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»Films are the mirror of the prevailing society.«
— Siegfried Kracauer
Oliver Baumgarten
Publisher, Curator & Lecturer

01 Projects

Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis

Since 2014 I am programme manager and curator of the Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis in Saarbrücken. The Max Ophüls Preis is considered the most important festival for the up-and-coming German-speaking film and yearly takes place in January.


Filmplus is a Europe-wide unique forum for film editing and the art of montage, which Nikolaj Nikitin and I founded in 2001 and since then annually host it for four days in Cologne.


SOFA – School of Film Agents is an intensive training and workshop programme for film mediators from Middle and Eastern Europe, Germany and the republics of Caucasus. Developed and organised by us as Filmplus UG, SOFA yearly takes place at Wroclaw/Poland since 2013.

Talent Press

Since its first edition in 2004, I supervise the international workshop »Talent Press« at Berlinale Talents. Every year we invite eight up-and-coming film critics from all over the world to the Berlin International Film Festival to work with experts on their writing skills.

The Celluloid Curtain

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the construction of the Berlin Wall, Nikolaj Nikitin and I curated for the Goethe-Institut London and EUNIC a programme of eleven historic spy films from both sides of the Iron Curtain. In 2011/2012, the film programme was presented in London, Berlin, Budapest, Vilnius, Zagreb and Helsinki.

Europe in Shorts

An official project of the European Capital of Culture Programme RUHR.2010, I conceived, curated and headed the short film website EUROPE IN SHORTS. This web portal streamed 50 short films from 31 European countries, accompanied by a rich editorial surrounding of analyses, reviews and interviews. EUROPE IN SHORTS continued in 2011 with presentations of short films from five European film schools.

Juries and Committees

I have been a member of juries on several international film festivals (Oberhausen, Tromsø, Cracow, Lissabon, Munich, Athens et al.) and different selection committees (Next Generation 2008, Cinema for Peace 2009, German Cinematography Award 2014-2016, Berlinale Co-Production Market 2012-2014 et al.). Since 2013 I am assigned for the juries of the Film- und Medienbewertung Wiesbaden (FBW), a German federal institution for the rating of films. I am a member of the Verband der deutschen Filmkritik and the Fédération Internationale de la Presse Cinématographique (FIPRESCI).


02 Publications

Das Filmmagazin

In 1995, I co-founded the film quarterly »Schnitt« and was the editor-in-chief for its printed and online editions until 2010. In January 2013 the project was concluded.

Film und Medien NRW
Das Magazin

Since 1998 I am part of the editorial staff of »Film und Medien NRW – Das Magazin« (formerly known as »Newsletter NRW«). Focusing on film business in Northrhine-Westphalia the magazine is published six times a year by the Film- und Medienstiftung NRW. I was its editor-in-chief between 2012 und

Berlinale Talents
The Magazine

Between 2004 and 2014, I wrote and edited all English-language main programme publications of Berlinale Talents.

Film Trade Publications

I regularly contribute to film trade publications like »Blickpunkt: Film«, »Cinearte« or »Film & TV Kameramann«, covering recent and historic film topics. Further articles and essays are published in »Cinegraph – Lexikon zum deutschsprachigen Film«, in several film books, in the feuilleton of newspapers like »Kölner Stadt-Anzeiger« and »Frankfurter Rundschau« as well as in television (Arte’s »Kurzschluss« et al.) and radio features (WDR 5, Deutschlandradio).

Festival Catalogues

As author and copy editor I completed catalogues for several international film festivals as the Berlinale Talent Campus, the Zurich Film Festival, the European Film Academy Master Class Ruhr, the KunstFilmBiennale Cologne, the International Film Festival Oldenburg and others.


Since 2006 I have written different film related surveys on behalf of the Filmstiftung NRW, the City of Cologne as well as the cultural film network (»Netzwerk Filmkultur NRW«).


As copy editor, co-publisher and/or author I completed seven books on film in the Schnitt Verlag as well as ten »Filmkalender« in the Schüren Verlag. Among them publications on Stanley Kubrick, the Italian Westerns, on international short films and American television series.


03 Seminars

Talent Press

Since its first edition in 2004 I am in charge of the film critics workshop »Talent Press« at the Berlinale Talents. Eight selected film critics from all over the world are invited to the Berlin to write about films and Berlinale Talents events, supvervised by experienced mentors.


I regularly give talks or lectures at different Goethe-Instituts abroad or for institute members in the framework of film festivals like International Film Festival Hof or the Berlin International Film Festival. The subjects of the talks range from film historical topics to recent German film or film criticism.

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Occasionally I teach practical film criticism at the Institute for Media Studies at the Ruhr-University in Bochum.

SAE Institute Köln

Between 2011 and 2015 I taught film history for »Digital Film & VFX« students at the SAE Institute in Cologne.


04 About me

I was born 1971 in the region of Wendland/Western Germany. I studied film and television sciences, theater and German literature at the Ruhr-University Bochum. In 1995 I co-founded the film magazine »Schnitt« and was its editor-in-chief to January 2010. Besides that, I initiated »Filmplus« in 2001, a European wide unique four-days event for film editing and montage art in Cologne, which I am co-hosting since then. As Co-CEO of the Filmplus gemeinnützige UG I furthermore helped developing SOFA – School of Film Agents, an intensive training and workshop programme for film mediators from Middle and Eastern Europe, Germany and the republics of Caucasus, that we yearly organize at Wroclaw/Poland since 2013. In mid 2014 I was appointed programme manager of the Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis in Saarbrücken, the most important festival for the up-and-coming German-speaking film.

Since 2004 I am running »Talent Press« at Berlinale Talents, the Berlinale section for up-and-coming filmmakers from all around the world. Conceived and developed together with FIPRESCI and the Goethe-Institut, »Talent Press« promotes young international film critics.

As a film curator I conceive film programmes like »The Celluloid Curtain«, a Goethe-Institut London initiative in 2011/2012, or the 2016 presentation of young German cinema at the Film Festival Cinematik in Piestany, Slovakia. As a publicist I regularly contribute to newspapers and film publications in print, radio and tv on recent and historic film and media topics; as a lecturer I teach film history and film criticism.


05 News

SOFA-Workshop in Tbilisi

From April 30 to May 5, 2017 we’ve organized for the first time a Tbilisi workshop in the frame of SOFA – School of Film Agents. With this premiere the new regular cycle of our programme has been established: from now on all SOFA-participants will pass two trainings, the first workshop in Warsaw/Poland in August and the follow-up workshop next May in Georgia. Don’t sit on your couch, join SOFA!

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06 Contact