VIS AWARDS GO TO THE RABBIT HUNT, I’M NOT FROM HERE, EVERYTHING

VIS AWARDS GO TO THE RABBIT HUNT, I’M NOT FROM HERE, EVERYTHING

June 9, 2017

The biggest winner of this year’s Vienna Shorts Festival (Jun 1-6) was Peter Bresnan’s The Rabbit Hunt, which received two main prizes – the Vienna Shorts Film Award for the Fiction & Documentary programme,  and the Jury Prize for best documentary. I’m Not from Here was awarded the VIS Award for best female director, or two directors in this case – Maite Alberdi and Giedre Zickyte. David O’Reilly’s Everything won the Jury Prize in the Animation Avantgarde category, while the same award for a fiction film went to Gabriel Abrantes’ A Brief History of Princess X. In the national competition, the key VIS Award for the best Austrian film went to Veronika Schubert’s satire In Erster Linie, translated from German as First and Foremost.

FOR FULL LIST OF AWARDS, SCROLL DOWN

The closing ceremony for the 14th VIS was held at Vienna’s Metro Kinokulturhaus and was hosted by English-born, Vienna-based radio host Stuart Freeman. Daniel Ebner, the artistic director of VIS, took over from Freeman and officially opened the award ceremony by thanking his team for their hard work and support, while expressing regret that Benjamin Gruber, the managing director, was absent from VIS due to an unfortunate bike accident. As others pointed out later, the cozy atmosphere and local colour of VIS are its key qualities, although Ebner mentioned the festival had to significantly downsize and was left with 347 films, a 100 of which were in the competition programme. The numbers are still quite impressive.

Bresnan’s The Rabbit Hunt, a sharp documentary about the marginalized African American population in rural Florida, won the VIS Award for the Fiction & Documentary programme. In his acceptance speech, Bresnan admitted that it is not a good time to be from the US, alluding both to the current president of the US and the festival’s decisive attitude and several references to Trump’s misguided rhetoric. The Rabbit Hunt was acknowledged for the second time when it received the Jury Prize for best documentary. The jury, consisting of Director’s Fortnight programmer Laurence Reymond, vimeo’s Director of Curation Sam Morell, and UK film critic Neil Young,  stated that the film provides a timely glimpse into the tough, but sometimes joyful realities of the rural United States at one of the most turbulent-and increasingly alarming-points in its history.

The Jury prizes for fiction and animation were given to Gabriel AbrantesA Brief History of Princess X and David OReilly’s Everything, respectively.  OReilly sent a fun, short thank-you video with psychedelic distorsions of his face a la Snapchat. His film, as well as Gabrantes’ and The Rabbit Hunt, get qualified to Oscars long list by winning these awards.

Marta Pajek’s Impossible Figures and Other Stories II (Poland) and Jannis Lenz’s Wannabe were awarded Special Mentions, the former in the Animation Avantgarde line-up and the later as a contestant in the Austrian competition. Similarly, the VIS Award for best newcomer went to Slovenian-Austrian-Croatian co-production Good Luck, Orlo! by Slovenian-born Sara Kern.

As for the music video competition, the Artist-in-Residence Stipend went to Territory – the Blaze by the French filmmakers Guillaume and Jonathan Alric, whereas the Austrian Music Video Award was given to Bulletproof- VENTIL by Florian Kindlinger and Peter Kutin. The Austrian duo’s film The Fifth Wall gained special attention from the festival and was screened two times – first at the opening ceremony and then as part of the competition programme.

The Youth Jury Prize went to Bier & Calippo by Paul Ploberger, which authentically depicts the Austrian youth. The audience, perhaps unsurprisingly, voted for what is probably the biggest hit on the short film festival circuit at the moment, And So We Put Goldfish in the Pool by Nagahisa Makoto.

A breezily fun, but still over one hour long closing ceremony saw Bresnan received his Jury Prize a little later on in the programme so it was just the right time for him to call everyone out for a drink. And then the jury, the organizers and the audience all stampeded out of the room to get a sip of the free champagne. I, on the other hand, went home and continued reading Thomas Bernhard.

FULL LIST OF AWARDS

FICTION & DOCUMENTARY

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 – Best International Fiction & Documentary Film
The Rabbit Hunt (US) by Patrick Bresnan
Awarded € 4,000 by the City of Vienna

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 – Best Female Director
I’m Not from Here (CL, DK, IT, LT) by Maite Alberdi & Giedrė Žickytė
awarded € 1,000 by the Elfi Dassanowsky Foundation

ANIMATION AVANTGARDE

ASIFA AUSTRIA AWARD 2017 – Best Animation Avantgarde film
Casino (CA) by Steven Woloshen
Awarded € 2,000 by ASIFA Austria

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE STIPEND 2017 – Special Achievement
Orogenesis (ES) by Boris Labbé
Granted by MuseumsQuartier / Q21 with € 1.050 & a one-month stay in Vienna

Special Mention – Animation Avantgarde
Impossible Figures and Other Stories II (PL) – Marta Pajek

NATIONAL COMPETITION

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 – Best Austrian film
In Erster Linie (AT) by Veronika Schubert
Awarded € 5.000 by VdFS Austrian Association of Filmmakers and Vienna Tourist Board

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 – Best Newcomer
Good Luck, Orlo! (HR/SI/AT) by Sara Kern
Granted € 2,000 by VAM Audiovisual Media Association

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 – Youth Jury Prize – Best Austrian Film
Bier & Calippo (AT) by Paul Ploberger
Awarded by LISTO with a €1,000 postproduction voucher

Special Mention – Austrian Competition

Wannabe (DE/AT) by Jannis Lenz

SCREENSESSIONS / MUSIC VIDEOS

VIENNA SHORT FILM AWARD 2017 – Austrian Music Video Award
Bulletproof – VENTIL (AT) by Florian Kindlinger & Peter Kutin
Awarded by the FAMA Association of the Film and Music Industries with € 1,000

ARTIST-IN-RESIDENCE STIPEND 2017 – Best International Music Video
Territory – The Blaze (FR) by Guillaume & Jonathan Alric
Awarded by MuseumsQuartier / Q21 with € 1.050 & a one-month stay in Vienna

JURY PRIZES

JURY PRIZE – Fiction
A Brief History of Princess X (FR/GB/PT) by Gabriel Abrantes
Qualifies for the Academy Awards® in the category LIVE ACTION SHORT FILM

JURY PRIZE – Animation
Everything (IE/US) by David OReilly
Qualifies for the Academy Awards® in the category ANIMATED SHORT FILM

JURY PRIZE – Documentary

The Rabbit Hunt (US) by Patrick Bresnan
Qualifies for the Academy Awards® in the category DOCUMENTARY SHORT SUBJECT

VIS AUDIENCE AWARDS 2017

And So We Put Goldfish in the Pool (JP) by Nagahisa Makoto

Prix Très chic pour le film le plus extraordinaire
Im Wohnzimmer (AT) by Alexander Gratzer

EACH COMPETITION’S MOST POPULAR FILMS

Fiction & Documentary – And So We Put Goldfish In the Pool (JP) by Nagahisa Makoto
Animation Avantgarde – Decorado (FR/ES) by Alberto Vazquez
National Competition – All the Tired Horses (AT) by Sebastian Mayr
Screensessions – Gosh – Jamie xx (FR/GB) by Romain Gavras

Marija Jeremić
marijajeremic38@gmail.com