Their own signature, a striking drive to create, historic achievements, or completely new perspectives: In these film series or retrospectives, we honor important institutions or representatives of the short form who put their mark on the international film landscape—either currently or in the past—with outstanding work.

With the German video artist Bjørn Melhus, the German documentarian Alex Gerbaulet, and the Austrian media artist Anna Vasof, three distinguished filmmakers personally
present their courageous and multiple-award-winning work at the Austrian Film Museum.

Gerbaulet inaugurates this year’s series on Wednesday, with four documentary essays sporting strong sociopolitical undertones. On Thursday, Vasof will introduce her unusual “non-stop stop-motion” technique in a masterclass, and in the evening Melhus—in cooperation with sixpackfilm—guests with the first part of his retrospective. The second parts of Vasof’s and Melhus’s retrospectives follow on Friday and Saturday, respectively.

This year, we are delighted to welcome a whopping five artists in residence: María Molina Peiró, who took home an award in the Animation Avantgarde category last year and presents her new film in our Those We Love program this year; the interdisciplinary artists Hanna Pajala-Assefa and Alla Kovgan; and the director duo Corina Schwingruber Ilic and Nikola Ilic, whose All Inclusive will be shown at the opening event and who also created the image used in this year’s festival design. (Daniel Ebner)

© Alex Gerbaulet

Alex Gerbaulet

The works of the German artist, filmmaker, and curator Alex Gerbaulet (*1977) oscillate between video art and documentary film, activist impulses and fictionalized reflection. In her investigations of the representability of reality and memory, she doggedly scrapes off layer after layer to gradually reveal history as well as that which has been individually or collectively repressed. She digs deep in her active search and research, which in combination with her essayistic style manifests personal urgency and a clear political stance. Gerbaulet studied philosophy, media studies, and liberal arts in Braunschweig and Vienna, worked for Bjørn Melhus in Kassel from 2012 to 2014, and since has been a producer at pong film in Berlin. Over time, her films have become formally more rigid, and also more complex and mysterious. At VIS 2016, Gerbaulet received the Elfi Dassanowsky Award for best directing. (Daniel Ebner)

Alex Gerbaulet will be present.

© Anna Vasof

Anna Vasof

The quirky miniatures of the Greek-born, Vienna-based architect and media artist Anna Vasof (*1985) take pleasure in ripping holes into the familiar rules and regulations in a mixture of performance, art, and expanded cinema. Vasof uses the basic mechanisms of the filmic apparatus, decoding its poetic mechanisms as well as the complexity of human perception in her experiments. Following the principles of the stop-motion technique, she creates the illusion of constant movement with her “non-stop stop-motion” works that are inspired by everyday objects, social contradictions, and a startli ng imagination. Vasof’s animation technique is also the focus of her dissertation at the University of Applied Arts Vienna as well as her masterclass at VIS. Since 2004, Vasof’s shorter-than-short films—which she produces at a surprisingly fast rate—have been presented at festivals and in artistic contexts around the world, garnering numerous awards. (Daniel Ebner)

Anna Vasof will be present.

© Bjørn Melhus

Bjørn Melhus

The works of the German video and in­stallation artist Bjørn Melhus have garnered international praise at festivals and in the art world since the early 1990s. Melhus (*1966) was part of the first generation growing up with the mass medium of television. He states his sensibilities were primarily shaped by US movies and series (such as Flipper and Lassie), which confronted him with virtual identification figures. The reflection of the self in stereotypes conveyed by the media and the playful examination of all kinds of genres, TV formats, and popular culture are central aspects of his art. He creates his soundtracks by sampling dialog fragments, music, and sounds. As they dictate the narrative, he plays all characters himself. He is interested in a critique not only of the superficial world of media and its influence on emotions and desires but also of capitalism and other promises of a better life. (Brigitta Burger-Utzer)

Bjørn Melhus will be present.