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FESTIVALS Austria

Inside out and diagonally

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The Austrian town of Graz welcomed the latest edition of the Diagonale Film Festival (March 21-26) today, which features a panorama of recent local production, with films for both cinema and television.

The festival takes place under the best auspices this year, since last year, as emphasised by Birgit Flos and Oliver Testor, who run the event, ended up being one of the vintage years in the history of Austrian cinema, with local filmmakers honoured in festivals worldwide.

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The 189 films screened come in all formats and genres, but this year marks a particular focus on documentaries, beginning with the opening film, Florian Flicker’s No Name City, followed by Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Our Daily Bread, Tintenfischalarm by Elisabeth Scharang and Michael Glawogger’s Workingman's Death.

Diagonale has also made room for experimental films, including, among others, Ich bin ich by Kathrin Resetarits, a Shooting Star at this year’s Berlin Film Festival (see interview).

Fiction-wise, festival-goers can discover Mutterherz by Barbara Gräftner, Siegfried E. Kamml’s Blackout Journey and Eva Urthaler’s Keller – Teenage Wasteland (which will not be released domestically until mid-May), as well as big festival hits of 2005, such as Spiele Leben [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Antonin Svoboda, Andreas Gruber’s Welcome Home [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Abdi Gouhad
interview: Abdul Salis
interview: Andreas Gruber
film profile
]
(see Focus) and Benjamin Heisenberg’s Schläfer (see news). The awards, granted by genre, amount to a total of nearly €140,000.

The festival also includes discussions and parallel events, some of which focus on international films or retrospectives. Among this year’s ten special programmes, of note are the retrospectives Elisabeth Bergner: Escape Me Never, Earlier Works: Jörg Kalt and Proletarian Cinema in Austria, as well as the event entitled Focus: Denmark.

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(Translated from French)

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