Open Call for Applications: The Oberhausen Seminar. Exploring contemporary artists’ moving image practice


Deadline for applications: 1 February, 2017

The International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, in conjunction with LUX (London) and the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar (New York), introduced a new programme segment in 2014 which will be held for the fourht time during the 63rd International Short Film Festival Oberhausen (11 to 16 May, 2017).

The Seminar is an experimental course exploring contemporary artists’ moving image practice in the context of a renowned international film festival. Led by Michele Pierson and Mike Zryd, it is designed to provide a platform where art and cinema meet. It is a gathering that brings together filmmakers, critics and curators, using the Oberhausen Film Festival as a laboratory to discuss ideas in the curation, production and criticism of contemporary moving image media. With the festival as text and model to examine, the cohort will closely examine film and video works, the infrastructures that allow them to circulate, and the critical frames used to curate and analyze them.

Participants: The Seminar is addressing primarily young and upcoming professionals. It is open to international artists, filmmakers, curators and researchers who work with moving images and in particular with artists’ film and video. Participants are expected to actively contribute to the course of study. Efforts will be made to create a diverse grouping of participants from different geographic regions, and to create a balanced mix of artists, curators and critics. All Seminar activities will take place in English. Only 25 applications will be selected.

Curriculum: To prepare for the Seminar, a syllabus with required and recommended readings will be sent out in advance. This document will also include logistical details about how the festival operates, the Seminar’s place within it, and an anticipated festival schedule. Once the festival programme is finalized, Pierson and Zryd will select a set of screenings for all Seminar attendees to attend, which will correspond to the Seminar conversations and guests. In advance of the Festival, all participants will be invited to submit a piece of writing or a video work which will be shared with others in the cohort through a Seminar blog.

For the six days of the Festival, the participants will meet daily to engage in in-depth conversations. Meetings will alternate between three approaches: a) group conversation (responding to a specific programme or topic); b) master class (a longer session led by a senior guest); c) guest conversation (dialogue with curators, filmmakers, distributors).

Following the festival, participants will be asked to write a short critical analysis on a particular aspect of the festival of their choosing (max. 1000 words). Oberhausen will reserve the right to make some of these available on its website or other outlets.

A detailed curriculum will be provided in April 2017.

Seminar Fees: The Seminar fee of Euro 250 (excl. transaction fees) covers all Seminar sessions plus a Festival pass and catalogue, providing access to all screenings, events and talks during the Festival, as well as refreshments and lunch for the festival period (6 days). Participants will be responsible for their own travel and accommodation (rooms at affordable rates can be provided).

Deadline for applications: 1 February, 2017

Please include a description of your work (1 page max.), your motivation to apply for participation (1 page max.) and examples of previous projects if relevant (1 page max.).

Selected applicants will be informed by 2 March, 2017.

For additional questions, please contact