Albert Serra's Honor DeCavalleria was named the winner ofthe FIPRESCI Prize at the Viennale 'for its imaginative and challengingcinematic reinvention of the classic novel Don Quixote.' The Vienna International Film Festival closedlast night with a gala screening of Robert Altman's A Prairie Home Companion.
The Vienna Film Prize forthe best Austrian feature film or documentary released in Austrian cinemassince last year's Viennale or shown during the 2006 Viennale went to Anja Salomonowitz'sfictional documentary It Happened Just Before (Kurz Davor Ist Es Passiert) about female labour trafficking. Internationalsales are being handled by the film's producer Amour Fou and it will bereleased theatrically in Austria by Poool Filmverleih.
In addition, the ViennaleStandard Audience Award was presented to Mirjam Kubescha's documentary Hoodlum(Balordi) about the inmates of theItalian high-security prison Volterra as they prepare a performance of BertoltBrecht's Threepenny Opera.
Summing up what was histenth outing as festival director this year, Hans Hurch reported that the 2006edition had posted a record 88,900 admissions over 12 days, up 2,700 on theprevious record-breaking 2005 festival.
He noted that audiences thisyear had been particularly interested in the documentaries showing in theViennale programme, including several world premieres of locally produced filmssuch as Alexander Binder and Michael Gartner's No Island - The PalmersKidnapping 1977, Anita Natmessing's ZeitZu Gehen, and Andrea Eckert's I'mAbout Winning - Der Filmtycoon Eric Pleskow. Performances of the Austrian documentaries were complete sell-outs forboth the first as well as repeat screenings, which was an encouraging sign forproducers and directors of documentaries 'made in Austria.'