Vienna Independent Film Festival which was held for the first time in Vienna 4 -7 July 2016 announced the winners on 7 of July.
“We’re excited to be hosting so many wonderful films,” said Film Festival Director Elena Ringo. “There were guests from different parts of the world and great films to watch”.
The festival opened with the German film “God of Happiness” by Dito Tsinzadze who received the Best Director Award. The picture is a tragi-comedy which tells the story of a former film director from Georgia living in Germany.
The highlight of the festival was the Konkani film “Lets Dance to a Rhythm”, which received the Golden Sphinx – Grand Prix of the festival. It is a 1960s-set romance-drama by Bardroy Barretto about jazz musicians from Goa.
The Festival focused on auteur cinematography – most of the films were written, filmed and produced by directors themselves and often based on their personal experiences, which brought more excitement and truth into the stories told.
Best Feature Film was awarded to the American film “Imperfect Sky’’ by Graham Streeter – a breathtaking drama about heroin addiction and ultimate sacrifice.
Best Short Film was awarded to the German film “After Truth” by Nicolas Ehret which successfully continued traditions of classical cinematography.
One of the guests of the festival was the internationally well-known photographer Eli Hershko who shot album and magazine covers for many famous musicians, including Backstreet Boys, Björk, Garbage. He now successfully directs films and he presented his newest picture “The Closer” which depicts the cruel world of real estate business. The screenplay based on real events co-written with Isaac Broyn received the Best Original Screenplay award.
Best Documentary was awarded to the Film “Violins of Hope: Strings of the Holocaust” narrated by Adrien Brody and directed by Lance Shultz.
The festival did not receive any financial support neither from the city of Vienna, nor from the Federal Ministry of Education, Arts and Culture. Nonetheless, Elena Ringo and her team, which consists entirely of volunteers, managed to put together an impressive program, presenting 38 feature, short films and documentaries in the cinemas CineCenter and UCI Kinowelt Millenium City. Most of the featured productions were Austrian premiers.
The festival is to be held annually in Vienna, the capital of Austria.