Production outfit Amour Fou is in development on two projects - including a “feminist vampire” film - with Nobel prize winning Austrian writer Elfriede Jelinek.

The Vienna and Luxembourg-based firm, co-founded by Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu and Bady Minck, are currently at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) (Jan 21-Feb 1) for the world premiere of its new film, Dreams Rewired narrated by Tilda Swinton.

Speaking in Rotterdam, the producers revealed that the first project in development with Jelinek is La Belle Dormeuse (The Beautiful Woman Sleeping), to be directed by Ulrike Ottinger. It is described by the producers as “a modern feminist vampire story”.

The second is Die Liebhaberinnen (Women As Lovers), which is adapted from Jelinek’s 1975 novel of the same name and will be directed by newcomer Caroline Kox.

Amour Fou is already producing a short film by Kox, titled Casting A Woman.

The Jelinek projects are likely to shoot in 2016.

Ambitious projects

In the meantime, the company - one of the producers of Jessica Hausner’s Cannes hit Amour Fou, Karlovy Vary winner The Notebook and The Casanova Variations starring John Malkovich - is pushing ahead with some of its most ambitious projects yet.

Virgil Widrich’s €6.6m The Night Of A Thousand Hours is fully financed and shortly to shoot. Casting will be announced during the Berlinale.

The film has been scripted by Widrich together with legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carriere, best known for his work with Luis Bunuel. The cinematographer is Christian Berger, who shot Michael Haneke’s The White Ribbon.

The Night Of A Thousand Hours is about a young man who takes over the family business. The  moment he does so, his deceased relatives from years ago suddenly appear, wearing the clothes they had on the day they died, and start interfering in his life.

It is billed as a “madcap tragi-comedy about acknowledging the past and atoning for it.”

Amour Fou Vienna and Amour Fou Luxembourg are collaborating on the project with Key Film from the Netherlands. The feature has support from Filmfund Luxembourg, Austrian Film Institute and broadcaster ORF as well as from Netherlands Film Fund and Eurimages.

Another Amour Fou project shortly to shoot is Egon Schiele, writer-director Dieter Berner’s biopic following the titular tormented artist as a young man.

Bady Minck, producer and co-founder of Amour Fou, is herself to direct an ambitious new film, 1313 - Dante’s Emperor. She will produce alongside Alexander Dumreicher-Ivanceanu.

The film imagines a meeting between Luxembourg monarch Henri VII, Holy Roman Emperor, and the poet Dante Alighieri. After living under the earth for 700 years, Henri VII returns to the present day to find out what happened to his kingdom - and re-encounters his old friend Dante.

IFFR world premiere

Dreams Rewired (Mobilisierung der Träume) received its world premiere in Rotterdam on Saturday (Jan 24) in IFFR’s Signals strand.

The film looks at the origins of today’s hyper-medicated, hyper-connected digital world.

“It is a film about dreams that come true. Those are the dreams of filmmakers, artists and technicians,” said Dumreicher-Ivanceanu.

“It is the utopias and dreams of the early days of cinema that came true in a way. They are linked very much to our communication world. The film shows how the internet, email, PDF, Skype, mobile phones - the ideas behind them were developed 100 years ago.”

As Dumreicher-Ivanceanu points out, the recorders and digital dictaphones that journalists use for interviews are themselves an offspring of an invention by Thomas Edison.

The original idea was to market it as “an apparatus that could record the voices of the dead”. If someone was dying on the battlefield, people would run to him so they could record and preserve his final words for his family.