Stories from Slovenia and Austria in Focus

25.05.2017 16:25
The Focus section is dedicated this year to the cinemas of Slovenia and Austria.

Focus: Slovenia includes a Damjan Kozole retrospective, as well as seven recent critical and audience successes from recent years. The Tree, Solvenia’s foreign language Oscar submission for 2016, is a surprising take on a family tragedy. Another successful debut proposed for the Oscar race is Rok Biček’s  Class Enemy, which explores tensions between a group of students and a professor accused of sparking the suicide of one of their peers. Director & writer Vinko Möderndorfer’s film Inferno is a multiple-award-winning drama about a family of unemployed workers and Jan Cvitkovič’s Siska Deluxe is an amusing story about success in business and true happiness, and also a festival success.

France Štiglic’s classic The Valley of Peace (1957) is a war drama for which John Kitzmiller  was awareded best actor in Cannes — the first time a Black actor received the award. Ziga Virc’s Houston, We Have a Problem! (2016) is a hybrid documentary which tries to unravel the myths behind Yugoslavia’s clandestine space problem in the 1960s, and Peter Braatz’s Blue Velvet Revisited (2016) explores the surrealist universe of David Lynch’s  iconic film, which also screen at TIFF in a digitally restored version.

Focus: Slovenia is organized in partnership with the Slovenian Film Center.

Focus: Young Austrian Cinema consists of eight festival darlings created by young filmmakers on their first or second feature. The great winner of the Austrian Film Awards this year, Thank You for Bombing, is Barbara Eder’s debut about the daily lives of war correspondents in Afghanistan. And in Lukas Valenta Rinner’s Los Decentes / A Decent Woman (2016), a luxury hotel maid in Buenos Aires is lured by the promise of sexual and intellectual liberation.

A discovery changes the life of the protagonist of Superwelt / Superworld (2015), played by Ulrike Beimpold (Best Actress at the 2016 Austrian Film Awards).  Johannes Krisch (Best Actor at the same awards) plays a serial killer turned famous writer in Elisabeth Scharang’s Jack. Stephan Richter’s One of Us is based on a murder case which shook the Country, while Ugly, directed by Juri Rechinsky, produced by Ulrich Seidl, and screened in Rotterdam, is an intense study in suffering. Daniel Hoesl’s Winwin satirizes capitalism, while Virgil Widrich’s supernatural police comedy The Night of a Thousand Hours, which received the audience award in Busan, brings out the deeply buried secrets of a rich family.

Focus: Young Austrian Cinema is organized with the Austrian Cultural Forum.