3 Films to watchAUT for at London’s New Austrian Film Festival
The Austrian Cultural Forum London in cooperation with the Raindance, the Austrian Film Institute and the Austrian Film Commission presents the first edition of watchAUT, a new film festival featuring the best new and recent films to emerge from Austria. Running 13th – 15th December at Picturehouse Central, it provides a glimpse of the world as perceived by the current generation of Austrian filmmakers. With a focus on today’s hottest issues including the environment, migration, and women making waves in front of and behind the camera, watchAUT is both a timely snapshot and an intriguing reflection of the current status quo. It’s also an opportunity to preview anticipated new films by Austrian directors, as well as see on the big screen acclaimed titles that haven’t had a UK theatrical release.
Here are 3 films to watch out – or rather watchAUT for! – at the first edition of this brand new festival.
Showing: Friday 13th December, 18:00
The festival opens with a special gala preview of LITTLE JOE (dir: Jessica Hausner, Austria/UK/Germany, 2019) ahead of its UK theatrical release in February 2020. Emily Beecham won Best Actress at the Cannes Film Festival for her role as a single mother and plant breeder engaged in developing new species. Against company policy, she takes a genetically modified plant home as a gift for her teenage son. Co-starring Ben Whishaw, this eerie and visually sumptuous tale about the perils of playing with nature was one of four female directed films in the running for this year’s Palme d’Or at Cannes.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with actress Kerry Fox.
Showing: Saturday 14th December, 16:30
WELCOME TO SODOM (dir: Florian Weigensamer, Christian Krönes, Austria, 2018) follows the hundreds of thousands of mobile phones, LCD TV’s, notebooks and other outdated technology that gets sent to Agbogbloshie’s rubbish tech dump in Ghana. In doing so, this powerful documentary portrays the daily life of people living in one of the most polluted corners of earth, including many children who inhale the toxic smoke these products emit as they’re dismantled.
Showing: Saturday 14th December, 18:40
A multi-award winner at the Berlinale, Austrian Film Awards, German Film Awards, and at numerous international film festivals, STYX (dir: Wolfgang Fischer, Austria/Germany, 2018) is the powerful story of a doctor making a solo sailing trip along the West African coast and of her encounter with a group of refugees shipwreckWed on the high seas. When the coastguards warn her not to get in touch with them, she faces a challenging ethical issue.
The screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Wolfgang Fischer.
Find out more about the festival and explore the full programme here.