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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Austria

Joy collects four top distinctions at the Austrian Film Awards

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- 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

Joy collects four top distinctions at the Austrian Film Awards
The winners of the 2020 Austrian Film Awards

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:
film review
trailer
interview: Sudabeh Mortezai
film profile
]
shows the vicious cycle of human trafficking and sexual exploitation through the eyes of a Nigerian prostitute in Vienna.

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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:
film review
trailer
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:
film review
trailer
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:
film review
trailer
interview: Hüseyin Tabak and Alina Ser…
film profile
]
and Josef Hader as Best Supporting Actor in Nevrland [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. The Award for Best Documentary resulted in a tie between Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Earth [+see also:
film review
trailer
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 Feature Film
Joy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sudabeh Mortezai
film profile
]
– Sudabeh Mortezai

Best Documentary (ex aequo)
Earth [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Nikolaus Geyrhalter
film profile
]
– Nikolaus Geyrhalter
Inland – Ulli Gladik

Best Short Film
Freigang - Martin Winter (Austria/Germany)

Best Director
Sudabeh Mortezai - Joy

Best Leading Actress
Joy Anwulika Alphonsus - Joy

Best Leading Actor
Tobias Moretti - Gipsy Queen [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hüseyin Tabak and Alina Ser…
film profile
]
(Germany/Austria)

Best Supporting Actress
Pia Hierzegger – The Ground Beneath My Feet [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marie Kreutzer
film profile
]

Best Supporting Actor
Josef Hader - Nevrland [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Best Screenplay
Sudabeh Mortezai - Joy

Best Cinematography
Jo Molitoris - Nevrland

Best Costume Design
Christine Ludwig – How I Taught Myself to Be a Child [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Austria/Germany)

Best Make-up
Heiko Schmidt - Little Joe [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jessica Hausner
film profile
]
(Austria/UK/Germany)

Best Score
Wolfgang Mitterer – The Children of the Dead [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kelly Copper and Pavol Liška
film profile
]

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

Viewers’ Choice
Love Machine - Andreas Schmied (Austria)

Honorary Award
Josef Aichholzer - Chairman of the Austrian Film Academy, 2009-2019

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