The 29th edition of Filmfest Oldenburg started brilliantly in every aspect. On Wednesday, the festival opened with the German contribution »The Ordinaries«, by Sophie Linnenbaum, in the Congress Hall of the Weser-Ems-Hallen.

On the Red Carpet, numerous star guests and hundreds of fans made for a euphoric start.

Not blockbuster and mainstream productions, but ambitious and risk-taking independent films once again made this year's Oldenburg International Film Festival, hailed as the »German Sundance«, a creative and lively place for all filmmakers present.

This year's retrospective was dedicated to Peter Hyams and John Hyams. Peter Hyams, who can look back on a career spanning 40 years in Hollywood, often is not only the director of his films, but also the screenwriter and cinematographer at the same time.

The tribute honoree is a woman who 50 years ago became an icon of the sexual revolution with an irresistible mix of nonchalance and eroticism in the films of Harry Kümel or Ulrich Schamoni: Andrea Rau.

The honors took place during the concert »Bernard Herrmann: Classics of Film Music« by the symphonic youth orchestra Siam Sinfonietta conducted by Maestro Somtow Sucharitkul at the Lambertikirche.

While the number of viewers increased by about 20% to a total of 9,000 in the festival cinemas, the Congress Hall of the Weser-Ems-Hallen, the Lambertikirche and the Oldenburg State Theater, a proportionally comparable decline in viewers was observed in the digital screenings. This trend is further evidence that audiences crave real-life culture and that the festival cannot be replaced by digital alternatives.

The short film competition winner was a film about the psychology of love, self-perception, and self- worth. A tense story about wanting to be needed, no matter what the cost. Samuel
Bereuther’s »Jockstrap Jesus« is a German relationship drama dressed up as a thriller or perhaps more likely a thriller dressed up as a relationship drama that has an intensity that can keep audiences hooked and questioning the characters’ true intentions from beginning to end.

The Seymour Cassel Award for Best Actor this year went to Cyndie Lundy for the lead role
in »Parsley« and to Graham Earley in »The Black Guelph«.The Advisory Board also honored the film »Aberrance« by Baatar Batsukh with the Audacity Award and the Spirit of Cinema Award was given to the film »Brothers« by Darkhan Tulegenov.


Born Free. In 2022, the Festival collaborated with Award-winning Austrian filmmaker and composer, Andreas Horvath, to create the 2022 Trailer "Born Free", by using  footage from his last film "Zoo Lockdown", which had his world premiere in Karlovy Vary and will celebrate its German premiere in Oldenburg. During lockdown, Horvath had the unique opportunity to film the animals in the Salzburg Zoo. Without visitors, the essence of their situation is purely observed, as is the realization that a life in captivity, a life without freedom, is always the most serious violation of an individual's being. Protection of the species loses much of  its theoretical weight and justification in the face of the images Horvath captures. And for us, after more than two years of the pandemic, looking into eyes of these beings is like looking in the mirror.