The Carl Mayer and Thomas Pluch Awards for Best Screenplay 2020 were to have been presented on Friday 27 March at the Hotel Wiesler. The Diagonale ’20, after the cancellation of the festival due to Covid-19, has just announced the winners.
Many stories to be told
The Carl Mayer and Thomas Pluch Awards for Best Screenplay 2020 were to have been presented on Friday 27 March at the Hotel Wiesler, Salon Frühling, in a ceremony in cooperation with the Department of Culture of the City of Graz and DrehbuchVERBAND Austria. The Diagonale ’20, after the cancellation of the festival due to Covid-19, has just announced the winners.
Carl-Mayer Award for Best Treatment 2020
For a fictional or documentary film treatment, organised and donated by the Cultural Department of the City of Graz in the context of the Diagonale for a total value of 22,500 euros.
First prize – € 15,000:
Die Verkündung – Treatment by Josef Kleindienst
“Christine, a teacher in a mountain village, married, with two children, is preparing for disaster. She stores food in the cellar and leads survival training with her students. In her environment, her behaviour causes insecurity and her family is in danger of disintegrating. The author believes his characters are capable of anything and lets them overcome their limits. The powerful use of patterns and the clear, simple narrative style are also impressive”.
Consolation prize – € 7,500:
Flat Mates – Treatment by Jan Prazak
“So far Ingo, in his late twenties, has led a carefree life. Then things change: his lively mother is diagnosed with dementia and Jana, a homeless alcoholic, moves into his flat. An impetuous wind blows and the characters are forced to face life. The author gives them space to understand each other and develop”.
Jury members for the Carl Mayer Award for Best Screenplay: Reinhard Jud (director, author, AT), Wolfgang Lehner (cameraman, USA), Jessica Lind (screenwriter, director, winner of last year’s award, AT), Cornelia Seitler (director, author, CH), Susanne Spellitz (ORF editor, AT)
“A film festival without films is quite unusual. I am therefore very happy that we are now able to present the Carl Mayer Award for Best Screenplay with a delay after the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic, and I warmly congratulate the winners.”, said municipal councillor Günter Riegler.
Thomas Pluch Award for Best Screenplay 2020
Donated by the drehbuchVERBAND Austria in cooperation with the Diagonale, under the patronage of the Federal Ministry of Culture, Civil Service and Sport, with a total value of € 22,000.
First prize of € 12,000 for the best screenplay for a feature film or television feature:
Once were Rebels – Screenplay by Johanna Moder
“Once were Rebels by Johanna Moder looks at the political commitment of two couples of left-wing friends who welcome a politically persecuted Russian family. The story accompanies the ‘saviours’ in their act of helplessness, in which the certainties of their bourgeois life are questioned. What remains of the dreams and ideals of their youth when reality suddenly puts them to the test? Crisis brings the characters’ private and professional problems to light in a merciless and humorous way. Johanna Moder accompanies them with a critical sympathy that is never accusatory. Thus, when we laugh at the incisive dialogues of this strong ensemble, we laugh at our own phlegm, our own lives and our own helplessness. The screenplay convinces with intelligence, lightness and humour and shows us that it is not easy to remain a young revolutionary as we grow older”.
Special Jury Prize € 7,000 for the screenplay of a feature film or TV feature with particularly relevant aspects:
The Trouble with Being Born – Screenplay by Sandra Wollner and Roderick Warich
“The Trouble With Being Born tells of an oppressive future in which people will individualise and ‘use’ androids according to their own ideas in the most disgusting sense: as sex toys, social contacts, consolation patches, sandbags … Ida, ten years old, is one of these androids. The more her ‘masters’ mould and reshape this perfect doll according to their wishes, the more her human abysses open up before our eyes. Is Ida a therapeutic agent? An addictive drug? A prosthesis for the unlived? Either way, it is the people who are hopelessly defective, not the machine. With their story, Sandra Wollner and Roderick Warich venture into a disturbing and oppressive realm between horror and science fiction. They ask uncomfortable questions about what makes human beings human, and are so brave and coherent that they owe many answers. The Trouble With Being Born is a radical, idiosyncratic and risky look at our future”.
Short or medium-length film prize of € 3,000 for the best screenplay for a film product running a minimum of 15 to maximum of 70 minutes:
Fabiu – Screenplay by Stefan Langthaler
“Two men from different eras, but more similar than is apparent at first glance. Starting from a strong starting point, we follow with suspense the unpredictable narrative melancholy, which despite its brevity is circular and self-sufficient. A deeply human story of unlived longings, the supposed last chance and true love. This is Fabiu by Stefan Langthaler, who skilfully tells the story of Arthur and Fabiu with filmic imagery and the utmost responsibility for his characters in an extremely sensitive way”.
Jury members for the Thomas Pluch Award for Best Screenplay: Wolfgang Kohlhaase (Screenwriter, Director, DE), Dorothee Schön (Screenwriter, DE), Jacqueline Surchat (Screenwriter, CH)
Jury members for the Thomas Pluch Award for short or medium-length films: Marie Kreutzer (screenwriter, director, AT), Nina Kusturica, (screenwriter, director, producer, AT), Gregor Schmidinger (screenwriter, director, AT)
The national jury nominates five screenplays from all the entries, from which the international jury awards the main prize and the special prize. The prize for Best Short Film is selected by the national jury.
Congratulations to all winners!