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18th VIENNA SHORTS – Four Main Awards Go Female Directors

18th VIENNA SHORTS – Four Main Awards Go Female Directors

German animation “The Natural Death of a Mouse” by Katharina Huber wins two awards – Austrian co-production by Jyoti Mistry (ZA) in the Oscar race – “BELLA” by Thelyia Petraki is European Film Award candidate – Austrian Music Video Award to Lorenz Uhl – Prizes worth more than € 20,000 awarded

The international short film festival VIENNA SHORTS came to a festive end today, Tuesday evening, with the award winners of the 18th edition. Four of the festival's main prizes went to women, and the German animation The Natural Death Of A Mouse by Katharina Huber received two awards. Huber's surreal, surprising and profound look into our sensitivities convinced the jury of the international competition Animation Avantgarde, who also sent the film into the race for the Oscars. In addition, Huber was awarded Best Female Director for her “brilliant pastiche of unique animation style, found footage, live action and period religious artwork.”

Also entering the race for the Oscars is the Austrian co-production Cause of Death by South African director Jyoti Mistry, which was awarded the top prize in the Austrian Competition by the jury. The documentary work about structural violence against women was praised as an “angry poem” and “a work that uncompromisingly sings for life.” The top prize in the Fiction & Documentary international competition went to the Serbian coming-of-age film Armadila by Gorana Jovanović, which “talks with all the courage in the world about feelings that have yearned for expression since humans have started telling stories” and was therefore described by the jury as a “stroke of luck.” The film also qualified for the Oscars with the award.

The jury prizes in the three competitions went to Greece's Thelyia Petraki (BELLA), France's Yann Chapotel (Inside) and Austria's Michael Heindl (Spring Will Not Be Televised). Petraki's BELLA, a “versed and candid period film with a remarkable protagonist” which is “an account of idealism and passion, in both private and public life, with great fragility but also with immense power,” was also chosen by the jury as a candidate for the European Film Award. Petraki and Chapotel will additionally be invited to artist residencies at Vienna's Museumsquartier in 2022 based on this award.

Music Video Award again for Oehl video – Audience Awards for Animations

The Austrian Music Video Award went into its ninth edition during the festival and brought a repeat winner: the band Oehl already had the pleasure of celebrating its director Rupert Höller for the video to Über Nacht last year; this year Lorenz Uhl was awarded the prize by the jury for his video BRUMM BRUMM for YUKNO x Oehl feat. Autodrom. No less than 16 videos were nominated for the award; the presentation of the videos on Sunday included a concert at the jazz club Porgy & Bess.

Lena Kuzmich received a Special Mention for her visual interpretation of Lost Islands for Tony Renaissance. Other Special Mentions of the festival went to the Austrians Tina Frank (Frozen Jumper), Karin Ferrari (m h y t n i x) and Christoph Schwarz (Civilization) as well as to the Dutchman Sebastian Mulder (NAYA). The audience, in turn—which this year could only vote online—chose the French animation Empty Places by Geoffroy de Crécy and Letters from a Window by Nigel Gavus and İlkin Beste Çırak. The latter received the Audience Award for the best Austrian film under ten minutes. Already on Saturday, the Prix très chic pour le film le plus extraordinaire went to the Canadian animation Fruit by Ivan Li.

VIENNA SHORTS screened 310 films online this year on the festival's own film portal, and a third of the program was also shown at short notice at several venues in Vienna. A total of 21,600 euros worth of prizes were awarded this year. “We are happy that we were able to offer films on the big screen at such short notice,” said festival directors Doris Bauer & Daniel Ebner. “The parallel activities in digital and real space were definitely successful, but took a lot of energy. It remains to be seen how this hybrid field can develop.” The festival's film portal will be open to the public until midnight Wednesday (June 2, 23:59) and to professional visitors until June 20. The European festival portal THIS IS SHORT will award its prizes on June 21 and will be available thereafter until June 30.

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