© VIS, Jannis Gonis

Main awards for dystopian animation

German animation Ugly triumphs—Online performance Operation Jane Walk named Best Austrian Film—Portuguese film named Best Live-Action Short—First VR Prize goes to Finland—2 Canadian films on Oscar® longlist

The grand prizes of the 15th edition of the short film festival VIS Vienna Shorts were all about dystopian films and their computer-game aesthetics. The German Russian director Nikita Diakur triumphed with his animated film Ugly, a 12-minute work celebrating an aesthetics of deficiency in an apocalyptic imbroglio created using a game interface. The film was awarded two of the major prizes and qualified for the Academy Awards®. The film convinced the jury with its "stunning formal language" and "impressive talent for storytelling." and received the ASIFA Austria Award in the international Animation Avantgarde competition, with a prize money of 2,000 euro.

The online performance Operation Jane Walk by Leonhard Müller and Robin Klengel, which denaturalizes a multiplayer shooting game to become a postapocalyptic guided tour through New York City, received the award with the highest remuneration-5,000 euro-for Best Film in the National Competition. In the jury;s opinion, this is "not the first example of an interactive take on found-footage filmmaking, but the first we've seen to acknowledge that the virtual world is part of our lived experience." The Vienna Short Film Award for the best Austrian film comes with a prize money of 3,000 euro by the Collecting Society of Filmmakers and a 2,000-euro production voucher from viennaFX and Blautöne.

The Portuguese triptych Miragem Meus Putos (Mirage My Bros) by Diogo Baldaia was chosen as the best short feature film of the festival, which ended on Monday evening. The main prize of the international competition Fiction & Documentary left the jury astonished. The "captivating, poetic and sensual exploration of youth" is simply stunning and testifies "to the immeasurable wonders" that the short film medium has to offer. The prize is endowed with 4,000 euros by the City of Vienna.

The award in the first and completely sold out VR the World competition went to Finland: Devil's Lungs by Alla Kovgan was awarded as the best Virtual Reality or 360° film. The prize consists of a one-month residency in the MuseumsQuartier in Vienna, combined with 1,050 euros in cash, donated by Q21 in the MuseumsQuartier.

Awards for best directing, best newcomer, outstanding achievement & popularity

Amanda Nell Eu from Malaysia was named best female director for Lagi Senang Jaga Sekandang Lembu (It's Easier to Raise Cattle), an unusual coming-of-age story with clear genre elements. The prize comes with 1,000 euro, donated by the Elfi Dassanowsky Foundation. The Best Newcomer Prize, which includes 3,000 euro donated by the Collecting Society of Audiovisual Media in cooperation with viennaFX and Blautöne (1,000 euro as a post-production voucher), went to the Austrian director Michaela Taschek for her very personal film, Doppelgänger.

María Molina from the Netherlands was awarded a grant for a one-month artist residency at Vienna's MuseumsQuartier for outstanding achievements in the category Animated and/or Experimental Film with her work Digital Trauma (And the Crystal Image). The audience award went to Retour à Genoa City (Back to Genoa City) by Benoît Grimalt from France. The film is an affectionate and adventurous portrait that blends the director's own family history with that of the TV family from The Young and the Restless. Awarded for the first time this year, the ORF.at Audience Prize for the most popular Austrian film under 12 minutes comes with 500 euro and an appearance on the ORF website-it went to Fabian Lang's Supernaked.

An overview of all winners of VIS 2018 can be found <media 1955>here</media>.