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SHORTS Austria

Far from Past and Egg win big at Vienna Shorts

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- Films by women directors came out on top in the Austrian and the Animation Avantgarde competition sections; Vietnamese film Blessed Land triumphed in International Fiction & Documentary strand

Far from Past and Egg win big at Vienna Shorts
The winners of Vienna Shorts 2019 (© VIS/Mercan Sümbültepe)

The 16th VIS Vienna Shorts (28 May–2 June) ended on Sunday with the awards ceremony, which saw two female directors triumph, winning multiple awards for their films.

Italian director Martina Scarpelli received two awards for her short Egg, winning the ASIFA Austria Award for Best Film in the Animation Avantgarde competition, worth €2,000, as well as the VIS Audience Award for the most popular film of the festival. The French-Danish co-produced short is now eligible for the European Film Awards as well as for the Academy Awards. It also won Best Short Film last week at Docaviv.

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Nicole Foelsterl dominated the Austrian Competition, winning €3,000 in cash and €2,000 in post-production services from VdFS viennaFX & Blautone for Far from Past. She also received the Elfi Dassanowsky Award for Best Female Director, doted at €1,000. Her film is now eligible to be nominated for the Academy Awards. The 15-minute short combines elements of fiction, documentary and experimental genres, taking a stroll down the memory lane for Foelsterl’s grandmother. Foelsterl manages to create a delicate balance between the admiration for her protagonist and diving into the darker sides of her past. 

The winner in the International Competition Fiction & Documentary was the Vietnamese film Blessed Land by Phạm Ngọc Lân, receiving €4,000. The highly stylised film creates a fantastic black-and-white setting, in which the characters deal with complex topics such as history, roots and memory. 

The Jury Prizes in the international competitions, which bring the winners a one-month residency in Vienna’s Q21/Museumsquartier, went to Black Bus Stop by US filmmakers Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N Harold, and Splash by Chinese animator Shen Jie. The Jury Prize in the Austrian Competition was awarded to Nuit by newcomers Grzegorz Kielawski and Alexander Bayer, who will receive €2,000 in cash and €1,000 in post-production services from VdFS viennaFX & Blautone.

The Austrian Music Video Prize went to Italy & (This Is) Water by Soap&Skin, directed by Anja Plaschg and Ioan Gavriel

For the first time at Vienna Shorts, the Vimeo Staff Pick Award was handed out by the curators of the US online platform. The prize, worth $2,500 and combined with a promoted online release, went to the Scottish animation artist Ross Hogg for his 16mm experimental film 4:3.

The Youth Jury picked the humorous one-shot comedy Guy proposes to his girlfriend on a mountain by Austrian filmmaker Bernhard Wenger, who will receive €1,000 in post-production services from VdFS vienaaFX & Blautone. The ORF.at Audience Award, worth €500, went to the animation short Apfelmus (Apple Sauce) by Alexander Gratzer. The Norwegian filmmaker Anna Mantzaris received the award Prix Très Chic Pour Le Film Le Plus Extraordinaire for her short Enough.

Here is the full list of award winners: 

International Competition - Fiction & Documentary

Vienna Short Film Award - Best Film
Blessed Land - Phạm Ngọc Lân (Vietnam)

Jury Prize 
Black Bus Stop - Kevin Jerome Everson, Claudrena N Harold (USA)

Special Mention
Back to Wonderland - Alice Fargier (France)

International Competition - Animation Avantgarde

ASIFA Austria Award - Best Film
Egg - Martina Scarpelli (France/Denmark)

Jury Prize 
Splash - Shen Jie (China)

Special Mention
Slug Life - Sophie Koko Gate (UK) 

Vimeo Staff Pick Award
4:3 - Ross Hogg (UK)

Austrian Competition

Best Film
Far from Past - Nicole Foelsterl (Austria) 

Jury Prize
Nuit - Grzegorz Kielawski, Alexander Bayer (Austria) 

Elfi Dassanovski Award for Best Female Director
Nicole Foelsterl – Far from Past

Austrian Music Video Award
Italy & (This is) Water - Soap&Skin - Anja Paschg, Ioan Gavriel (Austria) 

Youth Jury Award
Guy proposes to his girlfriend on a mountain - Bernhard Wenger (Austria)

VIS Audience Award 2018 - Most Popular Film of the Festival
Egg - Martina Scarpelli (Italy)

Prix Très Chic - Pour Le Film Le Plus Extraordinaire
Enough - Anna Mantzaris (Norway) 

ORF.AT Audience Award - Most Popular Austrian Film Under 10 Minutes
Apfelmus (Apple Sauce) - Alexander Gratzer (Austria)

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