68.100 cineasts visited the Viennale 2001 with an average attendance of 72,60%.
Apart from the extensive main program of new films, the Tributes - devoted to the legendary actress Fay Wray and to the German documentary filmmaker Peter Nestler - were met with an extraordinary attention and great reception. As usual, many of the festival favourites came unexpectedly: the new films of the so-called world cinema - ranging from Sri Lanka to Uruguay - found huge interest. So did rare gems of cinema history taken from the vaults of the film archives. The audience’s interest for documentaries – even the most unconventional such as Jonas Mekas‘ four-hour home movie or Frederick Wiseman’s study „Domestic Violence“ –,for experimental shorts, and lengthy cinema epics was equally overwhelming and unexpected.The varying Special Programs were also attended with great response: most notably the first international presentation of the films of the young director Alain Guiraudie, but also the reading from Ilse Aichinger’s new book „Film und Verhängnis“, and the presentation of the innovative French media research centre Le Fresnoy. RETROSPECTIVE - From the Heart of the World
The Viennale undertook to take stock and map the cinematographic territory of the Central Asian Republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan. The comprehensive retrospective “Aus dem Herzen der Welt - From the Heart of the World” included recent works as well as films of the “New Wave” mentioned above and a selection of classics, which helped to lay the foundations to the traditions of the cinema of this region. A season of short films largely unknown in the West and a splendid program of rare documentaries organised in cooperation with “Cinéma du reél” formed a central aspect of the retrospective.