Magazine article Screen International

Meise's Still Life Wins at Diagonale; Fribourg Opens with Salt

Magazine article Screen International

Meise's Still Life Wins at Diagonale; Fribourg Opens with Salt

Article excerpt

Michael wins several awards in Graz; Thierry Jobin takes the helm at Switzerland's Fribourg.

Sebastian Meise's bold feature debut Still Life (Stilleben) [pictured] won the Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Austrian Film at this year's Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Film in the Styrian capital of Graz.

The co-production by Freibeuter Film and Lotus Film, which tackles the taboo subjects of incest and paedophilia, also received the Association of Austrian Cinematographers' (AAC) prize for Gerald Kerkletz's cinematography and the Association of Austrian Production Designers' award for Katharina Wöppermann's costume design.

Meanwhile, Michael Schleinzer's debut Michael, which premiered in the Official Competition in Cannes last year and won the Max Ophüls Prize for Best Feature in Saarbrücken at the end of January, took home four prizes at the awards ceremony on Saturday evening for cinematography (Gerald Kerkletz, shared with Stilleben), editing (Wolfgang Widerhofer), production design (Katrin Huber and Gerhard Dohr) and acting (Michael Fuith).

In addition, a jury including Oscar-winning Austrian director Stefan Ruzowitzky and German distributor-producer Manuela Stehr chose Schleinzer's screenplay about the relationship between a paedophile and his victim over Karl Markovics' Breathing and Barbara Eder's Inside America for this year's Thomas Pluch Screenplay Award.

Other awards included the Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Documentary for Dariusz Kowalski's Richtung Nowa Huta, the Diagonale Audience Award for Bernd Liepold-Mosser's Griffen - Auf den Spuren von Peter Handke, and the Award for an Innovative Production Achievement to Dieter Pochlatko's epo-film for Breathing.

The annual showcase of Austrian cinema included the main competition, the retrospective of all those Austrian feature films and documentaries theatrically released in 2011, a tribute dedicated to the Israeli filmmaker Avi Mograbi and a spotlight on the cult director Ferry Radax.

The Diagonale's two-day industry gathering focused this year on strategies for financing and sales of medium-sized fiction and documentary films with local filmmakers such as producers Erich Lackner and Gabriele Kranzelbinder and distributor-exhibitor Michael Stejskal as well as international guests ranging from UK producer Peter Carlton (Warp) and CineMart head Marit van den Elshout, through producers Mikael Rieks (Cosmo Film) and Marek Rozenbaum (Transfax Productions) to distributor Torsten Frehse (Neue Visionen Filmverleih) and sales agent Francois Yon (Films Distribution). …

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