Great Freedom wins big at the Austrian Film Awards

– Sebastian Meise’s drama about a gay man in Germany, who is repeatedly locked up due to Paragraph 175, ripped eight gongs

The winners of this year’s Austrian Film Awards (© eSeL.at/Lorenz Seidler)

The Austrian Film Prizes were awarded for the 12e times on June 30 at the Grafenegg Auditorium in Lower Austria, and the night saw the triumph of Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
and fox in a hole [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arman T Riahi
film profile
]
. With COVID-19 regulations being the most relaxed in two years, around 1,000 guests chose to attend the event. Under the banner “All together now”, the ceremony, hosted by the Austrian filmmaker Clara Sternaimed at arousing feelings of optimism and solidarity.

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The big winner of the evening was the darling of the festival Great Freedom by Sebastien Meisea drama set in the mid 20se century, during which a German is imprisoned several times for his violations of paragraph 175, a law prohibiting homosexuality. The film won Best Feature, Best Lead Actor, Best Supporting Actor, Best Director, Best Screenplay, Best Cinematography, Best Makeup, and Best Film Editing. The second in terms of the number of prizes won was Arman T Riahiit is fox in a holewhich won Best Leading Actress, Best Supporting Actress, Best Score and Best Sound Editing.

Other winners were Underworld Notes [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
film profile
]
by Rainer Frimmel and Tizza Covi for Best Documentary Feature, Genosse Tito, ich erbe by Olga Kosanovic for the best short film, The royal game by Philipp Stoelzl for the best costume design and Countryside [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stefan Ruzowitzky
film profile
]
by Stefan Rouzowitzky for the best production design. The Viewers Choice Award for Most Popular Movie went to Snotty boy [+see also:
trailer
interview: Marcus H Rosenmüller and Sa…
film profile
]
which drew 95,000 viewers.

Another focal point of this year’s ceremony was the topic of sexual harassment in the Austrian film industry, which has been the subject of intensive discussion lately. Presidents of the Austrian Film Academy Verena Altenberger and Arash T Riahi noted, “Our work often brings us into situations that encourage sexualized abuse of power.” There are, however, ways to improve conditions for everyone: various sets, employing support people, special training before a shoot, and better employee protection would be among the most important options. As of next autumn, a contact point for survivors will be set up at the Federal Ministry for Arts, Culture, Civil Service and Sport.

The special guest of the evening was Alik Shpilyuk, artistic director of the Ukrainian Academy of Cinema. Shpilyuk praised the cooperation between Austrian and Ukrainian filmmakers and spoke of the great pain the war is currently causing in his home country.

Here is the full list of winners:

Bis the feature film
Great Freedom [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sebastian Meise
film profile
]
– Sebastian Meise (Austria/Germany)

BDocumentary
Underworld Notes [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
film profile
]
-Tizza Covi, Rainer Frimmel

Best Short Film
Genosse Tito, ich erbe – Olga Kosanovic (Austria/Germany)

Best Director
Sebastien Meise – great freedom

Best Leading Actress
Maria Hofstatter – fox in a hole [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arman T Riahi
film profile
]

Bis the main actor
Georg Friedrich- Great Freedom

BActress in a supporting role
Lunda Jordan – fox in a hole

Bbest supporting actor
Thomas Prenn– Great Freedom

BScript
Sebastien Meise, Thomas Reider – Great Freedom

Bcinematographic
Crystal Fournier – Great Freedom

Bcostume design
Tanja Hausner– The Royal Game (Germany/Austria)

best makeup
Heiko Schmidt, Roman Braunhofer, Kerstin Gaecklin – great freedom

Best score
Karwan Marouf – fox in a hole

Bis film editing
Joana Scrinzi – great freedom

Bproduction design
Oleg Prodeus, Andreas Sobotka, Martin Reiter – Countryside [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Stefan Ruzowitzky
film profile
]
(Austria/Luxembourg)

Bis the sound editing
Atanas Tcholakov, Atanas Tcholakov, Manuel Meichsner – fox in a hole

Viewers’ Choice
Snotty boy [+see also:
trailer
interview: Marcus H Rosenmüller and Sa…
film profile
]
– Marcus H Rosenmüller, Santiago López Jover (Germany/Austria)

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