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Welcome to the 26th edition of Film|Neu, Washington’s annual festival of new films from Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. This year’s films explored challenges that come with the passage of time, navigating identity and personal relationships in an increasingly globalized world, and transformation – in almost every sense of the word. The ACF Washington is honored to partner again with the Goethe-Institut Washington and the Embassy of Switzerland on this occasion and bring Austrian films to DC.

This year’s festival opened with 3 Days in Quiberon, a poignant black-and-white drama about enigmatic film icon Romy Schneider grappling with her tragic and deeply private personal life. In Magical Mystery, a road movie and exploration of the wild techno scene, we are thrown back into the Germany of the 1990s. While two Austrian friends find fame in exploiting exaggerated stereotypes of their immigrant backgrounds in The Migrumpies, a Swiss teenager goes through a baffling animalistic metamorphosis in Blue My Mind. Curious yet? There were so many more films to discover at the Landmark E Street Cinema!

The ACF Washington presented the two films L’Animale and The Migrumpies as well as four shorts at the screening New Short Films from Germany, Austria & Switzerland on Saturday, November 3. The four Austrian short films Desert Bloom, Rhapsodariddim, First and Foremost and Nelly are part of the Austrian Short Film Series 2018.


Saturday, November 3, 4:15 pm

Austria, 2018, 100 min. | Director/Screenplay: Katharina Mückstein | Cast: Sophie Stockinger, Kathrin Resetarits, Dominik Warta | Distribution: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion, La Banda Film

Mati and her rowdy gang of friends are small-town heroes who wreak havoc on their Mopeds. When Mati meets Carla, however, Mati’s world begins to topple over. Her encounter with the strong-willed young woman shows Mati who she really could be: lively, open, completely different from how she is in her competitive and "cool" all-male clique. Things are further complicated when Mati’s best friend Sebastian falls in love with her, hoping to take their relationship from buddies to lovers. Meanwhile, Mati’s parents Gabriele and Paul find themselves in crisis when Paul begins acting on his attraction to other men. Mati must reorient her perception of her friends, her village, and her family—all before graduation. Ultimately, everyone must address the same question: what matters more, appearance or truth? With L’Animale, director and screenwriter Katharina Mückstein achieves a tour-de-force coming-of-age drama that examines how we approach reality, our expectations, and our dreams.


Katharina Mückstein was born in 1982 in Vienna and studied film direction at the Film Academy of the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. In 2010, she co-founded La Banda Film, a collective and production company. In 2013, she won Best Director at the Filmfestival Max-Ophüls-Preis for her first feature film, Talea. For the Österreichischer Filmpreis 2014, she also received nominations for Talea. L’Animale is her second film and was screened at the 2018 Berlinale.

When: Saturday, November 3, 2018 | 4:15 pm
Where: E Street Cinema (555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004)


Saturday, November 3, 6:30 pm

Austria, 2017, 95 min. | Director: Arman T. Riahi | Screenplay: Aleksandar Petrovic, Faris Rahoma | Cast: Faris Rahoma, Aleksandar Petrovic, Doris Schretzmayer | Distribution: AFC – Austrian Films

Benny and Marko are two Viennese guys with immigrant backgrounds, although this aspect of their identities is easily hidden. So easily, that they are hardly perceived as foreigners – if not for Benny’s black hair. Confronted with ambitious TV director Weizenhuber, who is looking for protagonists for her TV documentary series about the ethnically mixed suburb Rudolfsgrund, they pretend to be petty criminals and hard-nosed migrants with a penchant for cunning and craftiness.

To keep the lie from unraveling, they create a second identity for themselves made up of clichés and stereotypes. And while these clichés fulfill expectations and make the show a success, they are simultaneously confronted with true stories of immigration – including their own. A “politically incorrect” comedy about modern clichés, false identities and “real” foreigners – whatever that means!


Arman T. Riahi (b. 1981) was born in Iran and grew up in Vienna, Austria, where he created his first short films as a teenager. He studied media technologies and worked as a screen- and graphic designer in London and Vienna. In 2005, he started in television as director of the infamous television shows Sendung ohne Namen and Sunshine Airlines for the ORF (Austrian Broadcasting Corporation). In the same year, his short film Elektronikschrott won the nationwide short film award “Shorts On Screen.” His first cinema documentary Schwarzkopf (Dark Head, 2011) won the Audience Choice Award at the National Austrian Film Festival Diagonale, and the Special Jury Mention Award at the Docudays Beirut International Documentary Festival.

When: Saturday, November 3, 2018 | 6:30 pm
Where: E Street Cinema (555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004)


Saturday, November 3, 2 pm


2016, 12 min., Directors: Peter Kutin & Florian Kindlinger

In addition to gambling, Las Vegas brings electricity and light into the darkness of the Nevadan desert. Together with German composer Christina Kubisch, sound artists Peter Kutin and Florian Kindlinger have made audible what usually remains unrecognized by our ears: the electromagnetic fields created by the neon signs, light emissions, and LED thunderstorms of the Las Vegas Strip. In expanding limited senses, Kutin and Kindlinger deliver a film built on various existing sites of our urban reality.


2017, 2 Min., Director: Jessica Hausner/Markus Binder

Rhapsodariddim is part of an endless poem from the book Teilzeitrevue from the author Markus Binder, published by Verbrecher Verlag, Berlin in early 2017. Set to music by the author and directed by Jessica Hausner, the video acts as a sequel to P.E. Finzi’s dance performance in the 2015 Videohit Oida.


2016, 6 Min., Director: Veronika Schubert

More than 3000 engraved pieces of glass show the time-lapse movement of clouds. But the outlines of the clouds appear to be the border lines of ever-changing countries. The sound is a mixture of sentences taken from Austrian television during September 2015, when thousands of refugees arrived in Austria.


2015, 17 Min., Director: Chris Raiber

Thirteen-year-old Nelly, born with a heart defect, is used to suffering and pain. She refuses the pity of others, however; her thick skin gives her security, she wears white to counteract her medical wounds. Her greatest fear is that she will leave her mother behind alone—she is her protection, her understanding, and her caretaker. When Nelly’s heart once again stops beating regularly, she begins her fight against this fear.

The Austrian short films are part of the Austrian Short Film Series 2018.


Follower (2018, Director: Jonathan Behr) & rien ne va plus (2017, Director: Sophie Linnenbaum)


Facing Mecca (Director: Jan-Eric Mack) & Rewind Forward (2017, Director: Justin Stoneham)

When: Saturday, November 3, 2018 | 2:00 pm
Where: E Street Cinema (555 11th St NW, Washington, DC 20004)

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