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SOTTO LE STELLE DELL’AUSTRIA 2023

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Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 kicks off. In Rome, at the Forum Austriaco di Cultura, from June 20 to July 5, 2023.

Many new adventures on screen

And this year, finally, it’s time to start again! On Tuesday, June 20, the eleventh edition of the open-air film festival Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 will begin. Like every year, it will take place in the beautiful gardens of the Forum Austriaco di Cultura Roma (viale Bruno Buozzi 113), where, while watching or re-watching some of the most important feature films made in Austria during the past year, it is also possible to enjoy the fresh summer breeze that has always characterised the Italian capital’s evenings.

The careful selection of Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 was curated once again this year by Stefano Finesi and, in this special edition, will be further enriched not only by guests, thanks to whom we will be able to take a closer look at the films in the programme, but also – and this is the novelty this year – by the screening before each film, of an animated short film previously selected for the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Film Festival, the all-female animation festival directed by Waltraud Grausgruber (who will meet the audience on the evening of Tuesday, 27 June), which takes place every year in Vienna.

Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023, therefore, will kick off on Tuesday, June 20, at 9 p.m., with the screening of the feature film Alma & Oskar, the most recent work by director Dieter Berner, already presented at the Diagonale 2023. During this evening, we will witness the troubled love story between Alma Mahler (played by Emily Cox), the widow of the composer Gustav Mahler, and Oskar Kokoschka (Valentin Postlmayr). Will two personalities like them be able to one day find the much longed-for serenity?

Before the film there will be a screening of the short film I’m Ok by Elisabeth Hobbs, in which we will experience the main events of Oskar Kokoschka’s life, evoked by him with graphics reminiscent of his own paintings.

The festival will continue on Wednesday, June 21, again at 9 p.m., with the screening of the feature film Sonne, the extraordinary debut of young director Kurdwin Ayub (previously interviewed by Cinema Austriaco), already awarded at the Berlinale 2022. After three girlfriends had posted a video on YouTube in which they sang R.E.M.’s Losing my Religion while wearing the hijab, the video went viral. One of them, the only one of Kurdish origin who wears the hijab in everyday life, starts to distance herself from her own culture, wondering about her own identity.

Before the film there will be a screening of the short film Issues with my other Half by Anna Vasof, in which the loss of control over one’s own body through a delicate and never simple transformation is explored through cinema’s many abilities to manipulate reality.

Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 will continue on Tuesday, June 27, this time at 8.30 p.m., when the film Serviam – I will serve, directed by Ruth Mader and already screened at the Locarno Film Festival 2022, will be shown. Martha (played by Maria Dragus) studies at an elite Catholic school and seems to have a strong religious calling. Consequently, the headmistress of the school gives her a cilice, without imagining that her action will have unexpected consequences.

Before the film there will be a talk with Waltraud Grausgruber, artistic director of the Tricky Women/Tricky Realities Film Festival, and a screening of the animated short film Frida und Sisi Partner in Crime by Regine Kafeder, in which we will witness a bizarre fictional encounter between Frida Kahlo and Elisabeth of Austria.

On Wednesday, June 28, Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 will continue, at 9 p.m., with the screening of Matter out of Place, the newest, extraordinary documentary by Nikolaus Geyrhalter. Here we will see, through a series of visually powerful images, how waste is disposed of all over the world and what impact it has on the environment.

Before the film there will be a screening of the short film Under the endless Sky by Alexandra Dzhiganskaya, in which the director evokes her childhood memories through the colours yellow and blue, the colours of the flag of Ukraine, her home country.

On Tuesday, July 4, at 9 p.m., the feature film Breaking the Ice, directed by Clara Stern and already screened on the occasion of the Diagonale 2023, will be shown. Mira (played by Alina Schaller) is the captain of a hockey team and thanks to sport she manages to tolerate a difficult family situation. When Theresa (Judith Altenberger) joins her team, a certain unease immediately arises between the two, which, however, soon turns into a much more important feeling.

Before the film the short film The Body is so resilient by Moana Vonstadl, in which we will see a postmodern Eve discovering herself within a singular Garden of Eden, will be screened.

Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 will end on Wednesday, July 5, when, at 8.30 p.m., the feature film Vera, which has already been awarded at the Venice Film Festival 2022 and is the most recent work by directors Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel (also interviewed by Cinema Austriaco), will be screened. On this special occasion we will get to know Vera Gemma, daughter of the great Giuliano Gemma, up close. Living in the shadow of her father is by no means easy. Only by observing her life up close, however, will we realise her great humanity.

Before the film screening there will be a talk with Tizza Covi and Vera Gemma and a screening of the short film *Women (Nico) by Karin Fisslthaler, dedicated to the legendary musician, model and actress Nico (1938 – 1988).

And so, also this edition of Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 looks as rich and varied as ever. This year, as every year, we will have the opportunity to be moved, to laugh, to be thrilled by the most important Austrian feature films of the past year. The location of the Forum Austriaco di Cultura Rome is ready to welcome us.

Admission to the screenings is free, subject to prior reservation. To book, please write to prenotazione.forumaustriaco@gmail.com, specifying your name, surname and the film you have chosen. E-mails should be sent until 12 noon on the day of the screening and requests will be accepted subject to availability.

Below are reviews of the films present and articles about this edition of Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023.

Info: the page of Sotto le Stelle dell’Austria 2023 on the website of the Forum Austriaco di Cultura Roma