© Viennale/Peter Griesser

Award Winners of the Viennale 2023

31 Oct 2023

Award Winners of the Viennale 2023


The Vienna Film Award, an award sponsored by the City of Vienna and presented during the Viennale, is given to a current Austrian feature film that has been screened in the past year. The endowment of this award consists of a monetary amount provided by the City's Department of Culture, monetary support from The Harmonie Vienna Hotel, and generous non-cash prizes donated by JACQUES LEMANS. In addition to the awaard for the best Austrian film, the Vienna Film Award also awards the Special Jury Award. Each of the two awards is endowed with cash donations and non-cash assets.

Jury: Thea Ehre (Actress), LYLIT (Singer and composer), Artemis Vakianis (commercial director of the Wiener Festwochen)

Best Austrian Film:
SIGNS OF WAR, Juri Rechinsky & Pierre Crom, Ukraine/Austria 2022

Jury statement:
The main award goes to a film that touches all three of us deeply in its directness and truth. Its magnificent images come alive not only on the screen, but also in our hearts. In terms of content, it captivates us with its temporal and political relevance, leaving us speechless. Due to its oppressive topicality and its poignant simplicity, we have unanimously decided that this year's main award can only go to this work.


Special Jury Award:
EUROPA, Sudabeh Mortezai, Austria/UK 2023

Jury Statement:
We award the Special Jury Award to a film that rightly confronts us Central Europeans in a painful and unsparing way with our privileges, which we otherwise want to suppress all too readily and skillfully. The acting performance of the protagonist is outstanding and definitely has to be mentioned here as well.


DER STANDARD organizes the Standard Audience Jury Award again this year. The jury members select a film from the festival entries that does not yet have a distributor in Austria. If the winning film subsequently finds a distributor, DER STANDARD supports the film's release with free advertising space in the newspaper.

Jury: Nadja Polzer, Jakob Thaller, Veronika Verzetnitsch


HOKAGE, Tsukamoto Shinya, Japan 2023

Image of movie Hokage

Jury Statement:
HOKAGE (SHADOW OF FIRE) by Tsukamoto Shinya is a film as a memorial that leaves a lasting impression - just as the consequences of wars continue to have an effect after the end of the war. The director plays with different genres, but for the depiction of horror he only has to use the reality of the post-war period. The visual language and the raw narrative style carry the oppressive atmosphere and the confinement of the protagonists. Against the backdrop of current world events, the film reminds us that the war is not over even when the battles on the fronts have long since been fought.

The Standard Readers' Jury would also like to give an honorable mention to the following film:

EL ECO, Tatiana Huezo, Mexico/Germany 2023


FIPRESCI, the International Federation of Film Critics, was founded in 1930. The association is dedicated to the cultivation of journalistic ethics and represents the professional interests of its members. The members of FIPRESCI come from all over the world and meet in small juries at numerous film festivals to award the award of the International Federation of Film Critics. Usually they choose - as at the Viennale - from a number of first and second features by young filmmakers.

Jury: Nachum Mochiach, Giuseppe Di Salvatore, Barbara Gasser

The FIPRESCI-Award goes to:

SAVVUSANNA SÕSARAD (SMOKE SAUNA SISTERHOOD), Anna Hints, Estonia/France/Iceland 2023 

Image of movie Savvusanna sõsarad

Jury Statement:
The women's sauna meetings to which we have access are much more than mere confessions: They allow stories to circulate and feelings to be shared. Through extraordinary camerawork and an intimacy rarely achieved in films, Anna Hints approaches sensitive subjects in an organic way; a way that dares to reveal trauma on the one hand, and to bring about an empowerment that is highly contagious on the other. This film, this cinematic sisterhood is capable of much - not least of breaking taboos and making us all braver.

ERSTE BANK FILM AWARD – Vermehrt Schönes!

This year, for the 13th time, the Erste Bank Film Award, initiated and sponsored by Erste Bank, will be awarded in cooperation with the Viennale, the Deutsches Haus at NYU and the Anthology Film Archives. The Erste Bank Film Award is awarded among the Austrian film productions screening in the Viennale program via an independent jury. The Film Award allows for a stay in New York City including a work presentation at Anthology Film Archives.

Jury: Silvia Bohrn (Cultural Manager), Nicolas Mahler (Cartoonist), Boris Manner (Curator and philosopher), Jed Rapfogel (Curator Anthology Film Archives) 

The jury of the Erste Bank Film Award has decided to dedicate the award to two films. The Erste Bank Film Awards goes to:


DIE ÄNGSTLICHE VERKEHRSTEILNEHMERIN is exceptional: a film that is a voyage of discovery both intellectually and formally.

Die ängstliche Verkehrsteilnehmerin

Superficially, it is the story of a young woman, Flippa. She finds her sister Furia in Sardinia, in a feminist commune of young women. These are trying to realize identities and relationships outside the boundaries of conventional social structures. DIE ÄNGSTLICHE VERKEHRSTEILNEHMERIN explodes notions of how films should be made and constructed. In an unpolished and anti-naturalistic style, Mechow combines elements of cinema, theater, and literature: Improvisation, poetic language, frank philosophical reflections, uninhibited flights of fancy, and even an in-depth analysis of Jane Austen's novels. These divergent elements gain coherence through the thematic seriousness of Losing Faith.

The film is animated by the conviction that Western society is in dire need of transformation, but it is also aware of the possibility of falling into the trap of self-referential self-righteousness - a theme that strikes at the heart of our contemporary times.

The Erste Bank Film Award goes to:

RICKERL, Adrian Goiginger, Austria/Germany 2023 

Image of movie Rickerl

In RICKERL, Adrian Goiginger depicts the everyday life of a talented and unsuccessful musician and at the same time conducts an analysis of the Viennese soul. Multitalented Voodoo Jürgens skillfully embodies the main character of this film, into which biographical elements of the singer-songwriter were also woven. The protagonist's dreary everyday life between the unemployment office and layoffs is only made bearable by visits from his son, who lives apart from him, and a whimsical round in his regular pub. In this comedy, Goiginger succeeds in developing the image of a typical Viennese character without falling into clichés. Oscillating between a death wish and creative inspirations, he stumbles over himself again and again shortly before reaching a goal.

The film touches through the authentic portrayal of the main character, takes an ethnological look at the Viennese suburban milieu and shows it as a declining culture.