Slacker Comedy 'Kaptn Oskar' Big Winner at Oldenburg

Tom Lass’ improvisational title took best film and best performance honors for supporting actress Martina Schone-Radunski.

OLDENBURG – Tom Lass’ improvisational slacker-comedy Kaptn Oskar cleaned up the main awards at the 20th Oldenburg International Film Festival, claiming best film and best performance for supporting actress Martina Schone-Radunski for her small but memorable part as the protagonist’s ex-girlfriend who breaks up by setting fire to her old beau's apartment.

Comedian and filmmaker Bobcat Goldthwait chose this year's Oldenburg winners as head of the international jury, along with singer-songwriter My-Yung Park, film sales exec Kasia Karwan, director Douglas Buck and producer Ken Meyer.

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French-entry, the black-and-white 60s wrestling drama Our Heroes Died Tonight won Oldenburg's Audience Award.

Despite funding-woes, the 20th Oldenburg International Film Festival proved to be a more than worthy anniversary edition with audiences and guests alike. Early projections indicate an uptick of ticket-sales of around ten percent, an unexpected windfall that might be due to the move from the local multiplex, formerly the main screening-location, to more original locations like a hall at the former indoor parade-grounds and a state theater.

This year’s mixture of films certain had wide audience appeal with classics like John CassavetesFaces competing with Hannah Fidell’s drama A Teacher and Michael Polish’s Big Sur. Current titles creating a buzz were Seth Fisher’s tragicomedy Blumenthal, Matt Johnson’s school-shooting mockumentary The Dirties and Markus Blunder’s controversial Austrian-Western Autumn Blood, which proved divisive, thanks in particular to two graphic rape scenes.  

As for the "extracurricular activities," an important part of the festival since its inception, guests could visit screenings at the local high-security prison with well-behaved inmates by day or enjoy a wild party at Oldenburg’s former jail at night, where waitresses dressed in striped prison clothes and holding-cells served as public restrooms.

Notable guests at the festival included actress Lindsay Burdge (A Teacher), Actor Arthur Brauss, director Buddy Giovinazzo, actor Seymour Cassel, director Xan Cassavetes, German star Veronica Ferres and Swedish actor Gustaf Skarsgard, who flew in directly from the set of Vikings