Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Film Award 2019

© Viennale

Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE Film Award 2019 goes to Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter for Space Dogs and to Friedl vom Gröller for L'Avenir? De F.v.G.?

In 2011 Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE film award was bestowed for the first time. The Erste Bank ExtraVALUE laureates are chosen by an independent jury among the Austrian film makers and producers that are presented throughout the Viennale. This year the award was given away for the ninth time.

The prize includes a residency in New York and a presentation of the winner’s work in the Anthology Film Archive. Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE Film Award is realized in collaboration with the Viennale, the Deutsches Haus at NYU, and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York.

Jury statement

Upon the jury’s recommendation, the Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Film Award 2019 will be awarded to two films and include a one-month stay respectively in New York for the directors.

© Viennale

Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE Film Award 2019 goes to Elsa Kremser and Levin Peter for Space Dogs.

A truly original hybrid that combines not only documentary and fictional elements but even different modes of non-fiction, Space Dogs is predicated on the story of Laika, the Moscow street dog who was the first resident of planet Earth to travel into space. By means of an invented fairy tale by which Laika’s ghost haunts the planet to this day, it is at once a meditation on the historical role of dogs and monkeys in early space exploration (via extraordinary archival footage) and a contemporary study of the stray dogs of Moscow, as they roam the streets by day and night. By shooting from a vantage close to the ground, the filmmakers adopt the perspective of the dogs both philosophically and literally. The result is a kind of city symphony in which the city is made strange as refracted through the eyes of its non-human inhabitants. A profound and rigorously unsentimental film about animals that encompasses both cinema verité and science-fiction fabulism, Space Dogs is by extension about those residents of a city who are overlooked, undervalued, and exploited.

© Viennale

Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE Film Award 2019 goes to Friedl vom Gröller for L'Avenir? De F.v.G.?

One of the most recent short films by the dizzyingly prolific Friedl vom Gröller, L’Avenir? De F.v.G.? is a work whose brevity and playfulness belie its astonishing inventiveness, evocativeness, and formal expansiveness. It is a portrait of two individuals – a deaf woman and her elderly Senegalese friend – as well as of two forms of non-spoken language that are both radically different from each other and (presumably) incomprehensible to most audiences: sign language and fortune telling with cowrie shells. The spectacle of unfamiliar forms of signification, and the mystery of the fortune teller’s magic, stand in inspired contrast to the everyday normality of the setting: a public laundromat. Through the structure and expressive power of the film itself, the women’s respective languages take on a cinematic meaning that renders them comprehensible even to the sign-language or fortune-telling illiterate.

Jury members
Silvia Bohrn, Jed Rapfogel, Boris Manner

Ruth Goubran

©Viennale - Silvia Bohrn, Eva Sangiorgi, Jed Rapfogel, Ruth Goubran, Boris Manner