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VIENNALE 2020

The Viennale ends with a high attendance rate and the Vienna Film Award going to Hubert Sauper’s Epicentro

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- Barely evading a new Austrian lockdown, the 58th edition of the Viennale has honoured seasoned Austrian filmmakers as well as new talent from abroad

The Viennale ends with a high attendance rate and the Vienna Film Award going to Hubert Sauper’s Epicentro
Epicentro by Hubert Sauper

The 58th Viennale (22 October-1 November) ended on Sunday by showing the closing movie, The Truffle Hunters [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Gregory Kershaw and Michael…
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]
by Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw. The festival was overshadowed, like so many other cultural events this year, by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. With new restrictions and lockdowns taking effect as of this week in Austria, the Viennale was fortunate enough to be able to offer an uninterrupted physical presence in the movie theatres. A total of 420,000 visitors attended 320 screenings in ten cinemas over the course of 11 days.

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One of this year’s highlights was the monograph dedicated to German filmmaker and artist Christoph Schlingensief, who passed away ten years ago this summer. With a film industry looking to its national roots in these dire times for releases, the Austrian film scene was honoured in the special “Austrian Auteurs” programme.

Going hand in hand with this sentiment, the Diagonale, the festival for Austrian film and the first victim of the March wave of cancellations, had the opportunity to finally showcase some of its selection on the big screen. Furthermore, the “Recycled Cinema” retrospective, a curated batch of found-footage movies, was screened in collaboration with the Film Museum.

As in previous years, international and local juries awarded the Vienna Film Award, Viennale Award of the Der Standard Reader Jury, FIPRESCI Prize and Erste Bank MehrWERT Award to eligible fiction features and documentaries.

The Vienna Film Award, donated by the city of Vienna, goes to a current Austrian feature that had its premiere over the course of the last year. The jury selected Epicentro [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Hupert Sauper as Best Austrian Movie. The film examines the history of Cuba and dives into its modern daily life, from a poetic and political standpoint. The Special Award went to Sandra Wollner’s The Trouble with Being Born [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sandra Wollner
film profile
]
, a film about a young robot girl designed to please its owners, which breaks several taboos.

The Viennale Award of the Der Standard Reader Jury goes to a movie that does not yet have a distributor and for which a release is recommended. The jury chose Tragic Jungle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Yulene Olaizola, which reinterprets an ancient Mayan legend from Yucatán as the story of an escaped female slave in the 1920s. As male workers stationed in the jungle lust after her, this awakens a mythical demon.

The FIPRESCI Prize is intended for a movie chosen from among a selection of first and second features. This year, the jury awarded Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile
]
by Mariusz Wilczyński. In the animated feature, which took ten years to make, the filmmaker works through the death of his parents and best friend, and examines childhood memories and the development of Polish society.

The Erste Bank MehrWERT Award is granted by sponsor Erste Bank to Austrian productions curated by the Viennale. This year’s award went to Zaho Zay [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Maéva Ranaïvojaona and Georg Tiller. The hybrid work incorporating both documentary and fantastical elements follows a woman in a Madagascan prison who is awaiting the arrival of her father, a criminal. The Erste Bank MehrWERT Recognition Award went to Please Hold the Line [+see also:
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]
by Pavel Cuzuioc, who followed telecommunication technicians during their visits to households in cities and villages, and even homes in neighbouring countries.

Here is the full list of Viennale 2020 award winners:

Vienna Film Award for Best Austrian Movie
Epicentro [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Hubert Sauper (Austria/France)

Special Award of the Jury
The Trouble with Being Born [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sandra Wollner
film profile
]
- Sandra Wollner (Austria/Germany)

Viennale Award of the Der Standard Reader Jury
Tragic Jungle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Yulene Olaizola (Mexico/France/Colombia)

FIPRESCI Award
Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile
]
- Mariusz Wilczyński (Poland)

Erste Bank MehrWERT

Erste Bank MehrWERT Award
Zaho Zay [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Georg Tiller and Maéva Ranaïvojaona (Austria/France/Madagascar)

Erste Bank MehrWERT Recognition Award
Please Hold the Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Pavel Cuzuioc (Austria)

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