Joy collects four top distinctions at the Austrian Film Awards
- Sudabeh Mortezai’s drama, which should have been an Oscar candidate, has triumphed in the categories of Best Feature Film, Best Director, Best Leading Actress and Best Screenplay
On 31 January, the Austrian film scene gathered at the Auditorium in Grafenegg, Lower Austria, for the handing out of the tenth Austrian Film Awards in 17 categories. The big winner of the evening was the sophomore picture by Austrian director Sudabeh Mortezai, snagging, amongst others, Best Feature Film and Best Director for herself. Her Joy [+see also:
interview: Sudabeh Mortezai
film profile] shows the vicious cycle of human trafficking and sexual exploitation through the eyes of a Nigerian prostitute in Vienna.
Mortezai had previously presented the movie at the 75th Venice International Film Festival, and it was chosen as the Austrian candidate for the Oscars. She couldn’t, however, compete due to the regulations, as her film is predominantly in English. Mortezai didn’t attend the awards ceremony owing to poor health, but her award was accepted by producers Oliver Neumann and Sabine Moser. The movie was further honoured with the Awards for Best Leading Actress, for Joy Anwulika Aphonsus, and Best Screenplay.
Following close behind was Jessica Hausner’s heavily favoured Little Joe [+see also:
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile], winning three awards. It walked off with Best Make-up, Best Film Editing and Best Production Design. Marie Kreutzer’s The Ground Beneath My Feet [+see also:
interview: Marie Kreutzer
film profile] only managed to cash in on one of its nominations by winning Best Supporting Actress for Pia Hierzegger.
Further gongs went to Tobias Moretti as Best Leading Actor for Gipsy Queen [+see also:
interview: Hüseyin Tabak and Alina Ser…
film profile] and Josef Hader as Best Supporting Actor in Nevrland [+see also:
film profile]. The Award for Best Documentary resulted in a tie between Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Earth [+see also:
interview: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
film profile] and Ulli Gladik’s Inland. An additional new award that was handed out for the first time this year, Viewers’ Choice, was presented to the comedy Love Machine by Andreas Schmied. The winner of this prize is judged on the highest number of ticket sales in Austria.
Finally, Josef Aichholzer, film producer and co-founder of the Film Academy in Vienna, received an Honorary Award for his accomplishments for the academy.
Here is the full list of award winners:
Best Short Film
Freigang - Martin Winter (Austria/Germany)
Sudabeh Mortezai - Joy
Best Leading Actress
Joy Anwulika Alphonsus - Joy
Sudabeh Mortezai - Joy
Jo Molitoris - Nevrland
Best Film Editing
Karina Ressler - Little Joe
Best Production Design
Katharina Wöppermann - Little Joe
Best Sound Editing
Gregor Kienel (original sound), Thomas Pötz, Rudolf Gottsberger (sound design) and Thomas Pötz (mixing) - Nevrland
Love Machine - Andreas Schmied (Austria)
Josef Aichholzer - Chairman of the Austrian Film Academy, 2009-2019
Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.