OFF was rewarded a very prestigious title in the film business in 2013: OFF was acknowledged as Denmark’s first Oscar qualifying film festival. That meant that we could send the winners from our International Competition and Danish Competition straight to the pre-jury of the Academy Awards in Hollywood. In 2015 we were given yet another Oscar qualifying category; the Animation Competition. At last, from 2018 we could also send the winner of the Documentary Competition to the Oscar selection, so all of our top winners now have a shot at an Academy Award. It is also possible to win “Best Actor in a Danish Film”.
However, OFF is for all lovers of the cinema. That is why, in collaboration with Fyens Stiftstidende, we give out the Audience Award as well, which is given to the film who receives the most votes from the audience.
We also have a ‘Youth Jury Award’. The nominated films in this category are judged by a youth jury consisting of an 8th grade class from one of the local schools. They receive training in film criticism for the occasion.
Last, but not least, we award the two best pitches in the ‘Pitch Me Baby’ competition with economic support to bring their film to a reality.
A total of 14 awards are awarded the very best films at the OFF Award show.
The short film is a genre as multifaced as ever! Expect butterflies in your stomach but also brace yourself for an unwavering stare into the pits of human existence.
The number of short films in this competition consists of about 50 non-Danish international films. After a thorough viewing, they are chosen; firstly, by a pre-jury and secondly by a selection jury, who chose the film with the biggest OFF-feel. The chosen short films are shown during the festival and by the end of the festival week the jury of the international competition hands out three awards
- H. C. Andersen Award: OFF Grand Prix – The best overall short film
- Storyteller Award – Excellence in storytelling
- Artist Award – The strongest artistic expression
Furthermore, since 2019 OFF has had the honor of choosing a short film from the International Competition to be OFF’s candidate for a European Film Award (EFA).
*Notice that all films in the international competition are unsuitable for children.
Danish short films have a long tradition of excelling in the short format. They actually have won more Oscar’s than Danish feature films. But watch the films for yourself.
It is a difficult task for the jury to pick our and chose the best short film form Denmark. Some of the films also compete against international film in the main competition.
In this competition the following awards are handed out:
- Best Danish Short Film
- Filmfyn Talent Award.
- Best Danish Actor
In addition, the Danish Film Academy has shortlisted the films in this selection for their Robert award, also known as the Danish Academy Award.
*Notice that all films in the Danish competition are unsuitable for children.
We love animation at OFF. Animations films are not only for children – not at all. From exclusively screening animated films between 1975 and 1983 OFF has since expanded its definition of a short film to include all genres. Audiences are in for a stunning sensory overload with pieces of creative madness from international and Danish animators.
The Danish Animation Society (ANIS) in this competition chooses the animation jury, who hands out the awards:
- Børge Ring Award – Best Animated Short
- The Talent Award – For extraordinary archievements within Danish Animation
*Notice that all films in the animation competition are unsuitable for children.
This competition category is the place to get your fix of undiluted documentary screenings. We show documentaries that make full use of their platform to enlighten their audience; either by bringing forth a new, important subject or point-of-view, or giving an existing discussion new light.
We know long-form documentary from TV, but the short-form is still very unknown to many people. The short documentary can be very intense, and it introduces the audience to parts of the world which one would seldom (or never) otherwise experience. During less than 30 minutes the audience has the opportunity to visit areas of the world they didn’t knew existed, get to meet people with strange personalities, or to simply experience a slice of life, depicted in unusual ways.
In this competition two awards are handed out:
- Best Short Documentary
- The Soapbox Award – For achievements in positively influencing our social conscience
*Notice that all films in the documentary competition are unsuitable for children.
There is no doubt that short films are great for children and young adults, which is why we are proud to have a youth competition at OFF. Films from the other competitions at OFF are handpicked and up get selected for the youth competition. All the films are suitable for young audiences from age 14 and up. This gives the young audience a rare and fun introduction to the wonderful world of short films.
The youth competition also has a special jury, which consists of a grade from a local school and the youth jury go through special preparation for the task.
They award one film the Youth Jury Award.
OFF revolves around much more than our competition program. Our so called “Focus Programmes” consists of Q&A’s, masterclasses, and filmscreenings both retrospective, related to current affairs- and films introducing brand new topics for their audience. These programs are divided into several subcategories: Behind The Scenes, By Night!, Talent! Talent! Talent!, Explore The World, and OFF for Kids and Teens.
Through these programmes we aim to emphasize the importance of the shortfilm medium along with it’s potential within our society. We connect with our audiences by inviting them to Q&A’s with the filmmakers and create a kind of intimacy between everyone, that we feel makes up a large part of OFF’s identity.
OFF loves the talents! Every year we gather film talents from Denmark’s film education programs: Super8, EFC, Super16, 18Frames, The Danish Film School and the Animation School Viborg. We hope to bring synergy and better collaboration among the various professional groups which are part of a film production – including both Danish and international filmmakers.
The talent portion of OFF is a flourishing success every year where Denmark’s film talents get the opportunity to meet international and fellow Danish professionals, and to inspire and network.
The programmes include workshops, speeding dates, panels, and talks, all of which had a relevant focus on film production and film exposure.
Odense Filmværksted has since 2008 organized Talent Camp for young filmmakers in the festival week with participation of both Nordic and international talents. About 20 participants have the opportunity to immerse themselves in the film craft with other like-minded people – all without having to worry about deadlines and budgets. There are lessons, workshops, and masterclasses from morning to evening with presenters from the Danish film industry – and they of course watch a lot of short films.
TNFF – The Next Film Festival is a film competition and film festival within OFF for Danish filmmakers under the age of 20. TNFF has for several years been a regular part of the film festive days during OFF. The films on TNFF are found at the opening semifinals of the country’s five regions and each contain radical ideas, touching stories and good laughs – all seen from a young camera angle. During OFF, TNFF offers both winning films and Q&A’s with the young directors behind the films. The audience has the opportunity to meet the filmmakers, watch the films and feel the unique energy of the youth.
Our celebration of cinema takes place all throughout the day, but also goes well into the late evenings and early nights. Every year OFF presents several programmes full of colorful, cinematic and collective experiences for all of those who want to experience our great festival ‘after dark’.
These events count Open Air-Screenings (with Danish subtitles), live podcasts, film quizzes, karaoke, and maybe a concert or two.
Behind The Scenes are events aimed at our industry guests along with those who just want to dive deep and explore the film industry. These events take the audience behind the scenes and delves into every inch of the filmmaking process.
Industry guests can furthermore encounter other representatives from festivals around the world, participate in debates or get advice on how to break into the film business.
Travel broadens the mind, which is a notion that characterizes our “Explore The World” programme, where OFF presents programmes and talks centered about international films as well as the people behind them. We’re not only focusing on specific countries, but also regions and themes across cultures.
During the festival a wide selection of short films is shown, and although many of the films contain serious and sometimes harsh adult subjects, there is also plenty of room for films for the young audience. OFF for Kids and Teens is adapted for the young audience and offers the opportunity to participate in film screenings, workshops, and talks.
Children and young people’s learning is prioritized at OFF: Therefore, most of the programmes also provide inspiration and learning tools that can be used by teachers.
Programmes for 3-11 years old are only in Danish, whereas the YOU-programmes are with English subtitles.