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With a total value of EUR 44,500, the Carl Mayer and Thomas Pluch screenplay awards of the Diagonale’21 are among the most important film prizes in the country. They were conferred in a ceremony in cooperation with the Cultural Department of the City of Graz and DrehbuchVERBAND Austria this Friday morning in the Hotel Wiesler, Salon Frühling. The Festival of Austrian Film congratulates all award winners!

After the award ceremony, DrehbuchVERBAND Austria also presented the DREHBUCH 2021 (Screenplay 2021) initiative, which aims to strengthen a long-awaited profession with guidelines for a successful partnership between production, distribution, director and screenplay. Source: press release.

Carl Mayer Screenplay Awards

For an anonymous fiction or documentary treatment for feature films

Established, managed and donated by the Cultural Department of the City of Graz as part of the Diagonale with a total value of 22,500 euros.

Subject 2021: “Bad blood”

Main prize € 15,000

(w)hole – Treatment by Pipi Fröstl

“Young social worker Lisa wants to conform and be normal like her friends and her husband Tobias. One day her brother Paul, from whom she has been separated since birth, suddenly shows up. An unexpected attraction develops. With convincing images, the author describes Lisa’s vision of everyday life and her development towards independence.” .

Grant award € 7,500

Der Garten Eden – Treatment by Tobias Langer

“Paul is looking for love. After his first sexual experiences with a schoolmate, he moves to the city and gets into unexpected excesses with a new partner. The author impresses with the confidence with which he sets the scenes and narrates in a powerful, explicit and sensitive way’.

Jury for the Carl Mayer Awards: Reinhard Jud (director, writer, AT), Wolfgang Lehner (cinematographer, US), Josef Kleindienst (screenwriter, actor, writer, AT), Cornelia Seitler (director, writer, CH) and Susanne Spellitz (ORF editor, AT).

“The Carl Mayer Award is undoubtedly the most important and certainly the highest award for film treatments in Austria. I am very pleased that this year Filmstadt Graz bestowed this honour on Pipi Fröstl for her outstanding work (w)hole. I would also like to congratulate Tobias Langer for his well-deserved g rant award for the treatment of the feature film Der Garten Eden, and I am convinced that the audience can expect great things from him in the future”, says municipal councillor Günter Riegler.

Thomas Pluch Screenplay Awards

DrehbuchVERBAND Austria awards in cooperation with the Diagonale

Donated by the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport with a total value of € 22,000

Main prize € 12,000

for the best screenplay for a feature film or television feature film

What we wanted – screenplay by Ulrike Kofler, Sandra Bohle and Marie Kreutzer

“The unfulfilled desire for a child puts a strain on the relationship of a young couple who are literally starting to build their future, in the form of a new home. A h oliday is meant to console the couple and leads to a confrontation with both a missed opportunity and a family that seems to have what Alice and Niklas can only dream of. Appearances that are deceptive. The authors Sandra Bohle, Ulrike Kofler and Marie Kreutzer tell the story of the struggle for love and respect with a stylistic clarity and observational precision that is not only convincing in the drawing of characters and emotions, but also creates a moving film in the reader’s mind as soon as he reads the script. It is the attention to detail matched by the text, the confidence in the dialogue and the ability to bring big feelings and movements to life in small situations that make up the identity of this precious script. The main Thomas Pluch award goes to What we wanted (formerly ‘Der Lauf der Dinge’) by Ulrike Kofler, Sandra Bohle and Marie Kreutzer’.

Special Jury Prize € 7,000

for a screenplay for a feature film or TV film with particularly outstanding treatment of individual aspects

Ex aequo for € 3,500 each to

Fox in a Hole – Screenplay by Arman T. Riahi

Waidmannsdank – Screenplay by Pia Hierzegger

Jury statement on Fox in a Hole:

“Through the encounter of a psychologically damaged but pedagogically motivated secondary school teacher with a prison teacher who works beyond all conventions and rules, a completely normal, that is, dysfunctional, prison school becomes a place of hope. Screenwriter Arman T. Riahi has turned the true experiences of the former Viennese prison teacher Wolfgang Riebniger into a moving story that explores an essential question of society’s treatment of human nature: how can the claim of r eintegration, constantly reduced to absurdity by the practice of the penal system through isolation, punishment and psychological terror, be fulfilled for those who deserve at least a first chance at a new start in society, namely young offenders? In response to this question, Riahi finds and invents original, touching, shocking and comforting situations, scenes and, of course, characters through which the hope described above is not only the last to die, but even survives. The Thomas Pluch Special Jury Prize goes to Arman T. Riahi for Fox in a Hole.

Jury statement on Waidmannsdank:

“The script for an episode of an established television format can be a welcome assignment for any writer, another chance to perfect a routine. Or it can be taken as a challenge to aggressively master the limits of content, form and creativity in both senses of the word. In other words, you test the limits of your imagination against the limits of a format. This is exactly what Pia Hierzegger has done with Waidmannsdank, her contribution to the Landkrimi series. The story of a series of original human and animal deaths in a small Carinthian community leads Klagenfurt detective Ilse Acham together with her colleague Martina Schober to explore a village for what it is: a microcosm of criminal energy and interpersonal catastrophe. In doing so, the author moves on the solid structure of the classic detective film with her characters and ideas as confidently and daringly as a tightrope walker without a net or double bottom. One would like to imagine what would have been possible without the usual border controls. The Thomas Pluch Special Jury Prize goes to Pia Hierzegger for Waidmannsdank.

Prize for short or medium-length films € 3,000

for the best screenplay for a feature film with a minimum length of 15 and a maximum length of 70 minutes

Ex aequo for € 1,500 each to

Fidibus – Screenplay by Klara von Veegh

Life on the Horn – Screenplay by Mo Harawe

Jury statement on Fidibus:

“A mother is on the run with her young son. Franziska is a loving mother. She tries to keep her child safe, warm and happy. Franziska creates safety in the most inhospitable places. Two bodies in painfully tender moments, between a before and an after. A mother wants to protect her child. At all costs. Is that why she killed? In this award-winning film, the horrific is left out and yet casts its shadow over every image. Violence and tenderness reinforce and condition each other. In this script, sensuality happens immediately, the narrative works from the beginning. This book can tell something without telling it. For this artistic and technical achievement, we want to award Fidibus by Klara von Veegh the Thomas Pluch Prize for short and medium-length films”.

Jury statement on Life on the Horn:

“A rusty container of toxic waste on the Somali coast. A son trying to take care of his dying father while the people around him struggle to escape. A construction site with only one man left to finish building the house. And the father who does not want to leave because he just wants to die at home. In a few hints and in an epic stillness, Life on the Horn recounts a humanitarian disaster. With simple, evocative images and almost without words, the film shows us the social imbalance into which our world has been led and into which we are leading it more and more every day. Its characters are intact and yet full of melancholy. They accept, each in their own way, the fate that has been assigned to them. With only a few scenes, this book achieves what all fiction strives for and rarely succeeds in doing: condensing to the essentials. We congratulate Mo Harawe on this incredibly moving, heartbreaking and precious screenplay and award Life on the Horn the Thomas Pluch prize for short and medium-length films”.

Jury for the Thomas Pluch Main Prize and Special Jury Prize: Bettina Böhler (editor, director, DE), Alfred Holighaus (writer, playwright, producer, DE) and Agnes Pluch (screenwriter, AT).

Jury for the Thomas Pluch Prize for short or medium-length films: Hilde Berger

(screenwriter, playwright, writer, actress, AT), Sebastian Meise

(screenwriter, director, AT) and Bernadette Weigel (screenwriter, director, playwright, cinematographer, AT)

The national jury nominates five screenplays from all those submitted, from which the international jury awards the main prize and the special prize. The short film prize is selected by the national jury.

Cinema Austriaco congratulates all winners!

Info: the page of the Carl Mayer Awards 2021 on the website of the Diagonale; the page of the Thomas Pluch Awards 2021 on the website of the Diagonale