It was a precise landing: for a long time, it looked like this year’s Viennale could belong to the victims of the cultural crown. But director Eva Sangiorgi prevailed with her premise that only a physical film festival is a real film festival – and she won Vabanquespiel. After eleven days and no known corona clusters, Austria’s biggest film festival celebrated the closing gala on Sunday night – the penultimate night before the new blockade.
Of course, with 42,000 cinema fans, the number of viewers since their October 22 debut did not come close to the numbers of previous years, when there were significantly more seats offered without the pandemic. In view of the cancellation of three days of play and almost half of the ticket offer, the 42,000 tickets sold mean a respectable occupancy rate of 74 percent.
“We shiver and wait until the end,” said Viennale managing director Eva Rotter, recalling the planning time. Furthermore, humbly recall the past few days and direct your thoughts to all colleagues in the cultural sector who will be affected by the official closings during Tuesday’s new closure.
“Sure, how lucky we were”
“I know how lucky we were,” said director Sangiorgi, delighted with her closing speech on the success of this year’s edition. She said goodbye with a Christmas gift tip: subscriptions and cinema vouchers are the ideal way to support the hungry cultural scene.
Vienna’s Councilor for Culture, Veronica Kaup-Hasler (SPÖ), reported that it was a great relief that Viennale has opened up worlds again. She took the opportunity to call a last visit to cultural institutions on Monday, before the blockade: “Do your part Public health. There are no safer places than cinemas, theaters, operas, museums.”
Those who could be happy were also the winners of this year’s Corona edition, which were awarded at the night’s gala. The Vienna Film Prize, with 6,000 euros for the best Austrian film, went to the Cuban essay documentary “Epicenter”, by Hubert Sauper. “This is the third time I have received this award – from now on it can only get worse,” said Sauper routinely. The android dystopia “The Trouble with Being Born” by Sandra Wollner, which made its world debut at the Berlinale this year, was honored with the special € 4,000 jury award.
Public award for the mystical “tragic jungle”
The “Standard” audience award was also given to a film that has not yet been distributed in Austria: the readers’ jury decided on the Mexican mystical parable “Selva tragica” (“Selva tragica”) by Yulene Olaizola. The Polish animation “Zabij to i wyjedz z tego miasta” (“Mate and Get Out of this City”) by Mariusz Wilczynski won the FIPRESCI Award from the international film critic for the best first or second film.
And as in previous years, there were two winners at Erste Bank MehrWERT-Filmpreis: As the New York stock exchange was not possible due to the corona, 6,000 euros went to the Austrian co-production “Zaho Zay” by Georg Tiller and Maeva Ranaivojaona, which Contando the story of a colony of convicts in Madagascar. “We have an account with Erste Bank – and you will be happy to know that our less will be covered for a few months,” said Tiller, happy with the cash prize. The second winning prize is the Austrian documentary “Aguarde”, by Pavel Cuzuioc, about communication technicians from Eastern Europe, who can count on 3,000 euros. (apa)