Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s debut feature The Little One (La Pivellina), will become the first Austrian production in the Viennale’s 47-year history to open the festival, which runs October 22 to November 4.
The film, which premiered at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes this year, tells the story of an abandoned little girl taken in by circus performers.
The festival’s programme includes more than a dozen world premieres, including a large contingent of new Austrian films such as Peter Kern’s Neo-Nazi drama Initiation (Blutsfreundschaft) with veteran actor Helmut Berger; Nathalie Borgers’ Die Frauenkarawane; Fridolin Schönweise’s The Five Cardinal Points; Günter Schwaiger’s Arena; Sudabeh Mortezai’s documentary about Islamic gender policy In The Bazaar Of Sexes and UK film-maker Peter Whitehead’s first film in many years, political essay Terrorism Considered As One Of The Fine Art, which was shot in Vienna.
In addition, there will be international premieres including Abel Ferrara’s Napoli Napoli Napoli; Michael Almareyda’s Paradise; Volker Koepp’s Berlin-Stettin and David Yon’s The Birds Of Paradise. There will also be Austrian premieres of recent international festival titles such as Lars von Trier’s Antichrist, Andrew Bujalski’s Beeswax, Jacques Audiard’s A Prophet and Corneliu Porumboiu’s Police, Adjective.
This year’s tributes are dedicated to Scottish actress Tilda Swinton, Filipino director Lino Broack and US actor-director Timothy Carey. The Swinton tribute will include the world premiere of Cynthia Beatt’s documentary The Invisible Frame, which sees Swinton return to trace the Berlin Wall 20 years after she cycled it for the 1988 film, Cycling The Frame.
Moreover, the Viennale will become the first festival worldwide to present the complete oeuvre to date of the Chinese writer and film-maker Guo Xialou, including a screening her Golden Leopard winner She, A Chinese as well as the world premiere of 3 Short Films About Home.
The Viennale will close on November 4 with the presentation of the Vienna Film Prize, which will be awarded to two separate categories for feature and documentary, the FIPRESCI Prize and Der Standard Readers’ Jury Prize before the Austrian premiere of Joel and Ethan Coen’s A Serious Man.