Cinema Urania
© Alexi Pelekanos


Each year, the Viennale brings the latest films of various genres to Vienna from around the world. Among them are unknown and off-beat discoveries as well as popular big-budget films that have already celebrated international premieres. Like the drama "First Cow" by Kelly Reichardt, a documentary about the Cuban musician "El Gran Fellove", the first film of actor Matt Dillon, or the film "Never Rarely Sometimes Always" by Eliza Hittman, which won an award at this year's Berlinale.

In view of the current situation, this year's event focuses in part on the topic of distance and closeness. "Nomery" by Oleg Sentsov is an allegory of totalitarianism. The documentary film "Intimate Distances" by Phillip Warnell looks through Skype into the life of families living scattered around the globe. And Kamal Aljafari turns his gaze outward through a security camera in his film "An Unusual Summer".

Austrian cinema is also represented, including with the film "Epicentro" by Hubert Sauper, which won at the Sundance Festival, and "Notes from the Underworld" (Aufzeichnungen aus der Unterwelt) about the Viennese underworld of the 1960s. Cinema "Made in Austria" is also on the program in the series "Austrian Days". Due to the cancellation of the Graz Film Festival in the spring due to COVID-19, selected films are now being shown in cooperation with the Viennale.

This year the festival also goes on a journey through the film work of the German film and theater director Christoph Schlingensief and presents the works of the Serbian director Želimir Žilnik, one of the most important, politically engaged filmmakers in Europe. Together with Filmarchiv Austria, the Viennale also dedicates itself to Austrian cinema of the 1970s, which were among the freest, most daring and cheerfully experimental years in local film history.

This year's Viennale is a festival of synergies and collaborations. To ensure the safety of audiences and to comply with distancing rules, the festival will be held at even more cinemas. It remains to be seen what a supporting program can look like in times of COVID-19.


October 22 - November 1, 2020
Various cinemas in Vienna
The full Viennale program is available online from October 13:
Advance sales from October 17, 2020


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