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.
- One of Europe’s top film festivals
- Premieres, galas, prizes and stars (you know the deal)
- Programme spans genres and formats
- Opportunity to see films not otherwise shown in Austria
- Many films typically in English or with English subtitles
- 2023 dates: Oct 19-31
- See also:
A truly international festival
(The official poster for the 2023 edition © VIENNALE | Rainer Dempf)
First held in 1960, 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. Other festival highlights normally include various cinematographic tracks and featured directors.)
A complementary programme of events? Yep.
Guest stars? Yep.
(Photo from the opening of the Viennale back in 2020; © Viennale | Alexander Tuma)
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.
Back in 2018, for example, the Oscar and BAFTA award-winning Tilda Swinton attended and Matt Dillon popped in for the 2021 event.
And it has 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 latter award went to Cyril Schäublin in 2022 for Unrueh (Unrest).
The official website has the full programme and location details, once available.
2023 dates, tickets & tips
The Viennale usually runs through late October, and this means October 19th to 31st in 2023. The event will be the 61st edition of the festival.
You normally buy tickets for showings etc. at the Viennale website, for example, which also has information on alternative ticket sources (such as participating cinemas).
How to get to the Viennale cinemas
The traditional Viennale cinemas are:
(Found on the Ring opposite the Stadtpark)
Perhaps Vienna’s most prestigious movie theatre and often hosts film festival openings.
Nearest subway stations are Stubentor (on the U3) and Stadtpark (on the U4). The Weihburggasse stop for tram line 2 is practically outside the cinema.
Address: Parkring 12, 1010 Vienna
Stadtkino im Künstlerhaus
(Part of a wider temple of art)
The Künstlerhaus location also houses the same-named artist association (and exhibitions) as well as the Albertina Modern art museum.
The nearest subway station is Karlsplatz on the U1, U2 and U4 lines. Trams 1, 2, 71, 62 and D also drop you very close to the cinema at the Karlsplatz/Oper stop.
Address: Akademiestraße 13, 1010 Vienna
(The location looks out over an arm of the Danube)
The cinema forms part of a notable building from the Jugendstil era, which includes an education centre (where I take drawing lessons, not that you need to know that).
Take the U1 or U4 subway to Schwedenplatz. The cinema’s local tram stop is Julius-Raab-Platz, fed by trams 1 and 2.
Address: Uraniastraße 1, 1010 Vienna
Austrian Film Museum
(The magnificent Albertina art museum is a neighbour)
A quick walk from either Karlsplatz (U1, U2, U4) or Stephansplatz (U1 and U3). The Albertinaplatz bus stop is outside, used by the 2A bus route.
Address: Augustinerstraße 1, 1010 Vienna
(Press photo © Alexi Pelekanos)
Sandwiched between Karlsplatz and Stephansplatz stations, as with the Austrian Film Museum.
Address: Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna