Interview with Roland Teichmann
FNE speaks with Roland Teichmann, Director of the Austrian Film Institute since 2004.
FNE: What was the most important development in your country's film industry over the past year?
Roland Teichmann: The rising of our total budget from 16.5 m EUR to 20 m EUR.
How important are European coproductions for the development of your country's film industry, especially with the neighbouring countries of the central European region?
Very important! As a rather small but vital film country, we depend upon coproductions, especially when budget dimensions lie above 2.5 m EUR.
What is the policy on digitalization of cinemas in Austria and where are you now in this process?
The biggest cinema and distribution chain started the digitalisation without public funding schemes many years ago. Later, federal and regional schemes helped to digitalize especially smaller art house cinemas. At the moment, about two-thirds of all 577 screens in Austria (68%) are digitalized, which is a very high rate.
How do you see the role of the Austria in the EU’s new Creative Europe in 2014?
Hopefully as an active player benefiting from the new initiatives.
Do you see the numbers of women directors and producers in Austria increasing in the future?
Absolutely, yes! The gender issue is on our to-do list. In our reports, we started to disclose funding commitments to male and female recipients and when taking funding decisions, the gender issue is, apart from the quality of the project, a relevant aspect.
Looking back over the past five years what are the major achievements of the Austrian Film Institute and what do you consider still needs to be done?
Within the last five years, films with our support won two Oscars, two further Oscar nominations, two Golden Globes, two Golden Palms, in total around 100 prizes at about 1,500 festivals, among them 90 A-festivals and 23 prizes at A-festivals.
Furthermore, these films reached over 4 m admissions in Austria and over 12 m admissions worldwide. The only thing that needs to be done is trying to stay at a level not far below what we have reached within the last years, and to secure the vitality and quality of filmmaking by especially investing in new talent.
EFP Producer on the Move 2012: Constanze Schumann
VIENNA: European Film Promotion 2012 Producer on the Move Constanze Schumann comes to Cannes as a part of one of Austria's leading production companies, Allegro Film, which she joined in 2011.
After graduating from the Film Academy Vienna in 2008 with an M.A. in Film Production, Schumann produced 10 short films before tackling a long documentary, Soul Spots by Karl Bretschneider, whose award winning short Gray Zone was also produced by Schumann. Her biggest achievement so far, she says, is the first feature she produced, Barbara Eder's Inside America (2010).
"The entire film was shot in Brownsville, Texas, USA, with an Austrian crew and a first time Austrian director, and setting up the whole production over there was a challenge," Schumann told FNE. Inside America premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival (www.tiff.net) and was selected for the Pusan, Sarajevo, Thessaloniki, Göteborg and SXSW film festivals, among others. It won the Special Jury Award at the Film Festival Max Ophüls Preis in Saarbrücken and had three nominations at the Austrian Film Awards, including Best Picture.
Looking back at her experience so far Schumann observes, "the most difficult and at the same time most important task of a film producer is finding the right content, the right script." She tells FNE, "I like to tell a story, either to touch the audience or to make them learn about something new, at best both. I like to pick a script or to develop an idea, to package the team and to create something unique."
At Allegro Film she is currently developing Marie Kreutzer's feature film Gruber is Leaving and Barbara Eder's documentary Online Dating - How to Find a Date by Friday, both of them set to premiere in 2013. Joining one of the leading production companies in Austria set high standards for the young producer. "Allegro Film is producing challenging films close to their audience. We are focused on feature films, international documentaries for the big screen, and have a passion for high quality genre films. We are looking for the same in potential coproducers," she says. Schumann adds that Allegro is looking forward to continuing coproducing with companies in Germany, Switzerland, UK and France and finding new partners from the Scandinavian countries.
Dr Rudolf Scholten, Chairman of the Supervisory Board of the Film Institute Austria
Population: 8.5m (mid-2013)GDP per capita in USD: 42,597Admissions: 15,176,581 (2013) Admissions per capita: 1,78 (2013)Number of screens: 548 (2013)Digital screens: 537 (2012)Average ticket price: 8.21 EUR (2013)Number of Austrian premieres: 42 of which 12 international coproductions (2013)Admission Austrian films: 612,447 (2013)Number of European premieres in 2013: 196Admissions of European premieres in 2013: 3,612,119
(Sources: Austrian Film Institute, Rentrak. Population Reference Bureau)
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The Federal Ministry for Education, the Arts and Culture: www.bmukk.gv.at
Austrian Film Institute: www.filminstitut.at
Austrian Film Commission: www.afc.at
Austrian Broadcasting Service (ORF): www.orf.at
Filmarchiv Austria: www.filmarchiv.at
Film Museum: www.filmmuseum.at
Filmakademie Wien: www.mdw.ac.at/filmakademie
Vienna International Film Festival (Viennale): www.viennale.at
VIS Vienna Independent Shorts: www.viennashorts.com
Cinema under the Stars: www.kinountersternen.at
Austrian Film Festival: www.austrianfilmfestival.com