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Films by sections

Arbeitswelten / Working Worlds

For the 16th time this section sheds light on European working worlds and realities in times of globalization
and economic crisis. This year the program, curated by Katharina Riedler, deals with the area of tension of
“women and work” under the name Independent Women.

The selected feature films and documentaries tell of women in today’s working world on their way to empowerment in the form of their first real job, or their first job at all (PREMIÈRE CAMPAGNE, I DOULIA TIS), of breaking free from economic constraints (CHEZ JOLIE COIFFURE), and of the corset of normalized job placement (REISE NACH JERUSALEM).

The Working Worlds Essay can be found HERE.

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Competition Documentary

This competition section includes eleven documentaries, which show the current state of Europe on a
social, political, economic, but also a contemporary historical level.

The contributions in this section deal with armed conflicts and their often drastic effects (CHRIS THE SWISS, SRBENKA, WE DID WHAT HAD TO BE DONE), right-wing populism of authoritarian rulers (SVIDETELI PUTINA, HUNGARY 2018), shed light on the situation of young people on the edges of Europe (TRANSNISTRA, HOME GAMES), day-to-day observations and studies of milieu (DRAUSSEN, L’ÎLE AU TRÉSOR), and artistically combine family histories and selected periods in contemporary European history (HEIMAT IST EIN RAUM AUS ZEIT, LA DERNIÈRE DENTRE ELLES). Also in this section, two of the directors have been previous guests in Linz, namely Vitaly Mansky and Thomas Heise.

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Competition Fiction

This year the section consists of eleven Austrian premieres that demonstrate a broad spectrum both
thematically and formally. In the selection feature film the audience will see young people searching for a
place in society (LIGHT AS FEATHERS, DAS MELANCHOLISCHE MÄDCHEN), how marriages, or
relationships become battlefields (MONSTRI., ORAY; TECHELOVEK KOTORIJ UDIVIL VSEH), the effects of
structural change and gentrification (BAIT, SAF), women in emotional states of emergency (FUGA, IRINA, DER UNSCHULDIGE), as well as how political instability breaks down community over time (VULKAN).

Four of the directors of the selected film have been previous guests of CROSSING EUROPE: Agnieszka Smoczyńska (2016: The Lure), Nadejda Koseva (2005: Lost and Found, and 2016: as the producer of JAJDA), Simon Jaquemet (2015: CHRIEG), and Roman Bondarchuk (2016: UKRAINIAN SHERIFFS).

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Crossing Europe EXTRACTS goes…


European Panorama Documentary

The EUROPEAN PANORAMA Documentary brings together current productions from all over Europe. The cinematic positions in this section are just as diverse as European filmmaking itself. It shows films which earned international acclaim during the last season and were awarded in other festivals, it presents film higlights as premieres for the Austrian audience, including many past film guests contributing new films.

European Panorama Fiction

The European Panorama Fiction brings together current productions from all over Europe. The cinematic positions in this section are just as diverse as European filmmaking itself. It shows films which earned international acclaim during the last season and were awarded in other festivals, it presents film higlights as premieres for the Austrian audience, including many past film guests contributing new films.

Festivalpremieren im City-Kino | Festival Premieres @ City-Kino

Local Artists

All together 164 works were submitted for this competition section. Of these, 58 productions were selected for
this year’s festival that will be shown in 19 program positions – among these films there are 19 world, 5
Austrian, and one international premiere.

Once again the highly popular LOCAL ARTISTS section offers an overview on the current Upper Austrian film landscape. Next to fresh music videos, cool experimental films and current short film productions, the local competition impresses with selected full-length documentaries that deal with displacement and integration, alternative ways of living and the beginnings of the anti-nuclear power movement in Austria. There is a Special dedicated to Edith Stauber, and a selection of experimental productions will once again be shown at the Deep Space 8K at the Ars Electronica Center, the opener of this section is a cinematic homage to the internationally renowned photographer Elfie Semotan.

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Local Artists 2020

Local Artists Shorts @ OÖ Kulturquartier

Nachtsicht / Night Sight

For the twelfth time the film journalist and festival director Markus Keuschnigg curated the NIGHTSIGHT at
CROSSING EUROPE, and once again this year this section will present five extraordinary feature films – all
from the genre “fantastical film”.

As a motto, the curator chose: “Dance your Fears! Dancing with fear in my eyes.”, calling out to people that we should never let ourselves be brought to our knees by our fears. “This diffuse thunderstorm of fear in our hearts and minds must never be instrumentalized by the few to preserve power.” The five selected films present five worlds of fear – a fight for survival in the arctic ice (ARCTIC), a dystopia shaped by terror and xenophobia (DANMARKS SØNNER), the Parisian hardcore subculture in the 1970s (UN COUTEAU DANS LE CŒUR), and the return to the seemingly peaceful life on the countryside with nature (THE HOLE IN THE GROUND, KOKO-DI KOKO-DA).

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Following the award winning director Yeşim Ustaoğlu from Turkey, and the successful producer Ada
Solomon from Romania, CROSSING EUROPE is putting the focus of the program section SPOTLIGHT on a
leading female figure in European cinema for the third time. This year the choice fell on the highly active
Iris Elezi from Albania, who had already personally introduced her first feature length film BOTA
(IT/AL/Kosovo 2014) to the festival audience in Linz in 2015.

After studying in the USA (a.o at the TISCH School of Arts, NYU), Iris Elezi returned to Albania, where she dedicated herself to the Albanian cinematic heritage and its conservation next to her work as a director, producer, screen writer, and lecturer. Twenty-seven years after the fall of the isolated Stalinist dictatorship in Albania, it is still the case that little is known about the cinema from this southern European country. As a co-founder of the initiative The Albanian Cinema Project, Iris Elezi is a key figure in conserving the national cinematic heritage not only in a material but also in an ideological sense. In this context, they organize e.g. film screenings, in order to sensitize the public to the filmmaking from the time of the dictatorship, that is understandably rejected by large parts of the population. Iris Elezi describes her efforts for a critical revaluation of the Albanian cinematic heritage, that without a doubt also plays a part in the education on cultural identity, as such: “We must free ourselves from this collective amnesia.” The film selection for her Carte Blanche is split between a historic part and current productions. Next to three feature films from the recommended director Xhanfise Keko from the 1970s, the historic program also includes a comedy blockbuster from the post-Hoxha era by one of the central figures of Albanian cinema, Dhimiter Anagnosti.

The “current” program section offers an ideal introduction into the Albanian cinematic universe with the documentary by Mark Cousins that is full of facts, yet has hardly been received by an international audience. The section is complemented by two further feature films, next to BOTA by Iris Elezi, the very recent and highly successful production that was shown at multiple international festivals, NËNTOR I FTOHTË by Ismet Sijarina will be shown

More information about our 2019 Spotlight HERE.

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This year the CROSSING EUROPE Tribute section is dedicated to the award winning director and screen
writer Jaime Rosales from Catalonia (will be present in Linz 25 – 27 April). During the festival we will show all
of his previous feature films – six all together – which will all be attended by the director, who will also hold a
Masterclass (26 April, 4 pm, OK Deck) in Linz. His newest work, PETRA, which had its world premiere at
Cannes, will be shown for the first time in Austria in Linz.

Jaime Rosales was born in 1970 in Barcelona and studied at the prestigious San Antonio de los Baños International Film and Television School (EICTV) in Cuba. After that, he went to Australia, where he continued his studies at the Australian Film Television and Radio School Broadcasting Entertainment (AFTRSBE). He then returned to Europe and began to work for television as a screen writer and founded his own production company Fresdeval Films in 2001.

Already his first feature film (LAS HORAS DEL DÍA) was highly successful internationally and had its world premiere – as with four other of his films – at the international film festival in Cannes. He has become one of the most important voices in Spanish contemporary cinema, and seems to re-invent himself in every one of his films. No film is like the last, and yet every one of his six feature films bares his artistic handwriting. What is particularly impressive is his joy of experimentation as well as the consistency with which Rosales realizes his cinematographic vision every time. Sometimes he experiments with technical “gimmicks” (e.g. the use of split-screens in LA SOLEDAD, or what was still considered to be new media at the time, e.g. Skype 21 in HERMOSA JUVENTUD), other times, the stringent camera work leaves a lasting impression. Think of the terror-drama TIRO EN LA CABEZA, where the camera is never close to the action, but rather watches everything from afar, much like in a nature documentary (Rosales himself made this comparison in an interview). It also becomes apparent in his current production PETRA that the excessive use of pans with the steady cam was chosen explicitly as a stylistic device. Rosales works both with professional actors as well as with amateurs. Sometimes he does entirely without dialogue, sometimes language is an integral part in his work.

His films are shaped by a keen sense of observation and an instinct for social disturbances, be it the murderer “next door” (LAS HORAS DEL DÍA), the missing perspectives of the younger generation in Spain (HERMOSA JUVENTUD), the social structures in a family as a multilayered micro cosmos (SUEÑO Y SILENCIO), the bombings in Madrid (LA SOLEDAD), or the ETA terror (TIRO EN LA CABEZA). His works are also defined by an infallible sense of atmosphere that cleverly draws the audience into the stories, and makes people deal with topics that they would rather not think about. Being overt a stylist, Jaime Rosales is always interested in exploring boundaries when telling stories on the silver screen. 

More information HERE.

// The Tribute 2019 is carried out in collaboration with the Institut Ramon Llull. //

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Tribute VALIE EXPORT @ Ars Electronica 2020