This year’s Viennale comes to a successful close today with the gala screening of the film LA LA LAND. The festival, which was one day shorter than previous editions and did without the early- morning program in the Gartenbaukino, offered about 8,000 tickets less than last year. In view of this, the total number of 92,300 visitors, as compared to 94,100 in 2015, marks a great success for the Viennale 2016. Although the number of visitors slightly decreased, the utilization of available seats clearly increased from 76.4% in 2015 to 82.3% and so did the number of sold-out screenings, from 123 in 2015 to 154.
All in all, it can be said that the Viennale 2016 was a great and gratifying success and that the reduction of the program and offering only had an insignificant impact on the figures.
“This year’s festival, which marked my 20th anniversary as director, was a very special gift for me,” says Viennale director Hans Hurch. “I don’t know to whom we owe it, but seldom has a Viennale edition received such positive and partly enthusiastic feedback from both audiences and international critics.”
Among this year’s special programs the tribute to Peter Hutton was an extremely positive surprise, as was the mini-tribute to Kenneth Lonergan. In addition, the retrospective of Filmarchiv Austria on the émigré filmmaker Robert Land met with great interest.
Highlights of this year’s festival included the opening film, MANCHESTER BY THE SEA, screened in the presence of director Kenneth Lonergan, the great premieres in Gartenbaukino of a number of new Austrian films, and the visit of the American artist Patti Smith, who dedicated a photo exhibition to the festival and performed an outstanding concert in the sold-out Gartenbaukino.
Furthermore, it should be noted that this year’s Viennale saw the attendance of an unusually large number of important, international filmmakers, who presented their works at the festival. These included Terence Davies, Luc Dardenne, Olivier Assayas, John Carpenter, Abel Ferrara, Albert Serra, Julien Temple, Bertrand Bonello and Cristi Puiu.
Organized in collaboration with the Filmmuseum, the great retrospective A SECOND LIFE – THEMES AND VARIATIONS IN FILM, showing until November 30, will have an estimated total of 5,400 visitors.