The Diagonale 2020 is pleased to present Austria’s most important film awards. After the cancellation of the festival due to Covid-19, the jury screenings took place online. The awards were announced on Tuesday, 30 June, at 7.30 p.m. with a live stream on social media channels and later on the festival website. An ad personam presentation of the awards is planned for autumn 2020.
Best of Austrian Cinema
The Diagonale is pleased to award, also in 2020, Austria’s most highly endowed film prizes. First and foremost are the Grand Diagonale Prizes from the Province of Styria, each endowed with 21,000 euros, for the festival’s best feature and documentary films as well as the Diagonale Prize for Innovative Cinema from the City of Graz. The jury screenings occurred online following the festival’s cancellation due to Covid-19.
The film prizes for the cancelled festival were announced Tuesday evening, June 30, on a live ticker on social media channels and subsequently on the festival’s website. A personal awarding of the prizes is planned for autumn 2020. Already announced prior to yesterdays’s award ceremony were the prizes founded by the VAM – Verwertungsgesellschaft für Audiovisuelle Medien for outstanding production services in the area of film and the prize for short documentary film from the Diocese Graz-Seckau.
In addition to the main prizes, the highly acclaimed international juries also decided on the distinctions founded by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden for outstanding achievements in the areas of acting, cinematography, editing, stage and costume design, and sound design.
Honored as the best Austrian feature film of the Diagonale’20 is Sandra Wollner’s noir-sci-fi film The Trouble With Being Born. “Oscillating between memory and projection into the future, this film is a testimonial to the breadth and timeliness of cinema. […] With poetic imagery and sound, as well as a good choice of actors, it creates an atmosphere of torment in which all the elements work well together.” , As the Diagonale’20 ’s feature film jury – comprising Ruth Beckermann (Filmmaker, AT), Greg de Cuir Jr. (Curator, author, US/RS), and Inge de Leeuw (Programmer International Film Festival Rotterdam, NL) – commented. In addition, the jury honored The Trouble With Being Bornwith several other awards. Along with winning the Grand Diagonale Prize, Wollner’s magical-poetic android tale also achieved distinction in the categories for Best Editing and Best Sound Design as well as the Acting Prize for lead actor Dominik Warta and the Thomas Pluch Screenwriting Prize (special prize by the jury). Sandra Wollner already received the prize for Best Young Talent Film in 2014 for Uns geht es gut (directed together with Britta Schoening and Michaela Taschek). The Grand Diagonale Prize of the Province of Styria is thus her second distinction in a directing category at the Festival of Austrian Film. The Trouble With Being Born tells the story of the android Elli and a man whom she calls daddy. They drift through the summer, swim at the pool during the day and at night he takes her with him into bed. She makes him happy, that’s why she’s there. The feature film garnered great acclaim internationally and already achieved distinction in the new section Encounters at the Berlinale 2020.
The Grand Diagonale Prize Documentary Film goes to Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism by Sabine Derflinger. In this film, the director approaches the former State Secretary for General Women’s Affairs with inimitable verve and razor-sharp precision. “But far from remaining stuck in the past, the film grows out of the present […]. A woman’s film, directed by a woman and delivered to the men and women of today. A jewel to all eyes,“ declares the documentary film jury of Matthias Dell (Film critic, DE), Serafin Spitzer (Cameraman, AT), and Fabienne Moris (FIDMarseille program coordinator, FIDLab director, FR) with reference to Sabine Derflinger’s impressive and complex portrait, which uses archive material as well as countless interviews with Johanna Dohnal’s companions and intellectual heirs. Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism achieved distinction in late May, in a tie with Little Joe, with the VAM – Verwertungsgesellschaft für Audiovisuelle Medien’s Prize for Outstanding Production Services.
The Diagonale Prize for Innovative Cinema of the City of Graz goes to Constanze Ruhm for Gli Appunti di Anna Azzori – Uno specchio che viaggia nel tempo. Starting from Alberto Grifi’s und Massimo Sarchielli’s four-hour documentary Anna from the 1970s, the seventy-two-minute essay traces the question of who Anna Azzori was – and flows into a journey through space and time, in which Ruhm encounters the young woman whom Grifi and Sarchielli once encountered by chance at the Piazza Navona in Rome, practically everywhere: in computer animations, at nighttime shoots, during demonstrations, and in literature. “The simple and captivating idea that every film, even every image of a film, bears countless untold perspectives in it, inevitably brings an enormous increase of complexity into our world. Especially in terms of issues of discrimination, invisibility, and exploitation, we can be grateful to an artist, who sets in motion with others, to assume these perspectives and in doing so, allows new images, sounds, and contexts to arise.” The jury comprising Peter Taylor (Festival director Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, GB), Eva Könnemann (Filmmaker, DE), and Sasha Pirker (Filmmaker, AT) thus explain their decision.
The Diagonale Acting Prizes for a remarkable appearance in a Diagonale’20 competition film in cooperation with VdFS go to Julia Franz Richter for her “sensitive, well measured, and highly empathic performance” in The Diver inside and to Dominik Warta for his “precise and unagitated” depiction in the multi-prize-winning The Trouble With Being Born.
The Prize for the festival’s best short feature film goes to Raphaela Schmid for Fische. Honored as Best Young Talent Film by the youth jury of the Province of Styria is Özgür Anil’s Das Urteil im Fall K. The prize winners of the Diagonale Prize for Short Documentary Film from the Diocese Graz-Seckau have already been announced: the collective Total Refusal for How to Disappear.
Cinema Austriaco extends its congratulations to all prize winners!
Below are all the awards of this Diagonale 2020.
Grand Diagonale Prize of the Province of Styria (€ 21,000) Best Feature Film
– Sandra Wollner for The Trouble with being born
Grand Diagonale Prize of the Province of Styria (€ 21,000) Best Documentary Film
– Sabine Derflinger for Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism
Diagonale Prize for Innovative Cinema by the City of Graz (€ 8,500) Best Innovative, Experimental, or Animated Film
– Constanze Ruhm for Gli Appunti di Anna Azzori – Uno specchio che viaggia nel tempo
Diagonale Prize for Short Feature (€ 5,500) Best Short Feature Film
– Raphaela Schmid for Fische
Diagonale Prize for Short Documentary from the Diocese Graz-Seckau (€ 4,000) Best Short Documentary Film
– Total Refusal (Robin Klengel, Leonhard Müllner, Michael Stumpf) for How to disappear
Diagonale Prize from the Youth Jury of the Province of Styria (€ 5,500) Best Young Talent Film
– Özgür Anil for Das Urteil im Fall K.
Diagonale Prizes for Editing from the Verband Filmschnitt aea (€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden) Feature Film and Documentary
– Hannes Bruun for The Trouble with being born
– Friederike Berat for We did what had to be done
Diagonale Cinematography Prizes from the Verband österreichischer Kameraleute AAC (€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden) Feature Film and Documentary
– Thimios Bakatakis for The Lodge
– Yunus Roy Imer for Space Dogs
Diagonale Prize for Sound Design from the Verband österreichischer Filmtonschaffender Filmton Austria (€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden) Feature Film and Documentary
– Peter Kutin for The Trouble with being born
– Florian Kofler for Sicherheit123
Diagonale Prize for Production Design and Costume Design from the Verband österreichischer Filmausstatter/innen VÖF (€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden) Production Design and Costume Design
– Katharina Wöppermann for Little Joe
– Monika Buttinger for Oskar & Lilli
Diagonale Acting Prizes in cooperation with the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden (€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden) for remarkable acting by an Austrian actress as well as an Austrian actor in a Diagonale’20 competition film
– Julia Franz Richter for The Diver inside
– Dominik Warta for The Trouble with being born
Prize for Outstanding Production Services from the VAM – Verwertungsgesellschaft für Audiovisuelle Medien for outstanding production services in the area of film (€ 20.000)
The prize has been awarded jointly and goes ex aequo to:
– Plan C Filmproduktion in coproduction with Derflinger Film for Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism
– coop99 Filmproduktion for Little Joe
“We offer our hearty congratulations to all prize winners and extend our gratitude to the Diagonale’s international juries. The Diagonale’20’s prize winning films illustrate Austrian film’s rich diversity, breadth of content and form, and potential. With these films, we look forward ever more to sharing cinema and festival moments again in the upcoming months. Together with the Diagonale’s supporters and sponsors, we hope, in this way, to be able to contribute a bit to the visibility and recognition of Austrian film.” — Peter Schernhuber and Sebastian Höglinger (Festival directors)
All prize winners receive, in addition, an artwork designed and realized by the artist Anna Paul.