As the Oldenburg Film Festival kicks off its 29th year, Germany’s leading indie film fest still prides itself on its ability to discover overlooked gems that fit in the Oldenburg sweet spot between arthouse and genre cinema.
For the 2022 event, The Hollywood Reporter has picked out five Oldenburg world premieres that look likely to set the Northern German city alight.
The Black Guelph by John Conners
Life on the Mean Streets of Dublin. The narrative feature debut of actor/screenwriter/documentarian John Connors takes inspiration from real life, including the systematic clerical sexual abuse of generations of Irish Travellers, for this tale of crime, love and struggle on the fringes of society. Featuring a potentially star-making performance by Graham Earley as Canto, a small-time drug dealer determined to break the cycle of trauma and neglect to prove himself a worthy family man.
Check out the film’s teaser below.
The City by Katsuki Kuroyanagi
This ultra-low-budget debut — Kuroyanagi spent $6,500 shooting The City over seven years — is a punk symphony about Tokyo’s Shibuya crime district, combining classic crime tropes, including a hitman on the run from the mob, with a postmodern electronic soundtrack and rapid-fire editing that promises to breathe new life into Asian neo-noir.
Check out the trailer for The City here.
Junk Space Berlin by Juri Padel
David Cronenberg goes clubbing in this low-fi sci-fi from German director Juri Padel. When an interdimensional rift splits Berlin in two and her friend Billie disappears in the in-between, Marion and hacktivist Blue try to rescue her, only to find the closer they get, the less hold they have on reality.
Check out the trailer for Junk Space Berlin here.
Murmur by Mark Polish
This new techno-horror from the Twin Falls, Idaho and Jackpot actor/screenwriter Mark Polish follows social media stars who become guinea pigs for “Murmur,” a new app that breaks down the boundaries between reality and fantasy. When the influencers venture into the woods to test the new tech, they get drawn into the darkest corners of their own imagination. Polish’s daughter Logan Polish, of Apple TV+’s The Mosquito Coast, stars.
Check out the trailer for Murmur here.
Subject 101 by Tom Bewilogua
A paranoid thriller in the spirit of John Frankenheimer’s classic The Manchurian Candidate, this German feature from director Tom Bewilogua imagines a nightmare scenario for a homeless migrant living in a government-funded housing project who is looking for a new start with a multinational temporary employment agency. But they have different plans for him….
The 2022 Oldenburg International Film Festival runs Sept. 14-18.