No Comments on DIAGONALE’22 – FILM PRIZES

This post is also available in: Italiano (Italian) Deutsch (German)

Yesterday, Sunday, April 10, the winners of the Diagonale’22 were announced. The award ceremony took place at the Orpheum in Graz. Source: press release.

Many new satisfactions

The Diagonale is pleased to award, also in 2022, Austria’s most highly endowed film prizes, first and foremost the Grand Diagonale Prizes from the Province of Styria, each endowed with € 19,000, for the festival’s best feature and documentary film as well as the Diagonale Prize for Innovative Cinema from the City of Graz. A total of seventeen film prizes were awarded yesterday at the awards ceremony at Orpheum Graz.

In addition to the main prizes, highly acclaimed international juries also decided on the distinctions sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden for outstanding achievements in the areas of acting, cinematography, editing as well as stage, costume, and sound design. Extraordinary production achievements are honored by the VAM – Verwertungsgesellschaft für Audiovisuelle Medien. Moreover, the Kodak Analogue Film Prize was awarded for the third time on Thursday evening. The Kleine Zeitung Audience Prize was awarded on Sunday afternoon at Schubertkino.

The best Austrian feature film of the Diagonale’22 is Rimini by Ulrich Seidl “(ex aequo with Richie Bravo) – for a film that does not allow us to forget that great cinema has to do with life (one’s own), while dreaming of another. A true opus magnum”, as the feature film jury of the Diagonale’22 consisting of Leena Koppe (cinematographer, AT/DE), Heike Parplies (film editor, DE), and Barbara Wurm (literature and film scholar, HU Berlin and Berlinale, DE) remarked with due pathos, while at the same time praising above all the “sovereign interplay of all crafts, each in and of itself, laudably perfect.”. In their justification, they continued: “This film is a Winterreise. A cycle of songs. Homecoming as an experiment of the generations. Buongiorno, tristezza in Austrian, a tear-jerker, devoted through to the climax, singing until the end. Eros and Thanatos from the Wurlitzer, desire and empathy. Suffering equally genuine and fake. Calls for mother that go right through you. Soaked in the history of traces of the monarchy (at the sound as well as emotional levels), awakening in a welcome culture that could somehow use improvement. Stranded everywhere, whether on the Adriatic or in the home. Sweat-driven on a cold and wet beach.”. Rimini had its world premiere in the competition of the Berlinale. The highly praised Austrian premiere of the feature film took place on April 6 as a gala event in the sold-out Helmut List Halle in Graz. The award is the first Ulrich Seidl has received as director at the Festival of Austrian Film.

The Grand Diagonale Prize Documentary goes to Sabine Derflinger for Alice Schwarzer: “For the courage to play it straight with controversial material, for not being engrossed by prejudices, for the telling of a complex story driven equally by empathy and curiosity, for the artful compiling of scenes and sequences that are neither chronologically nor thematically arranged and yet follow a clear inner logic, for the great wealth of interviews and archives from around the world, creatively woven together and for the chance, to re-experience and re-comprehend history – and thereby tread light-heartedly into the future. […].” Following 2020, it is already the second award for the director in a main category of the Diagonale: As before in Johanna Dohnal – Visionary of Feminism (AT 2019), in Alice Schwarzer Derflinger dedicates herself to an extraordinary woman and interlaces the levels of past and present. “Men, women, and all others have the chance in the cinema to classify the second wave of feminism and to build from it, to follow the course of a life in more than two hours in a diversity of stories and anecdotes, which was formed straight and complex by society and politics and which likewise shaped them. A film – like its protagonists – full of humor, warm heartedness, and quick wit that can build bridges”, as the documentary film jury with Pierre-Emmanuel Finzi (distributor and filmmaker, Filmgarten, AT), Selina Hangartner (film critic and co-chief editor Filmbulletin, CH), and Esther van Messel (producer, world distribution and rental, First Hand Films, CH/DE) emphasize the qualities of Derflinger’s work.

The Diagonale Prize for Innovative Film of the City of Graz goes to Cereal / Soy Claudia, soy Esther y soy Teresa. Soy Ingrid, soy Fabiola y soy Valeria. by Anna Spanlang in which gathered snapshots from the cell phone archive condense to a shimmering portrait of friendship: “The filmmaker uses personal footage. This material – originally rather rough and fragmented – is assembled into an expertly edited, composed stream of images and events full of evocative juxtapositions, sounds, music, lyrics, scripts, and references. Despite the spontaneous and associative nature of the footage – originally shot with cell phones –, the director establishes a clear structure and cinematic quality. The film explores social relations and activism, depicting a public space of collectivity, engagement, and togetherness.”. These are the words that the jury consisting of Sarah Adam (curator, DE), Branka Benčić (director MMSU/ MoMCA Rijeka, HR), and Sebastian Hoffmann (gallerist, Ebensperger, DE/AT) used to justify their choice of a film in which the artist is only visible, audible, and tangible in the encounters with people, art, and discourses: “It shines through its unambiguous honesty, the empowerment of its female subjects, and a critical approach towards our surroundings while maintaining a strong positivity and confidence in a generation. The film unfolds a contemporary and relevant position through a cascade of popular culture, immediate experiences, and emotions.”.

The Diagonale Acting Prizes for remarkable appearances in a Diagonale’22 competition film – in cooperation with the VdFS – go to Julia Windischbauer for Para:Dies and to Georg Friedrich for Great Freedom. “Light-footed, unpretentious, and with full trust in the camera’s gaze, she plays a woman who loves, doubts, fights, celebrates, lets herself fall, withdraws. All of that with great self-evidence and an unstrained pride”, said the acting jury about the display of the “already now inimitable” Julia Windischbauer. For Great Freedom Georg Friedrich, in turn, dared to leave his comfort zone as “one of the most important and incisive faces of Austrian film”, according to the jury, which especially brought to the fore, his “unbelievably complex, elegant, and capricious performance.”: “We saw him like we have never seen him before. And that took our breath away!”.

The prize for the best short film of the festival was given to Valentin Stejskal for 5pm Seaside. The youth jury of the Province of Styria honored Alles ist hin by Jan Prazak as best film by a young talent. The Diagonale Prize for Short Documentary from KULTUM goes to Augustus Orte by Valérie Pelet.

The best short feature was selected by Lisa Mai (festival director dotdotdot, AT), Jasmin Baumgartner (filmmaker, AT/DE), Peter Fässlacher (director and host of Kultur Heute, ORF III, AT), and Patrick Zwerger (journalist and host Kultur Heute, ORF III, AT). In the section short documentary, the jury consisted of Doris Bauer (festival director and managing director VIENNA SHORTS – International Short Film Festival, AT), Sophie Gmeiner (filmmaker, AT), and Jan-Hendrik Müller (film scholar, University of Vienna, AT/DE).

Altogether, prizes totaling roughly € 185.000 were awarded to filmmakers in the framework of the Diagonale. All prize winners additionally receive an artwork designed and realized by the artist Anna Paul.

Grand Diagonale Prize of the Province of Styria (€ 19,000)

Best Feature Film

Rimini by Ulrich Seidl

Best Documentary Film

Alice Schwarzer by Sabine Derflinger

Diagonale Prize Innovative Cinema by the City of Graz (€ 8,500)

Best Innovative, Experimental, or Animation Film

Cereal / Soy Claudia, soy Esther y soy Teresa. Soy Ingrid, soy Fabiola y soy Valeria. by Anna Spanlang

Diagonale Prize Short Feature (€ 6.000)

Best Short Feature Film

5pm Seaside by Valentin Stejskal

Diagonale Prize Short Documentary Film from the KULTUM (€ 6,000)

Best Short Documentary Film

Augusts Orte by Valérie Pelet

Diagonale Prize from the Youth Jury of the Province of Styria (€ 5,500)

Best Young Talent Film

Alles ist hin by Jan Prazak

Diagonale Prizes for Editing from the Verband Filmschnitt aea

(€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden)

Best Artistic Editing Feature Film

Joana Scrinzi for Great Freedom

Best Artistic Editing Documentary Film

Dieter Pichler for For the Many – The Vienna Chamber of Labour

Diagonale Cinematography Prizes from the Verband Österreichischer Kameraleute aac

(€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden)

Best Cinematography Feature Film

Crystel Fournier for Great Freedom

Best Artistic Cinematography Documentary Film

Judith Benedikt, Thomas Fürhapter and Klemens Koscher for Zusammenleben

Diagonale Prizes for Sound Design from the Berufsvereinigung der Filmtonschaffenden Österreichs – Filmton Austria

(€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden)

Best Sound Design Feature Film

Manuel Grandpierre for Luzifer

Best Sound Design Documentary Film

Andreas Hamza for For the Many – The Vienna Chamber of Labour

Diagonale Prizes for Production Design and Costume Design from the Verband Österreichischer Filmausstatter*innen VÖF

(€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden)

Best Production Design

Oleg Prodeus, Andreas Sobotka and Martin Reiter for Hinterland

Best Costume Design

Tanja Hausner for Rimini

Diagonale Acting Prizes in cooperation with the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden

(€ 3,000 each, sponsored by the VdFS – Verwertungsgesellschaft der Filmschaffenden)

for a remarkable performance by an Austrian actress as well as an Austrian actor in a Diagonale’22 competition film

Julia Windischbauer for Para:Dies

Georg Friedrich for Great Freedom

VAM Prize for Outstanding Production Services (€ 20,000)

endowed and awarded by the VAM – Verwertungsgesellschaft für Audiovisuelle Medien

The prize has been awarded jointly and goes ex aequo to:

FreibeuterFilm for Hinterland and Great Freedom (producers Sabine Moser and Oliver Neumann)

WILDart FILM for Wood (producers Ebba Sinzinger and Vincent Lucassen)

Kodak Analogue Film Prize (€ 1,500)

Awarded in the context of the Diagonale’22

Beatrix by Lilith Kraxner and Milena Czernovsky

Diagonale Audience Prize of the Kleine Zeitung (€ 3,000)

Favorite Film of the Diagonale’22

Verschwinden / Izginjanje by Andrina Mračnikar

Cinema Austriaco sincerely congratulates all the winners!

Info: the website of the Diagonale