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During the festival opening on March 21, the Diagonale’23 will award for the 16th time the Grand Diagonale Acting Award for services to Austrian film culture. The Diagonale is pleased to announce that this year’s award goes to the legendary actress Margarethe Tiesel. The theatre, film and television actress will personally receive the award – an artwork by Xenia Hausner – in Graz. Source: press release.

A versatile talent

“She gives herself. Not only to her desire for intimacy, like the lonely Viennese sex tourist Teresa in Ulrich Seidl‘s Paradise: Love. She has thus become, as she deserved, an Austrian film star. But whether in leading roles, major or minor supporting roles, for many years now she has been the element in many films that makes the difference through her ability to credibly characterise evocative and complex characters through enormous dedication and acting generosity.” The jury therefore unanimously decided to award the Grand Diagonale Acting Award 2023 to Margarethe Tiesel.

In an initial statement, Ute Baumhackl, Michou Friesz, Christian Konrad, Marvin Kren and Valerie Pachner emphasised Tiesel’s quality of shining in the offside spotlight: “Often and again, she gives presence and dignity, complexity, emotionality and humour to the marginalised, the short-sighted, the sad and the hurt. In this way, Margarethe Tiesel, not infrequently as a one-woman show, ensures female diversity in German-speaking cinema – from the northern fringe to the hinterland, from Harald Sicheritz to Fatih Akin.”.

“Sugar Mama” and zombie hunter, a city star

Born in Vienna in 1959, Margarethe Tiesel made her film debut in Cornelia Schlingmann’s experimental film Hur und Heilig (BRD 1984) in the mid-1980s. In the course of her career she has appeared before the camera in numerous other film and television productions, creating a remarkable range of characters, from the poetic social realism in Barbara Albert’s Northern Skirts (AT 1999) to Kurdwin Ayub’s opening film of the Diagonale Sonne (AT 2022). Margarethe Tiesel became known to a national television audience as Frau Blauensteiner in the series Trautmann. She became internationally known late, with her starring role in the award-winning film Paradise: Love by Ulrich Seidl (AT/DE/FR 2012). In 2014, Tiesel then shone in the bitterly opulent morality tale The Last Summer of the Rich by legendary Peter Kern (AT 2014), followed the next year by the detective thriller Brenner’s Life eternal (Wolfgang Murnberger, AT/DE 2015). With the bloody Attack of the Lederhosen Zombies (Dominik Hartl, AT 2016), Margarethe Tiesel has meanwhile even ventured into horror cinema, only to shine internationally again in 2019 in the adaptation of the novel The Golden Glove (Fatih Akin, DE/FR 2019). Margarethe Tiesel is currently starring in the comedy Griechenland by Thomas Stipsits. Tiesel is also a regular guest at the Festival of Austrian Film. Most recently, the exceptional actress was seen in Sargnagel (Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl, AT 2021) and at the Diagonale’23 she will be present in several films in competition. We can already reveal her appearance in Chris Raiber’s First Snow of Summer (AT 2022).

From Dortmund to Graz

In addition to her film and television work, Tiesel can boast a long theatrical career: her first engagements took her to Germany in 1983, to the Stadttheater Dortmund, the Düsseldorfer Schauspielhaus, the Württembergische Landesbühne Esslingen, the Städtische Bühnen Freiburg, the Staatstheater Stuttgart, the Schauspiel Frankfurt, the Ernst Deutsch Theater Hamburg and the Kampnagel Hamburg. In Austria, Margarethe Tiesel has performed, for example, at Remise Wien, Schauspielhaus Wien, Theater Drachengasse, Theater in der Josefstadt and the Salzburg Festival. Since 1994 Margarethe Tiesel has been a regular guest at the Schauspielhaus in Graz. In 2019 she was also part of the Diagonale co-produced production Fräulein Julie by August Strindberg, by theatre and film director Ludwig Wüst.

Margarethe Tiesel, born in Vienna in 1959, studied acting at the Mozarteum in Salzburg from 1981 to 1983. Since the 1980s she has been appearing more and more often in film and television productions. At the Österreichischer Filmpreis 2013 she was nominated for Best Actress in a Leading Role for the film Paradise: Love by Ulrich Seidl.

The awarding of the Grand Diagonale Acting Award 2023 to Margarethe Tiesel will take place during the opening ceremony of the Diagonale on March 21 at 7.30 pm in the Helmut List Halle in Graz. The Festival of Austrian Film opens with the Austrian premiere of Patric Chiha’s The Beast in the Jungle (AT/BE/FR 2023) and the world premiere of Viktoria Schmid’s NYC RGB (US/AT 2023).

An artwork for Margarethe Tiesel, designed by Xenia Hausner

The winner of the Grand Diagonale Acting Award 2023 will receive an artwork, designed and donated by Xenia Hausner, made possible by legero united – the shoemakers | Initiator of The Diagonale is pleased to have entrusted this year’s award to the internationally renowned artist Xenia Hausner.

Jury Grand Diagonale Acting Award 2023

Ute Baumhackl (Head of Culture and Media Department, Kleine Zeitung)

Michou Friesz (Actress)

Christian Konrad (Head of Film Department, ORF)

Marvin Kren (Director, Screenwriter)

Valerie Pachner (Actress)

Previous winners of the Grand Diagonale Acting Award

Branko Samarovski (2022), Christine Ostermayer (2021), Ursula Strauss (2020), Birgit Minichmayr (2019), Ingrid Burkhard (2018), Johannes Krisch (2017), Erni Mangold (2016), Tobias Moretti (2015), Georg Friedrich (2014), Maria Hofstätter (2013), Johannes Silberschneider (2012), Senta Berger (2011), Klaus Maria Brandauer (2010), Josef Hader (2009), Karl Markovics (2008).

Info: thepageof the Grand Diagonale Acting Award 2023 to Margarethe Tiesel on the website of the Diagonale