Documentaries are once again out in force at this year's Diagonale - Festival of Austrian Film (April 1-6) which opens in Graz on Tuesday evening with the world premiere of Othmar Schmiderer's Back To Africa.
Poool Filmverleih will release the film, which follows five artists of Andre Heller's 'Afrika Afrika' musical extravaganza back to their home countries, in Austrian cinemas on April 25.
Other brand-new Austrian documentaries selected to screen at what will be the last edition under festival director Birgit Flos include Kenan Kilic's Gurbet - Away From Home about the first generation of guest workers, Marko Doringer's ironic self-portrait of 30somethings Halbes Leben, Katharina Weingartner's Sneaker Stories, and Georg Misch's Der Weg nach Mekka - Die Reise des Muhammed Asad.
Apart from presenting all of the Austrian feature films and documentaries released in local cinemas during the past 12 months - including Hans Weingartner's Reclaim Your Brain, Goetz Spielmann's Revanche, Alexander Hahn's Midsummer Madness and Pepe Danquart's Lola-nominated To The Limit - the Diagonale will also serve as the launchpad for such new feature films as Nikolaus Leytner's Ein Halbes Leben, Daruisz Kowalski's Optical Vacuum and Peter Wagner's Die Eiserne Grenze.
Several sidebars and retrospectives complementing the main film programme will include showcases dedicated to the films of Jasmila Zbanic (Grbavica) and Belgrade's Atelier Varan as well as spotlights on the Sarajevo Film Festival, the Winterthur International Short Film Days, the DokMa documentary film festival in Slovenia's Maribor and VIS - Vienna Independent Shorts.
Flos's successor will be the Austrian-born curator and film journalist Barbara Pichler who has been appointed as festival director for three festivals from the next edition in 2009 until 2011.