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DIAGONALE 2021 Awards

The Diagonale’s main awards go to Why Not You and Notes from the Underworld

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- Evi Romen’s film received the Grand Prize for Best Feature, while Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel’s work was crowned Best Documentary

The Diagonale’s main awards go to Why Not You and Notes from the Underworld
Director Evi Romen with her nut-shaped trophy for Why Not You, which won the Grand Prize for Best Feature (© Diagonale/Sebastian Reiser)

The 24th edition of the Diagonale, which unspooled from 8-13 June in the Austrian city of Graz and also included digital offerings, such as festival talks made available online, came to an end yesterday evening. The awards, valued at more than €180,000, were announced during a ceremony that consisted of a revue show produced on site, in Graz. The show presented by Marlene Hauser and Lukas Watzl featured not only musical numbers by artists such as Mira Lu Kovacs, Voodoo Jürgens and Land of Ooo, but also festival directors Sebastian Höglinger and Peter Schernhuber dancing at the end of the presentation of the awards. This year, the (physical) trophies handed out at the Diagonale took the form of tiny, golden nuts.

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The two main honours announced, the Grand Diagonale Prizes of the Province of Styria for Best Austrian Feature Film and Best Documentary, were endowed with €19,000 apiece.

Why Not You [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Evi Romen was crowned Best Feature Film by the international jury for fiction features, which brought together filmmaker Sandra Wollner, film critic Alexandra Seibel and Thorsten Schaumann, artistic director of the Hofer Filmtage. The directorial feature debut by established editor Romen focuses on Mario, a young dancer living in a small village in South Tyrol, who has to grapple with the loss of his beloved best friend, Lenz, who fell victim to an attack in a gay club. It was praised by the jury for being “a carefully composed anti-Heimatfilm”. Why Not You also received the Award for Best Costume Design (Cinzia Cioffi).

Meanwhile, the jury of the documentary section, which comprised Austrian filmmaker Lisa Weber, sound editor and producer Ansgar Frerich, and Visions du Réel programmer Rebecca De Pas, presented the Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Documentary to Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel for their film Notes from the Underworld [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
film profile
]
, which celebrated its premiere in the Panorama Dokumente section of this year’s Berlinale. A film that makes it possible to experience a life that may not even have taken place. A journey through time to a world that supposedly never existed. People recounting what they have forgotten while the hand in the ashtray completes the rest. Being able to listen and feel closeness. In Viennese, nostalgia works without romance,” were the words with which the Diagonale jury jusitified its decision to honour the film, which depicts Vienna in the 1960s. The movie also won the festival’s Kodak Analog Prize.

The Prize for Innovative Cinema from the City of Graz went to Half of the Sky by collective The Golden Pixel Cooperative, a film that was described by the jury that decided to reward it as “a manifesto of a queer-feminist group”.

Furthermore, the Diagonale Acting Awards went to Hilde Dalik for her performance in Sargnagel and to Lukas Miko for his turn in Me, We [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

Lastly, this year’s Prize for Outstanding Production Services was split between two films: Panama Film, the producer of Sandra Wollner’s The Trouble with Being Born [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sandra Wollner
film profile
]
, and Film AG, the producer of Ulrike Kofler’s What We Wanted [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, received €10,000 each.

Here is the complete list of winners at the 2021 edition of the Diagonale:

Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Feature Film
Why Not You [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Evi Romen (Austria/Belgium)

Grand Diagonale Prize for Best Documentary Film
Notes from the Underworld [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel
film profile
]
– Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel (Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Best Innovative Film
Half of the Sky – The Golden Pixel Cooperative (Austria)

Best Short Fiction Film
Liebe, Pflicht & Hoffnung - Maximilian Conway (Germany)

Best Short Documentary Film
Frauenfragmente: Gini und Resi - Sophie Gmeiner (Germany/Austria)

Best Young Talent Film
Eva-Maria – Lukas Ladner (Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Fiction Feature Film Editing
Karina Ressler and Joana Scrinzi – Fox in a Hole [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Arman T Riahi
film profile
]
(Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Documentary Film Editing
Yves Deschamps and Hubert Sauper – Epicentro [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Austria/France)

Diagonale Prize for Fiction Feature Cinematography
Ludwig Wüst – 3.30PM (Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Documentary Feature Cinematography
Jordane Chouzenoux - If It Were Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Patric Chiha
film profile
]
(France)

Diagonale Prize for Fiction Feature Sound Design
Vinzenz Schwab - Another Coin for the Merry-Go-Round (Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Documentary Feature Sound Design
Benedikt Palier - Soldat Ahmet [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Production Design
Renate Martin and Andreas Donhauser – Sargnagel (Austria)

Diagonale Prize for Costume Design
Cinzia Cioffi - Why Not You

Diagonale Prize for Best Actress
Hilde Dalik - Sargnagel

Diagonale Prize for Best Actor
Lukas Miko - Me, We [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Austria)

Prize for Outstanding Production Services
The Trouble with Being Born [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Sandra Wollner
film profile
]
- Sandra Wollner/Panama Film (Austria/Germany)
What We Wanted [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Ulrike Kofler/Film AG (Austria)

Kodak Analog Prize
Notes from the Underworld - Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel

Diagonale Audience Award
Der schönste Tag - Fabian Eder (Austria)

Here is a list of the further prizes that were handed out at different ceremonies that took place during the 24th Diagonale:

Franz Grabner Prize for Best Cinema Documentary
This Movie Is a Gift [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Anja Salomonowitz (Austria)

Franz Grabner Prize for Best TV Documentary
Viva la Vulva - Gabi Schweiger (Austria)

Carl Mayer Main Prize for Screenwriting
Pipi Fröstl - (w)hole (treatment)

Carl Mayer Funding Prize for Screenwriting
Tobias Langer - Der Garten Eden (treatment)

Thomas Pluch Screenwriting Prize - Main Prize
Ulrike Kofler, Sandra Bohle and Marie Kreutzer - What We Wanted

Thomas Pluch Screenwriting Prize - Special Jury Prize (ex aequo)
Arman T Riahi - Fox in a Hole
Pia Hierzegger - Waidmannsdank (Austria/Germany)

Thomas Pluch Screenwriting Prize - Short Film (ex aequo)
Klara von Veegh – Fidibus (Austria)
Mo Harawe - Life on the Horn (Austria/Germany/Somalia)

Grand Diagonale Acting Prize
Christine Ostermayer

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