MAIN PROGRAM OF THE VIENNALE 2017
With our program of about 200 current films, we are presenting a differentiated and global but, naturally, only small selection of this year’s cinematic productions. However, in the same way as the flowers that are scattered across a meadow define the perception of that meadow, our selection is supposed to make the audience’s view receptive to the wide variety of filmmaking.
As it is our tradition to select individual films from the extensive program in this press release, we shall mention a few titles here that illustrate the wide range of this year’s festival. All of them are beautiful, clever works that deserve attention: ESTIU 1993 by Carla Simón (Spain), 3/4 by Ilian Metev (Bulgaria), ARÁBIA by Affonso Uchoa and João Dumans (Brazil), MILLA by Valerie Massadian (France), FÉLICITÉ by Alain Gomis (Senegal), NELYUBOV by Andrey Zvyagintsev (Russia), GEU-HU by Hong Sang-soo (South Korea). While the feature films mostly deal with individual and intrafamilial issues, the documentaries address more communal and interregional ones. Here are just a few examples: WEST OF THE JORDAN RIVER by Amos Gitai, BRIMSTONE & GLORY by Viktor Jakovleski about the fireworks industry in the Mexican town of Tultepec, DENK ICH AN DEUTSCHLAND IN DER NACHT by Romuald Karmakar and THE FORCE by Peter Nicks about the notorious Oakland Police Department.
In addition, we would like to mention a few films that illustrate the Viennale’s obviously high standing and important role in sighting and securing films even before they were officially selected for the Venice Film Festival. These are such diverse works as Frederick Wiseman’s entertaining three-hour documentary EX LIBRIS – NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, Hirokazu Koreeda’s SANDOME NO SATSUJIN – THE THIRD MURDER, a film disguised as a thriller about the death penalty as state-sanctioned murder, Andrea Pallaoro’s sensitive HANNAH, which features a stunning performance by Charlotte Rampling, LA NUIT OU J'AI NAGÉ by Damien Manivel and Kohei Igarashi and Martin McDonagh’s THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI with the magnificent Frances McDormand.
Austrian productions featured at this year’s Viennale include Barbara Albert’s LICHT, a work based on Alissa Walser’s novel Am Anfang war die Nacht Musik, the 90-minute experiment ★ by Johann Lurf, past winner of several Viennale prizes, and Astrid Johanna Ofner’s very fine ABSCHIED VON DEN ELTERN, based on the eponymous narrative by Peter Weiss and enthusiastically received at the Locarno Film Festival. In this program section, we furthermore boldly integrate HELLE NÄCHTE (Germany, Norway) with the Austrian leading man Georg Friedrich, who was awarded a Silver Bear for Best Actor at this year’s Berlinale, and Ali Soozandeh’s TEHERAN TABU, produced in collaboration with Coop99 and ORF as well as several Austrian funding institutions.