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From the 23rd to the 29th of May 2019
, the 13th festival edition of ethnocineca – International Documentary Film Festival Vienna will take place at Vienna’s Votiv Cinema and the Cinema De France. We are very much looking forward to a stimulating and multifaceted week, in which Vienna once again becomes the centre of documentary film art. As a film festival for the public, ethnocineca not only brings together international guests from film, art and science, but also provides unusual insights into various dimensions of social and cultural dynamics. For seven days we will show contemporary and socially critical cinema, which deals with current questions of political, social and cultural coexistence worldwide from different points of view. An extensive side program with discussions, lectures, masterclasses, parties and the award ceremony as well as the in-house film workshop, complete the program and enable in-depth discussions with the films and the program-wide thematic focus AT RISK.

For thirteen years ethnocineca has been an integral component of the Viennese festival scene and is known far beyond the borders of Austria for its innovative program, the practiced interdisciplinarity and its unique atmosphere. The festival is characterized by its passion for documentary cinema, bridging the gap between art and the social sciences, thus enriching both the documentary film scene and practice-oriented and applied anthropology. During the festival week, Vienna becomes a hotspot of the international documentary film scene every year and a hub for creative exchange and scientific cooperation.



Overview of Competitions 

EVA – Excellence in Visual Anthropology Award

This competition reflects the diversity of ethnographic film and honors outstanding achievements and innovative works that contribute to a progressive understanding of Visual Anthropology. Films, which have been made within academic research as well as independently produced films will be accepted. Traditional and experimental methods and approaches are equally welcome, as long as they correspond to anthropological principles in perspective and style. Prize money: EUR 1.000.-

•   Innovative films in the field of Visual Anthropology
•   Length: min. 45 minutes

IDA - International Documentary Award 

IDA celebrates documentary film as a dynamic art form and honours its rich diversity: here the format has no limits and submissions from classic to animated documentary formats are equally welcome. This competition category is dedicated to outstanding works that go beyond the factual communication of content and stimulate a reflexive and innovative analysis of human lifeworlds and societies. Films from any region and on any subject are welcome, as long as people are at the center of their focus. 

Prize money: EUR 1.000.- 

•   International documentaries, traditional to experimental
•   Length: min. 45 minutes

ADA – Austrian Documentary Award

To promote Austrian Documentaries an international jury will select the best Austrian documentary film. Films with a minimum length of 45 minutes can be submitted for this either if they are produced by an Austrian production company or if the director lives and/or works in Austria. 

Prize money: EUR 1.000.- 

•   Films by Austrian production companies or by directors with residence in Austria
•   Length: min. 45 minutes

ISA – International Shorts Award

The International Shorts Award (ISA) pays well-deserved attention to the genre of short films within the festival program. Nominated documentaries stand out due to their range of subjects and show the dynamics and expressive opportunities of the short film format. Submissions to this category cannot be longer than 45 minutes. Apart from this formal requirement, there are no limits to their audio-visual expression. The audience will elect the winning film of this competition. 

Prize money: EUR 500.-

•   International short documentaries, traditional to experimental
•   Length: max. 45 minutes

ESSA – Ethnocineca Student Shorts Award

Young talents – Big cinema! With ESSA, ETHNOCINECA pays attention to the multifaceted inspiration of young documentary filmmaking. The award not only presents an international platform for young filmmakers but allows the participants to discuss their works with more established filmmakers and a large festival audience. Student works and first works from the documentary field and ethnographic filmmaking with a maximum length of 30 minutes can enter this competition. ESSA is an audience award. 

Prize money: EUR 500.- 

•   Student works and first works
•   Length: max. 30 minutes


Program Focus: AT RISK

For the festival edition of 2019 we especially invite filmmakers to submit films for this year's program focus AT RISK. This focus deals with all the values that are currently being discussed in a highly polarized manner in media and the political discourse: human rights, democratic political understanding, women's rights, workers' rights, freedom of speech and personal autonomy with regard to gender, origin, religion, culture, habitat, sexual orientation and political attitude. It deals with all those big issues that seem to be at risk in times of political upheaval on the societal level as well as in the private sphere, since from today's perspective future developments can not be clearly predicted.

We want to reflect in particular on the role of filmmakers and their protagonists. Directors, their teams, as well as their protagonists, often endanger themselves – politically as well as physically – and risk a lot in order to make their stories visible and accessible for larger audiences. 

For our program in 2019, we are looking for films that remind us of the risks and the immense personal engagement of individuals in the production of documentary films. With the upcoming film program and an the numerous side-event, we want to highlight this aspect of documentary filmmaking and channel the audience’s attention to this often undervalued element of production.

Documentary film can show profound alternative perspectives on these current questions and thus make their contribution. Once again, ETHNOCINECA understands itself as a discourse platform for a lively and socially relevant filmmaking.





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