Diagonale
Festival of Austrian Film
March 13–18, 2018, Graz

Diagonale – Festival of Austrian Film

The Diagonale is conceived as a forum for the presentation and discussion of Austrian cinematic production. The goal and task of the Diagonale is a nuanced, multifaceted and critical exploration of Austrian cinema as well as drawing the industry into the media spotlight and thereby into public discourse. Accordingly, it is the filmmakers and their works that lie at the heart of the festival, which, by means of a tailored program selection, offers the rare opportunity to become acquainted with Austrian film in all its diversity, to trace current artistic trends and, to make some (re-) discoveries along the way.

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Let there be cinema! The Diagonale invites you to Graz

Every spring, the Diagonale celebrates Austrian film in Graz. In 2017 the Diagonale will take place in the Styrian state capital for the twentieth time, thereby celebrating a joyous anniversary; Also because the festival has become firmly established among audiences and the industry, and has enjoyed steadily growing visitor numbers.

Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhuber have run the festival since 2016 and have been able to keep it on its successful course. Their first joined effort running the Diagonale, which kept a balance between continuity and new impulses, ended with a record 30,200 visitors. Two new program sections, the Film Meeting, a new corporate identity, increased cooperation with local initiatives and institutions, and a dedicated festival district around the Kunsthaus Graz all added to the festival’s unique atmosphere.

The Diagonale is a site of concentrated film viewing, informal exchange, discussions on the creative industry and film industry, and cultural policies: and, last but not least, hearty and playful celebration against the elegant, Mediterranean backdrop of Graz. With its wide-ranging and distinguished program, the Diagonale has gained high esteem among international guests from the film industry and press.

At the center of the multifaceted program is the film competition. Its exciting mix of names, some established, some new, offers the chance to make unexpected discoveries and gather an image of the diverse and dynamic Austrian cinematic landscape.

Additionally, two further series within the program position domestic film production within larger geographical and historical contexts: the Spotlight on series reflects on Austrian film and cinema along the lines of a filmmaker’s biography. Tribute is paid to individuals whose distinctive touch has been pioneering for Austrian filmmaking, including directors as well as producers, editors, cinema operators, critics, etc. The In Reference section literally “sees beyond the end of its nose”. International productions encounter current films and trends in Austrian cinema. The series aims to initiate dialogue and point out congruities between the domestic film landscape and world cinema.

The historical special program of the Diagonale’17 will track the influences of pop culture on Austrian cinema, unearthing some filmic gems from the archives.

The comprehensive accompanying program of mediation and discourse underscores the “added value” a festival brings: Diagonale and Cinema Next expedite trans-generational dialogue in an unfamiliar setting, for example, in the Breakfast Club. The Film Meeting – the most significant industry event at the Diagonale – is conceived as a think tank of the Austrian industry and traces trends and future questions.

There is a lot to discover in Graz: In the cinema, on the screen, and all around.

 

What the media say about the Diagonale

“The Diagonale, Festival of Austrian Films, has been held in Graz since 1998. At a “domestic” event such as this, all those burdens embedded within any worthwhile artistic endeavor are sharpened: to position oneself within a vertical (historical) and horizontal (social) landscape, to respect and respond to a rich cultural lineage, to contribute to an unfolding discourse.”
— Michael Pattison, MUBI

“The entire city of Graz was lit up by film: so much seemed refreshingly new, not only formally, but also in terms of content. […] It leaves us speechless: how unique, independent, political, daring, and diverse Austrian film has meanwhile become. And how adept the offering is of historical contexts, socio-political approaches, and highly relevant positions. Debut: successful.”
— Julia Schafferhofer, Kleine Zeitung

“The setting seems to be extremely fruitful for productive discussions. Conversations about the state of the film art or about the state of the film industry are effortlessly started and single films are thoroughly discussed as well.”
— Ioana Florescu, ScreenAnarchy (US)

“Everyone who comes loves it – not least for the perfect balance between novelties, networking opportunities, partying and a thorough concern for film history. The Diagonale has opened up and energetically developed into an international event with yet a highly reflexive potential.”
— Barbara Wurm, Senses of Cinema

“The Festival’s overall impression, from the talks to the new graphics, to the special programs and the parties corresponded with what the two directors had hoped for from the start: to offer an exciting approach to Austrian film. That is a great achievement.”
— Simon Hadler, ORF.at

“[…] Adventurous, complex, and politically wide-awake […]”
— Stefan Grissemann, profil

“The entanglements that are noticeable in many places are interesting. A good program is not one that simply hopes to direct attention to single works; but rather, one in which resonances [between the works] emerge.”
— Bert Rebhandl, FAQ

“The new festival directors’ concept, which builds from gentle congruities is a very smart idea, because it most likely represents what the future will be for all film festivals.”
— Patrick Wellinski, Deutschlandradio