This year’s edition of Diagonale – Festival of Austrian Film took place in Graz from 19 to 24 March and once again included numerous students of the Film Academy Vienna.

In the short film competition, the following narrative films celebrated their Austrian premières: Der Wächter (Albin Wildner, Johannes Höß, Julia Willi, Lukas Meissner, Clara Bacher, Sophie Sy, Bernhard Wenger, et al.), Zufall und Notwendigkeit (Nicolas Pindeus, Clara König, Lukas Allmaier, Philipp Mayer, et al.) and Ene Mene (Raphaela Schmid, Simone Hart, Alisa Freshwood, Andreas Moser, et al.). Graz likewise bore witness to the Austrian première of the short documentary Das Buch Sabeth (Florian Kogler, Andreas Schmiedecker, Albin Wildner, Lukas Meissner Zweng, et al.).

Also screened in competition were the Max Ophüls Prize-winning film Die Schwingen des Geistes (Albert Meisl, Alexander Dirninger, Rafael Haider, Sebastian Schreiner, Lena Weiss, et al.) as well as Guy Proposes to his Girlfriend on a Mountain (Bernhard Wenger, Adrian Bidron, Christopher Schärf, Clara Bacher, Rupert Höller, et al.), a new short film by Bernhard Wenger—who most recently won an Austrian Film Award for Entschuldigung, ich suche den Tischtennisraum und meine Freundin. Projects by Film Academy students done outside the University were also screened at the festival—including the short film Schwestern (Florian Bayer, Samuel Deisenberger, Clara König, Lukas Allmaier, Lukas Meissner, et al.) and Freigang (produced by Victoria Herbig). This year’s Diagonale opened, by the way, with Film Academy graduate Marie Kreutzer’s Der Boden unter den Füßen, which had been given its world première in February 2019 at the Berlin International Film Festival (Berlinale).

The awards ceremony on 23 March at the Orpheum in Graz saw two films from Film Academy Vienna come out on top: the narrative short film Ene Mene won the Diagonale Prize for the Best Short Film, and Zufall und Notwendigkeit won the youth jury’ “Golden Nut”. The group of script prize winners likewise included students of Film Academy Vienna: the main Carl Mayer Script Prize was claimed by screenplay writing student Jessica Lind for her treatment entitled Der Tag, an dem der Regen kam, and the Thomas Pluch Prize for short or medium-length feature films went to Albert Meisl for Die Schwingen des Geistes.

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