The competition is separated into four sections: Fiction & Documentary contains a selection of international narrative and documentary shorts, whereas Animation Avantgarde features international innovative short animation films. The National Competition is conceived as a showcase of current Austrian short film-making, no matter if fiction, animation or documentary. The Austrian Music Video Award, which emerged from the 2013 created Screensessions, presents the best music videos by Austrian musicians and filmmakers.
In six sections, the international Fiction & Documentary competition shows smart and powerful films that—using the magic of cinema—explore the world in unusual ways. From about 3,000 submissions for this slate, thirty-two live action and documentary shorts from altogether twenty countries were selected that challenge and fascinate us in terms of their form and content. All selected films—among them works by new talents as well as established filmmakers—make their Austrian premiere at VIS, some of them even make their international or world premiere.
Half the films selected for competition are European productions, the rest are from either North or South America or Asia. Along with the diversity of nationalities, we are delighted about the gender equality in our selection: 50 percent of the films were either directed or codirected by women. We thank all filmmakers who submitted their films and our selection teams who have been a tireless and enthusiastic support over many months.
We want to invite you to take this first-rate cinephile journey around the world, to look back at the past, glance into the future, and to lose yourself in these stories, which are at times emotional or social, at times ingenious or fatal. We look forward to a festival week with the guests of the six competition programs, to the audience’s curiosity, and to insightful conversations. (mm)
Doris Bauer (db) & Marija Milovanovic (mm)
Doris Bauer, Marija Milovanovic, Daniel Ebner (de)typo3/sysext/cms/layout/db_layout.php?id=14&#
Wouter Jansen, Mathieu Janssen, Christof Kurzmann, Diana Mereoiu
We have reason to celebrate: This year marks the tenth anniversary of the international competition Animation Avantgarde! And the program’s basic concept, which has remained a staple for our audience, hasn’t changed a bit: We aspire to achieve the greatest diversity in terms of content and technology and focus on films that break new ground off the beaten path. This unique position is recognized internationally, as is evident in the large number of high-caliber submissions and the support from festivals with similar concepts, such as the young GLAS Animation Festival in Berkeley.
This year’s festival includes three programs without a thematic focus. They nonetheless sport their own tonalities and golden threads, as they are grouped around “centerpieces,” as it were. These centerpieces are the expressive cartoon III by Marta Pajek (PL), a border-crossing encounter of two lovers, the unusual found-footage film E-Ticket by Simon Liu (US), an experimental journey around the world bursting with color, or Anna Vasof’s (AT) latest, the musically collaged performance film Hitting my Head on the World. A total of thirty-five short films from nineteen countries will be shown—from internationally renowned artists such as Boris Labbé, Skirmanta Jakaité, Peter Millard, Paul Bush, Gina Kamentsky, Roberto Catani, and Ross Hogg to a range of remarkably talented newcomers. (tr)
Thomas Renoldner (tr) & Wiktoria Pelzer (wp)
In cooperation with ASIFA Austria
In compiling this year’s Austrian Competition, our team has been motivated first and foremost by considerations of artistic achievement and filmmaking quality––not to be confused with prestige “quality filmmaking,” of course. The Austrian scene can, like anywhere, produce its share of glossy and well-made shorts, which may perhaps be intended as the first draft of a potential feature or a calling-card intended to springboard its maker to a higher rung of the career ladder. However, we tend to seek out the offbeat, the unusual, the risky and the daring. And we’re happy to report that there’s no shortage of strong material upon which to draw.
The tradition of short films in Austria is of course a long and venerable one, but for decades it has stood out––even in the noisy European landscape––as a place where challenging experimentation and bold originality are not just tolerated but actively promoted and supported (and forever may this be the case!). This hammer of audacity is of course primarily to be heard in the clangorously vibrant avant-garde sphere, but its echoes can be detected throughout almost every facet of the cinematic landscape, from fictions to documentaries to animations and all points in between.
The twenty-three truly diverse films selected for competition this year all somehow have some of this energy, somewhere in their DNA. It’s almost impossible to be from Austria, or to work there for any period of time, without some element of these sparks emerging into the art which is produced. Something in the air: Something in the water: Something on the screen. (ny)
Neil Young (ny)
Bojana Bregar, Daniel Ebner, Clara Schermer, Neil Young
Presented by orf.at
This year marks the seventh edition of the Austrian Music Video Award, which emerged from the Screensessions, a link between music videos and live acts. If mystical numerology is to be believed, we are now reaching the perfect unity of body and soul. We cannot say for sure whether this is the case, but in any event, we are ready to once again celebrate the unity of image and sound, video and music. Many film and music makers explored the meaning of the two sensory planes last year and endeavored to connect them or skillfully pit them against each other.
In the wake of music television’s demise (RIP MTV) and the ever more confusing wealth of material on YouTube, we look forward to presenting the works created in this torrent in due fashion. Let’s pack our things—last year’s sixteen best music videos by Austrian musicians and filmmakers in tow—move into the hallowed halls of the Burg Kino, and celebrate music videos and their many excellent directors and artists who keep enriching our lives with this art-
form! The award itself will be presented on Sunday as part of the overall awards ceremony by our jury of experts. And those who simply can’t get enough of these audiovisual works of art shouldn’t miss the international music video program Dancing Screen at Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus Thursday night. (ce)
Christoph Etzlsdorfer (ce)
Christoph Etzlsdorfer, Marco Celeghin, Samira Saad, Theresa Pointner
Presented by the gap