The film year 2020 in review

Facts & Figures 2020

…... though statistics for 2020 relating to films and festivals should be seen in a different light, since it was not always possible to define festival participation clearly. The participation figures should therefore be regarded more as approximate values.

1. In total we recorded 43 cinematic productions represented by the AFC and registered almost 400 participations.

2. Four Films celebrated their world premieres at key festivals of particular relevance for their world distribution:

  • •    EPICENTRO by Hubert Sauper: World Cinema Documentary Competition (Sundance)
  • •    NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD by Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel: Panorama (Berlinale)
  • •    RUNNING ON EMPTY by Lisa Weber: Panorama (Berlinale)
  • •    THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN by Sandra Wollner: Encounters (Berlinale)

•    3. 
These films also celebrated the world premieres in 2020:

  •     OSKAR & LILLI by Arash T. Riahi
  • •    EPICENTRO by Hubert Sauper
  • •    NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD by Tizza Covi & Rainer Frimmel
  • •    RUNNING ON EMPTY by Lisa Weber
  • •    THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN by Sandra Wollner
  • •    WOOD by Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan, Michaela Kirst, Ebba Sinzinger 
  • •    DAVOS by Daniel Hoesl & Julia Niemann
  • •    WEIYENA – THE LONG MARCH HOME by Weina Zhao & Judith Benedikt 
  • •    WIRED FOR MUSIC – INSIDE THE WIENER SYMPHONIKER by Iva Švarcová & Malte Ludin
  • •    PLEASE HOLD THE LINE by Pavel Cuzuioc
  • •    GLORY TO THE QUEEN by Tatia Skhirtladze & Anna Kharadze
  • •    THIS LAND IS MY LAND by Susanne Brandstätter
  • •    WHY NOT YOU by Evi Romen
  • •    ORDINARY CREATURES by Thomas Marschall
  • •    FOX IN A HOLE by Arman T. Riahi

4. All films which had their world premieres in the first two months of 2020 stood out with a prize or a prestigious nomination:

  • •    OSKAR & LILLI: Audience Award (Saarbrücken)
  • •    EPICENTRO: World Cinema Grand Jury Prize (Sundance)
  • •    NOTES FROM THE UNDERWORLD: Special Mention Berlinale Documentary Award
  • •    THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN: Special Jury Award (Berlinale Encounters)
  • •    RUNNING ON EMPTY: nominated for Berlinale Documentary Award

5. The most successful festival films of 2020 in terms of participation are: 

  • •    SPACE DOGS
  • •    EPICENTRO
  • •    LILLIAN
  • •    EARTH
  • •    OSKAR & LILLI
  • •    ROBOLOVE
  •     WOOD

Four of these films had their world premieres in 2019, making their high participation figures for 2020 even more remarkable.  WOOD is the only film on this list which had its world premiere during the phase of lockdown.

6. In total we recorded 40 international prizes for 19 Films.

Most of these were achieved by

  • OSKAR & LILLI, which secured ten international awards, followed by
  • LILLIAN with six and

7. A number of filmmakers attracted international attention with their first or second (joint) film productions:

  • •    Pavel Cuzuioc: PLEASE HOLD THE LINE (IDFA Best of Fests)
  • •    Daniel Hoesl & Julia Niemann: DAVOS (Visions du Réel main competition)
  • •    Monica Lăzurean-Gorgan, Michaela Kirst, Ebba Sinzinger: WOOD (Special Mention Golden Eye Award – Zürich)
  • •    Johanna Moder: ONCE WERE REBELS (Best Director – Saarbrücken)
  • •    Evi Romen: WHY NOT YOU (Golden Eye Award – Zürich)
  • •    Lisa Weber: RUNNING ON EMPTY (nominated for Berlinale Documentary Award)
  • •    Sandra Wollner: THE TROUBLE WITH BEING BORN (Special Jury Award – Berlinale Encounters)
  • •    Weina Zhao & Judith Benedikt: WEIYENA – THE LONG MARCH HOME (Viktor DOK.deutsch Award)

8. Considerable international resonance was achieved by three minority co-productions:

  • QUO VADIS, AIDA? by Jasmila Žbanić (co-produced by coop99 filmproduktion)
  • ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENEZUELA by Anabel Rodrígues Ríos (co-produced by Golden Girls Filmproduktion) and
  • THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT by Jens Meurer (co-produced by Mischief Films)

QUO VADIS, AIDA? Won numerous prizes at its world premiere in competition in Venice and is Bosnia’s candidate for the Oscar for Best International Film.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN VENEZUELA (world premiere at Sundance) enters the Oscar race in two categories: as Best Documentary and as Best International Film for Venezuela.
After its world premiere in Rotterdam AN IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT by Jens Meurer (co-produced by Mischief Films) turned out to be a success for Austrian Worldsales Autlook Filmsales, with distributors in North America and Europe as well as China and South-East Asia.