Any city with artistic ambitions deserves its fair share of film festivals. And among such offerings in Vienna, the biggest and most prestigious is the Viennale, first held in 1960.
- One of Europe’s top film festivals
- Premieres, galas, prizes and stars (you know the deal)
- Programme spans genres and formats
- Opportunity to see many films not otherwise shown in Austria
- 2019 dates: Oct 24 -Nov 6
- See also: English-language cinemas | Film festivals
A truly international festival
The Viennale ticks all the right boxes on the film festival checklist.
A chance to see (pre-release) films from around the world? Yep.
A sprinkling of national (and, sometimes, international) premieres? Yep.
A smorgasbord of genres, styles and formats? Yep.
Special themes? Yep. (The retrospectives shown at the Austrian Film Museum deserve a special mention.)
A complementery programme of events? Yep.
Guest stars? Yep.
The Viennale doesn’t quite reach Cannes levels of star power (who does?), but you can expect various masters and mistresses of their trade from the film business. In 2018, for example, the Oscar- and BAFTA award-winning Tilda Swinton attended.
And there are awards, too, not least the Vienna Film Prize (with a special jury prize) and the Fipresci Prize (awarded by the International Federation of Film Critics).
The Viennale releases the full programme and venue details shortly before the festival starts. For now, here a quick overview of the specialist tracks:
- This year’s retrospective, in cooperation with the Austrian Film Museum, features some 50 movies and is titled, O Partigiano! Pan-European Partisan Film. The theme of resistance, particularly in the context of fascist and other totalitarian ideologies, seems rather pertinent to our times
- Featured directors (all of whom are slated to attend the Viennale) are:
- Angela Schandeckel, winner of a Silver Bear (Best Director) at the 2019 Berlinale
- Pierre Creton, whose movies often draw on his own experience as a farmer
- Ala Eddine Slim, whose work covers various themes and genres as he explores “cinema at the margins”
- Sílvia das Fadas, the experimental filmmaker who works in 16mm
- The Cinematographies (themed tracks) are:
- Brazil Burning! looks at contemporary Brazilian cinema and its reflection of the sociopolitical turmoil in that country
- The Female Gaze showcases the work of the pioneering female director from Austria, Louise Kolm-Fleck (1873– 1950), one of the earliest filmmakers to tackle the female perspective
And, of course, the broader Viennale programme brings an eclectic mix of films and filmmakers to Vienna, including selected festival winners. Look for the full programme at the official website.
2019 dates and tickets
The Viennale runs from Thursday, October 24th to Wednesday, November 6th. The organisers say tickets for showings etc. will become available as of 10am on October 19th.
How to get to the Viennale
I’ll post travel tips and links to participating cinemas once the venues are officially confirmed.