© VIS | Andreas Kepplinger

VIS 2017: Triumph for US Documentary - Animation Films steal the show

Two main prizes for "The Rabbit Hunt" by Patrick Bresnan - "In erster Linie" by Veronika Schubert wins Best Austrian Film - the Animation award goes to doyen Steven Woloshen - David OReilly and Gabriel Abrantes on the Oscar® longlist

The Rabbit Hunt by US director Patrick Bresnan received two main prizes at the 14th edition of VIS Vienna Shorts: the 12 minute documentary was awarded the Vienna Short Film Award (4,000 euros granted by the City of Vienna), being deemed the best film of the international competition "Fiction & Documentary", as well as the "Jury Prize - Documentary" qualifying it for the Oscars®. The media-critical animation In erster Linie (First and Foremost) by Veronika Schubert was chosen as Best Austrian Film, winning 5,000 euros (granted by the VdFS and the Vienna Tourist Board).

The main prize of the international competition "Animation Avantgarde", supported by ASIFA Austria with a 2,000 euros prize, went to the the Canadian doyen Steven Woloshen for the abstract handmade animation Casino. In turn, the "Jury Prize - Animation", for which both international and Austrian animations are eligible, went to Everything by Irish filmmaker David OReilly, which also lands on the longlist for the Academy Awards®, like Bresnan and the Portuguese Gabriel Abrantes. Abrantes was awarded the "Jury Prize - Fiction" for his surreal essay A Brief History of Princess X.

Best Director, Newcomer and Special Prizes have also been decided

The best female directors at the Festival for Short Film, Animation and Music Video, which took place between June 1st - 6th and gathered almost 350 films in four competitions as well as in its Specials, Spotlight and Live-Performance sections, were Chilean director Maite Alberdi and the Lithuanian director Giedrė Žickytė. Their documentary Yo no soy de aqui (I'm Not From Here) received the Elfi Dassanowsky Foundation Award, amounting to 1,000 euros. The Best Newcomer Award, granted by the VAM and amounting to 2,000 euros, was given to director Sara Kern for the Austrian co-produced film Srečno, Orlo! (Good luck, Orlo!). The French filmmaker Boris Labbé (Orogenesis) received a one-month Artist-in-Residence grant in the MuseumsQuartier Wien for his exceptional performance in the field of animation and experimental film.

The youth jury decided to give their prize for the Austrian competition to Bier & Calippo (Beer & Calippo) by Paul Ploberger. The audience in turn opted for the Japanese coming-of-age movie and Sundance winner And So We Put Goldfish In The Pool by Nagahisa Makoto. The Austrian Music Video Award was already announced on Saturday, going to Peter Kutin and Florian Kindlinger for Bulletproof - VENTIL, while Territory - The Blaze by French cousins ​​Guillaume & Jonathan Alric was deemed Best International Music Video. The Prix Très Chic pour le film le plus extraordinaire was already announced on Friday: Alexander Gratzer took home the prize for the film with the most absurd and bizarre humour for his Im Wohnzimmer (In the Living Room).


All prizes and jury statements at a glance


VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 - Best International Fiction & Documentary Film
"The Rabbit Hunt" (US) by Patrick Bresnan
awarded € 4,000 by the City of Vienna

Jury Statement: A "fly-on-the-wall" enterprise that turns thrillingly "run-and-gun" to plunge us into the lives of its marginalised protagonists, this film is a compact marvel that shows what a truly talented director can do with the short-film format. It provides a timely glimpse into the tough, but sometimes joyful realities of the rural United States at one of the most turbulent-and increasingly alarming-points in its history. The Vienna Short Film Award, in the Fiction & Documentary section of Vienna Shorts 2017, carries a prize of € 4,000 donated by the City of Vienna and goes to Patrick Bresnan, for "The Rabbit Hunt".

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 - Best Female Director
"Yo no soy de aqui"("I'm Not From Here") (CL, DK, IT, LT) by Maite Alberdi & Giedrė Žickytė
awarded € 1,000 by the Elfi Dassanowsky Foundation

Jury Statement: Our first award is a prize which since 2010 has been annually awarded to the best female director in the "Fiction & Documentary" competition. We present this in conjunction with the Elfi Dassanowsky Foundation, in honour of the Austrian-born opera singer, pianist, educator and film-producer, who died in 2007. This year's prize - amounting to € 1,000 as generously donated by the Foundation- goes to a sensitive, surprising and touching portrait of an individual fighting to retain her identity and independence despite failing mental faculties. The winners are Giedrė Žickytė and Maite Alberdi, for "Yo no soy de aquí" ("I'm Not From Here").


ASIFA AUSTRIA AWARD 2017 - Best Animation Avantgarde film
"Casino" (CA) by Steven Woloshen
Awarded € 2,000 by ASIFA Austria

Jury Statement: The films vital energy, its shape shifting qualities and synaesthetic power left the jury in a state of pure joy. It was hard to escape the films rhythm and striking colours, as well as the many details portrayed in it's way too short 4 minutes! All that, despite it's minimalistic techniques as it was all done with only a pen. I am very happy to announce the winning film is "Casino" by Steven Woloshen.

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE STIPEND 2017 - Special Achievement
"Orogenesis" (ES) by Boris Labbé
awarded € 1.050 & a one-month stay in Vienna by MuseumsQuartier / Q21

Jury Statement: The Artist-in-Residence Stipend for a special achievement goes to a film that has a unique tactile quality to it. The innovative visual form and the precise editing succeeds to stylise growth and destruction in a very elegant and sensitive way. The award goes to "Orogenesis" by Boris Labbé.

Special Mention - Animation Avantgarde
"Figury niemozliy i inne historie II" (" Impossible Figures and Other Stories II") (PL) - Marta Pajek

Jury Statement: We have been deeply impressed by the ability of condensing in a short film the complexity of a surreal female universe. This film travels between the conscious and subconscious in a magnificent way. Its great power resides in the possibility of being opened to infinite interpretations. We are very happy to announce that the honorable mention is for "Figury niemozliy i inne historie II" ("Impossible figures and other stories II") by Marta Pajek.


VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 - Best Austrian Film
"In erster Linie" (AT) by Veronika Schubert
awarded € 5.000 by VdFS Collecting Society of Filmmakers and Vienna Tourist Board

Jury Statement: Floating shapes move ominously across the screen, constantly morphing, drawing and dissolving borders, at once as rigid and elusive as the machine gun of empty bureaucratic platitudes commenting on the very real and human tragedy of today. A film of stark simplicity and forceful immediacy that nevertheless is full of paradoxes, laying bare political and semantic hypocrisy. We'd like to give the Vienna Short Film Award for the Best Austrian Film, donated by the Collecting Society of Filmmakers and the Vienna Tourist Board and worth 5.000 Euro, to "In erster Linie" ("First and Foremost") by Veronika Schubert.

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 - Best Newcomer
"Srečno, Orlo!" ("Good luck, Orlo!") (HR/SI/AT) by Sara Kern
awarded € 2,000 by VAM Collecting Society for Audiovisual Media

Jury statement: The camera takes us into the most intimate and profound feelings of loss, in which the adult world falls apart and a child is forced to find a way out. A powerful, mature and assured piece of work, both on a technical and narrative level. The Award for the Best Newcomer goes to "Srečno, Orlo!" ("Good luck, Orlo!") by Sara Kern.

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 - Youth Jury Prize for Best Austrian Film
"Bier & Calippo" ("Beer & Calippo") (AT) by Paul Ploberger
awarded a €1,000 postproduction voucher by LISTO

Youth Jury statement: A hot summer, youthful imprudence in matters of love, a highway rest-stop, loving fathers, and Bertl the camping bus: a cool mini-road trip-story with beer and Calippo freezer-pops.From the opening sequence to the end credits, everything in this film is coherent: the cast, the colors, the selection and use of music.These elements, along with the actors' outstanding performances allow this film to turn a problematic theme into a loose comedy that stays with you even after leaving the theatre. For these reasons, we award the Youth Jury Prize for 2017 to Paul Ploberger for "Beer and Calippo" ("Beer & Calippo").

Special Mention - Austrian Competition
"Wannabe" (DE/AT) by Jannis Lenz

Jury statement: The Special Mention goes to a strong and engaging film with a stunning central performance. "Wannabe" by Jannis Lenz.


"Bulletproof - VENTIL" (AT) by Florian Kindlinger & Peter Kutin
awarded € 1,000 by the FAMA Film and Music Austria

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE STIPEND 2017 - Best International Music Video
"Territory - The Blaze" (FR) by Guillaume & Jonathan Alric
awarded € 1.050 & a one-month stay in Vienna by MuseumsQuartier / Q21


JURY PRIZE - Fiction
"A Brief History of Princess X" (FR/GB/PT) by Gabriel Abrantes
Qualifies for the Academy Awards® in the category LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

Jury statement: This year's laureate of the award in the fiction section plays in a knowing and often hilarious way with cinematic conventions to cast an ironic glance at a fascinating example of "art maudit." We salute a film which, despite being one of the shortest in the festival, is also one of the most dense and deceptively complex. The winner is Gabriel Abrantes, for"A Brief History of Princess X".

JURY PRIZE - Animation
"Everything" (IE/US) by David OReilly
Qualifies for the Academy Awards® in the category ANIMATED SHORT FILM

Jury statement: The "Jury Prize - Animation" goes to a film, which beyond being entertaining has a strong poetic and philosophical theme. It serves a highly educational purpose, including an important political statement, that encourages to let our egos dissolve and gain a new perspective on the world. The award goes to "Everything", by David OReilly.

JURY PRIZE - Documentary
"The Rabbit Hunt" (US) by Patrick Bresnan
Qualifies for the Academy Awards® in the category DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

Jury statement: Whether or not our winning film eventually finds favour with the Oscars selection committees, we feel strongly that a work of such empathetic humanism and unassuming but intense social engagement deserves the widest possible exposure. Therefore we'd like to give the Jury Prize - Documentary to Patrick Bresnan, for "The Rabbit Hunt".



"And So We Put Goldfish In The Pool" (JP) by Nagahisa Makoto

Prix Très chic pour le film le plus extraordinaire
"Im Wohnzimmer" (AT) by Alexander Gratzer


Fiction & Documentary - "And So We Put Goldfish In the Pool" (JP) by Nagahisa Makoto
Animation Avantgarde - "Decorado" (FR/ES) by Alberto Vazquez
National Competition - "All the Tired Horses" (AT) by Sebastian Mayr
Screensessions - "Gosh - Jamie xx" (FR/GB) by Romain Gavras