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Oldenburg Film Festival

30th Oldenburg International Film Festival September 13 - 17, 2023 

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.

The only festival in the world to play films in jail and invite festival guests with inmates.



Award winners of the 25th Oldenburg International Film Festival and Closing Statement




The 25th edition started with several premieres: on Wednesday the opening gala for the first time took place in the congress center. With the European premiere of Sarik Andreasyan‘s  “Unforgiven”, it was also the first time that a film from outside of Germany opened the festival. Numerous stars on the red carpet being cheered by hundreds off and also provided a great kickoff.


Not blockbusters or mainstream productions, but ambitious and risky independent films once again made the Oldenburg International Film Festival, also known and praised as the "German Sundance" a creative and lively place for all filmmakers present. With Isabella Eklöf’s chilling debut “Holiday”, one of the most praised directorial debuts of the year, celebrated its German premiere in Oldenburg. Many international and world premieres, among them “King of Beasts” by Tomer Almagor, which provides never seen insights into big game hunting, made the festival the center of young and upcoming cinema.


The Oldenburg International Film Festival honored Academy Award winner Keith Carradine with a tribute this year, one of the great character actors who has fascinated audiences since the early 70s with his roles in cinema and on television. Oldenburg also hosted Alan Rudolph‘s most recent film “Ray meets Helen”, in which Carradine plays one of the leads, with a European premiere.  


Bruce Robinson, who was honored with this year’s retrospective, is known as one of the most idiosyncratic directors and authors of the last 30 years. After Hollywood altered his film “Jennifer 8” against his will, Robinson turned his back on the industry and concentrated on his true passion, writing. Only with Johnny Depp and “The Rum Diary” he found his way back into the cinema. Both guests of honor, Keith Carradine and Bruce Robinson, were honored at the festival gala at the Oldenburg State Theater with the German Independence Honorary Award.


Great attention was paid to the award ceremony of the 13th star at the OLB-Walk of Fame. Academy Award winner Keith Carradine proudly unveiled his star and later signed every autograph he was asked for.


With more than 15.500 admissions at the festival cinemas, the congress hall of the Weser Ems Hallen, Oldenburg State Theater and the internationally unique prison screenings, where guests and inmates can jointly enjoy the cinema, there was once again a strong interest in the Oldenburg International Film Festival. A multi-faceted and artistically lively festival ended on Sunday night with the Closing Night Gala, the closing film “Promise At Dawn” by Eric Barbier and the announcement of the winners.


The short film jury, consisting of the actors Tim Haars and Neda Rahmanian, and producer Dagmar Jacobsen presented the German Independence Award for the best short film to “Fauve” by Jeremy Comte.


The Seymour Cassel Award for the best actors this year was given to Victoria Carmen Sonne for the leading role in “Holiday” and Gabriela Ramos for “Is that you?” by members of the Festival’s Advisory Board.


The Statement of the Advisory Board:
“In one of the most relevant films of the year, the actress captures the morally fueled despair in a capitalist world – her nuanced performance is translucent, and her raw power, bravery, and commitment is extraordinary as she brings to life a point of view rarely depicted so honestly.
The Seymour Cassel Award for Outstanding Performance goes to “Victoria Carmen Sonne” for ‘Holiday’.

Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, people standing

Each year, we have the blessing of Seymour Cassel to award 2 ‘Outstanding Performances’ in his name.  This year, there have been so many truly wonderful performances by male & female actors, but in particular it has been an incredible year of outstanding performances by women – from Marisa Tomei, Emily Mortimer, Elle Fanning, Molly Ringwald, Sienna Miller, to Doro Müggler just to name a few. It is thrilling to see such rich roles and strong representation.


This year, the 2nd Seymour Cassel Award for Outstanding Performance will also be awarded to an actress.  With few words this actress not only carries an entire film, but fully coveys a gamut of emotions and complex psychological states with transformational skill and insight seemingly beyond her tender ag e. She is a new force in cinema, a true discovery, we are honored to support her journey. The Seymour Cassel Awards for Outstanding Performance goes to “Gabriela Ramos” for ‘Is that you?’

The main award, the German Independence Award for the Best Film in the independent section went to “Temporary Difficulties“ by Mikhal Raskhodnikov. It was once again awarded and endowed by the longtime main sponsor of the festival, the Oldenburgische Landesbank. The winner also received additional sponsoring by Alias Film & Sprachtransfer GmbH for subtitling.


Guests of this year’s festival were besides Bruce Robinson (Retrospektive) and Keith Carradine (Tribute), Deborah Kara Unger and RP Kahl, Molly Ringwald (All these small moments) and Sabine Timoteo (Don’t tell me you can’t sing). The German cult director Thomas Stiller had with „Angst in meinem Kopf“ and „Bombengeschäft“ even two films at the festival and was accompanied by his actors Ralph Herford and Marco Hofmeister.


The 25th Oldenburg International Film Festival was a roaring event and a full success.


Photos and more information about this film are available at


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About Oldenburg Film Festival

(Oldenburg International Film Festival)


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