributor: Camino Film)

Closing Night, Sunday, September 15, 7pm, Oldenburg State Theatre


Tribute for Seymour Cassel

On April 7 of this year, actor and longtime friend of the Oldenburg International Film Festival Seymour Cassel passed away. One of the faces of American independent film, having worked on many of John Cassavetes' films, he always effortlessly moved between Hollywood and the indies. Over the years, Oldenburg has shown more than 20 of his films and Cassel visited the North German city many times. In 2013 he was awarded the Great Seal of Oldenburg by mayor in recognition of his contributions to the city and its festival. Since 2012, the festival gives out an award for the best actor or actress in his name. The first recipient of the Seymour Cassel Award was Tom Schilling for his role in Jan-Ole Gerster's debut »A Coffee in Berlin«. This year, the festival will say goodbye to Seymour Cassel with a tribute, showing three of his most beautiful films.

Along with the classics »Minnie and Moskowitz« by John Cassavetes and »In the Soup« by Alexandre Rockwell (which will be shown in a restored version previously unavailable in Germany), there will also be a repeat of one of the most unrivaled moments in the history of the festival. When LeVar Burton’s »Reach for Me« had its world premiere in 2008 at the Oldenburg State Theatre, the film and Seymour Cassel's performance as a hospice patient were effusively celebrated as an experience the 500 members of the audience would not soon forget. Producer Charlene Blain-Schulenburg will come to Oldenburg in honor of this special screening.


Docu-Tripple: Films by filmmakers about filmmakers

In a nod to independent cinema, this year's Oldenburg International Film Festival is dedicating a series of documentaries to the realities of filmmaking. Documentaries that will celebrate their European or German premieres in Oldenburg: about the Dutch provocateur Paul Verhoeven, the Hungarian Hollywood-director Peter Medak and the American b-movie pioneer Al Adamson.

You Don’t Nomi, USA 2019, by Jeffrey McHale

»You don’t Nomi« is liberating look at a bottomless fall and miraculous revival, telling the story of Paul Verhoeven's gigantic bomb »Showgirls« and how one of the biggest cinematic disasters of all time could become a cultural phenomenon of queer cinema. EUROPEAN PREMIERE

The Ghost of Peter Sellers, CYP 2018, by Peter Medak

Drunk captains, sinking ships and a moody superstar who constantly wants to rewrite the script, fights with colleagues and even fakes a heart attack. The most beautiful film about the craziness of filmmaking and a love letter to Peter Sellers, this brilliant, tragic hero and comedian – a catharsis and an homage at the same time. GERMAN PREMIERE

Blood & Flesh: The Reel Life & Ghastly Death of Al Adamson, USA 2019, by David Gregory

Even hardened trash-horror fans will not be too familiar with the name Al Adamson. Even though he made many contributions to the Californian b-movie scene of the 70s, Adamson has to this date never gotten the respect and the prestige imparted on similar cult-directors like Roger Corman or Ed Wood. A wonderful grant of those honors for the rarely noticed Al Adamson. GERMAN PREMIERE

Other Highlights: Premieres and debuts bring exiting young cinema to Oldenburg.

The Projectionist, Dominican Republic 2019, by José María Cabral

Eliseo is a sullen, hopeless nostalgic. He lives alone and in remembrance of a past cinematic world. With his portable projector he drives from town to town to bring the cinema to the people. His biggest love is reserved for a woman, but she only exists on grainy, crackling reels of celluloid, which he nightly projects onto a bedsheet. Thousands of times he has watched the strange beauty thousands of times, dined with her, slept with her. When the old reels of film are destroyed in an accident, Eliseo decides to look for her. EUROPEAN PREMIERE

Greener Grass, USA 2019, by Jocelyn DeBoer & Dawn Luebbe

In a droll and shrill suburban hell, not only the plants are made of plastic, but its inhabitants also try to optimize themselves with lots of makeup and garish outfits. Their blind efforts at standing and acceptance lead to the most absurd situations. When one of those robot-like neighbors wakes up from this plastic nightmare, »Greener Grass« turns into an exceedingly black comedy. DeBoer and Luebbe have not only produced »Greener Grass«, but also play the leads, written the screenplay and co-directed. The film is one of the festival-sensations of this year – and after its premiere at Sundance and showings at Locarno and Deauville, they are now bringing it to Oldenburg. GERMAN PREMIERE

Patrick, Belgium 2019, by Tim Mielants

Patrick lives with his parents on a nudist campground in the middle of the Belgian countryside. After his father's death, he takes over his business. His first official act: the search for his dad's favorite hammer, which vanished recently. This curious mystery with lots of slapstick-elements turns soon into a metaphor for his mourning of his father and a quest for meaning in his own life. When the hammer turns out to be part of a crime, things get chaotic. Tim Mielants manages to walk the line between slapstick, serious questions about life itself and sensitive observations. »Patrick« won the award for best director at the Karlovy Vary film festival. GERMAN PREMIERE

Sequin in a Blue Room, Australia 2019, by Samuel Van Grinsven

»Sequin« is the screen name of a 16-year-old, who is part of the first generation of young gay teens coming of age and seeking identity in the time of social media. Always logged in, and never emotionally connected, he lies about his age and ghosts each anonymous sexual act as soon as it is over – and continues scrolling. But the chance encounter with a mysterious man is a game changer. Van Grinsven’s film won the audience award at the Sydney International Film Festival in July, where it had its world premiere. INTERNATIONAL PREMIERE

Until The Edge Of The World, Germany 2019, by Daniel Bertram

Flo's father is in a coma. She touches his fingers, whispers in his ear. But there is no reaction. Meanwhile, her mother Julia has to deal with the worst of all questions: whether to take him off life-support. Powerless, she decides to give her child a way out of this untenable situation: allowing her a fantasy that increasingly turns into a second reality for Flo: her father is an astronaut travelling to the moon. Using spectacular science fiction images and excellent actors, director Daniel Bertram brings his story to the screen with powerful visual language, great sensitivity and a fantastic and a colorful palette. WORLD PREMIERE

The Steed, Mongolia 2019, by Erdenebileg Ganbold

In Mongolia, somewhere in the never-ending expanse of the Gobi desert, a horse has become a boy's biggest pride. His friend. His companion. His entire world. But in the confusion of the first world war, their paths diverge. Erdenebileg Ganbold's breathtaking nature shots conjure up the magic of classic adventure-cinema. WORLD PREMIERE

The Gasoline Thieves, Mexico 2019, by Edgar Nito

Mexican kid Lalo is too young to leave his childhood behind. But he has to grow up. Without thinking twice, he trades his childhood for pesos. In his directorial debut, Edgar Nito follows an innocent body on his path into illegality and was rewarded with the New Director Award at the Tribeca Film Festival. EUROPEAN PREMIERE

Lillian, Austria 2019, by Andreas Horvath

Lillian has illegally ended up in New York and leaves on foot for her homeland Russia. Step by step through an America beyond the sparkling lights of the big cities, the film chronicles a disappearance in haunting images. GERMAN PREMIERE

Sons of Denmark, Denmark 2019, by Ulaa Salim

A shift to the right goes through the country. In the middle: Zakaria and Ali. Both young immigrants cannot tolerate this change and want to take action. In their bitterness, they join an extremist group and accept the empty dogma that radicalism and only be fought with radicalism. GERMAN PREMIERE

Swallow, USA 2019, by Carlo Mirabella-Davis

In the masculine world of power and success, the idealized role of a perfect housewife in a gilded cage doesn’t sit right with her. »Swallow« follows a repressed wife named Hunter who secretly ingests objects to get away from her controlling husband. She develops a rare eating disorder called »Pica« to regain control of her body. Winning numerous awards after its World Premiere in Tribeca, it is an audacious and exquisite offering. GERMAN PREMIERE

The Science of Fictions, India 2019, by Yosep Anggi Noen

Siman stumbles across a secret movie shoot in the forest. The moon-landing is being faked in front of the cameras and witnesses are unwanted. He is forced to bite off his own tongue to ensure his silence. Traumatized, he builds a rocket in his garden and starts to move like an astronaut defying gravity. The Indonesian shooting star Yosep Anggi Noenwas honored with a special mention by the jury in Locarno. GERMAN PREMIERE

You can find the complete program on our website.