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DIAGONALE’24 – SCREENPLAY AWARDS

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The Diagonale is pleased to announce the winners of the Carl Mayer Screenplay Awards and the Thomas Pluch Screenplay Awards, which were presented yesterday at the Diagonale Forum (Heimatsaal im Volkskunde-museum). Source: press release.

Best of 2024

The Diagonale is pleased to announce the winners of the Carl Mayer Screenplay Awards and the Thomas Pluch Screenplay Awards, which were presented yesterday at the Diagonale Forum (Heimatsaal im Volkskunde-museum) as part of the Festival of Austrian Film in the presence of Vice Chancellor Werner Kogler and Graz City Councillor for Culture Günter Riegler.

With a total amount of EUR 44,500, the two screenplay awards are among the most important film prizes in Austria and are awarded in cooperation with the Department of Culture of the City of Graz and the Drehbuchverband Austria (on behalf of the donor of the prize, the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Public Service and Sport).

“The Carl Mayer and Thomas Pluch screenplay awards are among the most important film prizes in the country. The fact that they are already part of the Diagonale’s programme fills us with joy and pride, because they draw attention to one of the essential prerequisites for every good film: successful screenplays and their authors.”, say festival directors Dominik Kamalzadeh and Claudia Slanar.

Carl Mayer Screenplay Awards

Theme 2024: “Thrill”

For an anonymous fiction or documentary film treatment, promoted, organised and donated by the Department of Culture of the City of Graz as part of the Diagonale.

The jury of the Carl Mayer Screenplay Award 2024 consisted of Sebastian Höglinger (jury president), Felix von Boehm (producer), Thomas Mraz (actor), Franziska Pflaum (director) and Françoise von Roy (playwright).

Main prize, endowed with 15,000 euro, to:

  • Soldat | Treatment by Vivian Bausch and Fabian Rausch

Excerpt from the jury statement:

“An 11-year-old girl in a military jacket. When Kathi walks through the Linz-Auwiesen housing estate, the oversized fabric is both armour and camouflage. Clearly too big for her age, the girl remains an outcast at school. In contrast, the superbly drawn clique of teenagers promises warmth and lightness. Soldat describes a constant and reciprocal transit between worlds: being a child, teenager and adult, seeking and arriving. Father figures are absent and fail, while mothers oscillate between overwhelming and caring. Even in the most tragic moments, Soldat preserves the dignity of his characters, a multidimensionality rarely seen in such early stages of material development.”

Special Jury Prize – 7,500 euros:

  • Ilvie (renaissance) | Treatment by Elena Wolff

Excerpt from the jury statement:

Ilvie (renaissance) is striking in its directness and ruthlessness, in the seriousness with which the young realities of life are described and portrayed. The tone is frighteningly direct, Vanilla Sky rings on the mobile phone, nails are being done, stupid things are being done. Always expecting the farce to go wrong, we follow the protocol of self-destruction and reinvention. A portrait of our cynical present. But – and this is what makes Ilvie (reniassance) so special – also the loving embrace of a desire (to belong).”

Thomas Pluch Screenplay Awards

Awarded by the Drehbuchverband Austria on behalf of the prize sponsor, the Federal Ministry of Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.

The international jury for the Thomas Pluch Award 2024 consisted of producer Adis Đjapo (BIH), screenwriter and director Frauke Finsterwalder (DE/CH) and editor Hansjörg Weißbrich (DE).

Main prize, endowed with €12,000, for the best screenplay for a feature-length film or television film (70 minutes or more):

Jury statement:

“For the jury, the experience of reading this script is like reading a novel. The poetic language, descriptions of images and sounds create a sensory experience that transports us to an almost mythical world where drama and horror mingle. The text literally begins to breathe, to smell and to taste. In this profound work, the author duo skilfully uses elements of genre cinema and historical drama to explore the little-known theme of indirect suicide in the context of mental disorders.”

Special prize, endowed with EUR 7,000, for a screenplay with particularly well thought-out aspects for a feature film or TV feature (70 minutes or more):

Excerpt from the jury statement:

“The jury is very impressed by the unique and courageous narrative structure of this screenplay. The associative use of different media such as feature film, documentary and theatre emphasises the character of the protagonist, who was visionary, radical and uncompromising throughout her life and for a long time did not receive the recognition she deserved. Throughout her life, the artist Maria Lassnig struggled not to fit into conventions, mainly because she was a woman. Her life and her art become one in this film script”..

Pavo Marinković’s Bosanski Lonac / Bosnischer Topf, Antonin Svoboda and Markus Schleinzer’s Persona Non Grata and Daniel Hoesl’s VENI VIDI VICI were also nominated for the main prize and the jury’s special prize.

The national jury of the Thomas Pluch Screenplay Award 2024 was composed of screenwriter and playwright Libertad Hackl, screenwriter and playwright Senad Halilbašić and screenwriter and journalist Marie-Therese Thill and selected five screenplays from a total of 25 entries and awarded the Thomas Pluch Award for short or medium-length film.

Thomas Pluch Award for short or medium-length film, endowed with € 3,000, for the best screenplay for a feature-length film with a minimum duration of 15 and a maximum of 70 minutes:

  • Strangers Like Us by Felix Krisai and Pipi Fröstl

Excerpt from the jury statement:

“In one evening, desires, expectations and the struggle for agreement are addressed en passant as well as social issues. The story repeatedly takes unexpected turns: what begins as a relationship drama soon plays with horror movie motifs and psychological thrillers, creating intelligent irritations that intrigue us even more.”

Info: the page of the Carl Mayer and Thomas Pluch Screenplay Awards on the website of the Diagonale