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51st Vienna International Film Festival, 2013

Grand Central
"Grand Central" (Rebecca Zlotowski)

This is not a festival designed for the industry, but for the audience. And Viennese truly love the Viennale. During this year's 51st edition, almost 100,000 tickets were sold. Screenings held in beautiful halls and historic theatres were filled to the brim, and between the film events participants exchanged their opinions in the cafés in the foyer. All the venues were located around the historic centre of Vienna, with the extraordinary architecture of the old Empire becoming the spiritual silent hero of the event.

The remarkable programme of this largest, two-week long Austrian festival allowed one to discover what is most interesting in contemporary cinema. There were works by established directors — the Coen Brothers, Barry Levinson, Woody Allen, Bruno Dumont and Tsai Ming-liang, to name just a few. A large part of the festival was devoted to full length documentary films, and a separate section was devoted to ethnographic cinema. There was also a new look at the history of cinema, including a retrospective of Jerry Lewis. The festival paid tribute to Spanish film director Gonzalo Garcíi Pelayo, and the star of this edition was Will Ferrel, to whom a separate gala was devoted.

There were, however, interesting discoveries, prepared with a taste selection of films by new authors. Twenty first and second films competed for the FIPRESCI prize. The 13 features and 7 documentaries were of a high and equal level. Among them could be found social cinema, set within the reality of the economic crisis, trying to speak of distant worlds. But there were also universal reflections on love, friendship and growing up. The four-person jury, chaired by Eithne O'Neill, awarded the Franco-Austrian Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski.

In Vienna, there is no classic competition. In addition to the FIPRESCI prize, the Der Standard Readers' Jury Award was given to The Strange Little Cat by Ramon Zürcher. Vienna Film Award (for Austrian films) went to feature film Paradise: Love by Ulrich Seidl and Sickfuckpeople, a documentary by Juri Rechinsky. This same documentary, along with Shirley: Visions of Reality by Gustav Deutsch, was awarded the Mehrwert-Filmpreis der Erste Bank. (Krzysztof Kwiatkowski)

51st Vienna International Film Festival (Austria, 24 October — 6 November 2013). Jury: Eithne O'Neill (Positif), Alexandra Zawia (Kurier), Pascal Blum (Tages-Anzeiger, Aargauer Zeitung, Schweiz am Sonntag), Krzysztof Kwiatkowski (Wprost). FIPRESCI Prize: Grand Central by Rebecca Zlotowski (France, Austria 2013, 94 min). Print Source: Elle Driver (66, rue Miromesnil, 75008 Paris, France). Tel: +33 1 56 43 48 70, + Fax: 33 1 45 61 46 08, E-mail:, Web:


Warning! You May Be Exposed to Love. French director Rebecca Zlotowski's smart love story Grand Central nabs the Fipresci prize at the 51st Viennale. Pascal Blum's review. arrow.
Overall Account. A hallmark of the Viennale, the policy of new talents against a backdrop of established names offered a 300 title-strong program of first and second features and shorts, a meaty Jerry Lewis retrospective and a worthy tribute to Will Ferrell, actor and filmmaker, interviewed with panache by the Paris-based Screen critic Lisa Nesselson in the glamorous Gartenbau movie theatre packed with fans. Eithne O'Neill's report. arrow.
Mundane Dramas. "Problems of the first world" is an ironic and disrespectful term that has been functioning for a long time on the Internet. The directors of The Dirties (Matthew Johnson), The Reunion (Anna Odell) and Locke (Steven Knight) remind us that representatives of wealthy western societies living in comfortable single-family houses are also suffering. And pain remains painful. And it cannot be discredited. Krzysztof Kwiatkowski's report. arrow.
Tactile Desires. Notes on Eliza Hittman's It Felt Like Love written by Alexandra Seibel. arrow.



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Viennale 2013

bullet. Index
bullet. Warning!
bullet. Overall Account
bullet. Mundane Dramas
bullet. Tactile Desires

Language editor:
Tara Judah