Ulrich Seidl

Werner Herzog considers him one of his favorites, Michael Haneke values his radicalism, countless young filmmakers are influenced by his visual language: We are talking about Ulrich Seidl, one of Austria’s most important filmmakers. Exploring the fine line between fiction and documentary, his film projects are fascinating and unsettling, seemingly far from reality yet disturbingly close to it. His body of works includes such award-winning films as TIERISCHE LIEBE, MODELS, and HUNDSTAGE. Seidl caused a sensation last year with his PARADIES trilogy, which won prizes at various festivals. PARADIES: GLAUBE was even honored with the prestigious Jury Award at Venice Film Festival. At the ZFF MASTERS, Ulrich Seidl offers us insight into his work: What fascinates him about the blending of documentary and fiction? How does he get to know his film’s protagonists? 

Michael Haneke

This Austrian director/screenwriter was born in 1942. After his studies in Vienna he started working for the Südwestfunk (ARD) and since 1970, Haneke has been a freelance director and screenwriter and is responsible for some of the most well-known and successful films of the last 20 years. He has won numerous awards for his work, including one Oscar. In 2001, he received the Grand Jury Prize at Cannes for LA PIANISTE (among many other European and International awards). The thriller CACHÉ with Juliette Binoche was honored with prizes such as Critics Prize in Cannes 2003, Director’s Prize and the Ecumenical Jury Prize as well as Best European Film and Best European Director at the European Film Awards in Berlin 2005. More of Haneke’s works include DAS WEISSE BAND (Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film & Goldene Palme in Cannes), WOLFZEIT, FUNNY GAMES, DER SIEBENTE KONTINENT and CODE - UNBEKANNT. In 2010, Haneke thrilled the world with his cinematic masterpiece AMOUR, a touching film about love and death with the sublime actors Emmanuelle Riva and Jean-Louis Trintignant. AMOUR received countless awards: Goldene Palme in Cannes 2012, Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, César for Best Film, Best Director, Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Original Screenplay and Best Foreign Film Award at the New York Film Critic’s Awards, to only name a few.

Jessica Hausner

Born in Vienna in 1972, Jessica Hausner studied directing at Vienna’s film academy. She won a Pardino at Locarno Film Festival for FLORA, her first short film. In 1999, she co-founded the now internationally renowned coop99 production company together with Barbara Albert, Antonin Svoboda and Martin Gschlacht. Jessica Hausner attracted international attention with her 2001 film LOVELY RITA, an impressive study of everyday alienation. She bravely tackled the psychological thriller genre with HOTEL in 2004. Her 2009 film LOURDES was invited to participate in the 66th Venice Film Festival’s competition and won the renowned FIPRESCI award.

Erwin Wagenhofer

Born 1961 in Austria, director and screenplay writer Erwin Wagenhofer uses his films to highlight the world’s grievances. The German Documentary Film Award-winning and FIPRESCI Award-winning WE FEED THE WORLD deals with the excesses of worldwide food production and international agricultural policy. A graduate of the Austrian Institute of Technology, Wagenhofer created impressive imagery to portray the abstract flow of money in the global financial system in LET’S MAKE MONEY (2008). Wagenhofer worked on the screenplay for his drama BLACK – BROWN – WHITE, which tells the story of the impossible love between an Austrian trucker and an illegal African immigrant.