April 27 - 29, 2016


Austrian Cultural Forum New York

From April 27 to 29, 2016, the Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY) presented the inaugural edition of the Austrian American Short Film Festival (AASFF). Initiated and co-founded by ACFNY Director Christine Moser and curator Stephanie Falkeis, the bilateral festival featured short films in all forms and genres by promising young artists and filmmakers from the following collaborating universities: Columbia University, New York University, School of Visual Arts, Film Academy Vienna, University of Applied Arts Vienna, Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.

The independent jury – composed of Austrian filmmaker Jessica Hausner, acting as Head of Jury, American filmmaker Sara Driver, and David Schwartz, Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image – selected the best Austrian and the best American film in each of the categories “Narrative”, “Experimental and Conceptual”, and “Documentary and Hybrid.

Filmmaker Patrick Vollrath, whose short film Everything will be okay was nominated for an Oscar (2016) and won the Student Academy Award (2015) as well as the prize for Best Short Film by the Austrian Academy of Film, was in residence during the festival and presented his short in the framework of a special screening together with Jessica Hausner’s latest feature-length work Armour Fou.

Additional special events complementing the screenings at the ACFNY included Q&As with the filmmakers, a private masterclass with Jessica Hausner, stimulating networking events as well as an in-depth talk with Jessica Hausner about her work.

Dates & Venues

April 27 – 29, 2016
Films screening in competition
Austrian Cultural Forum New York
11 East 52nd St.,
New York, NY 10022

April 30, 2016
Special screening
New York City Independent Film Festival
777 Theater
8th Avenue 2nd floor
New York, NY 10036

May 1, 2016
Screening of the winning films
Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue,
New York, NY 10003

June 5, 2016
Screening of the winning films Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI)
36-01 35 Ave,
Astoria, NY 11106

July 16, 2016
Screening of the winning films
Frame[o]ut Festival
MuseumsQuartier Wien
Hof 8 Museumsplatz 1, 1070 Wien

About The Festival

The Austrian American Short Film Festival (AASFF) is the first bilateral festival featuring short films in all forms and genres by promising young artists and filmmakers from both Austria and the United States. Set to take place annually, the three-day festival is presented and hosted by the Austrian Cultural Forum New York (ACFNY), and the selection of winning films is screened at Anthology Film Archives, New York, Museum of the Moving Image (MOMI), New York, and the frame[o]ut Festival, MuseumsQuartier, Vienna. In addition, the AASFF collaborates with the NYC Independent Film Festival on special screenings.

The mission of the AASFF is to increase intercultural dialogue – to foster interconnectivity and the exchange of ideas between Austria and the U.S. Featuring discussions, Q&As, master classes and networking events, the festival provides a platform for young, emerging filmmakers and serves as an incubator for new ideas and projects, encouraging Austrian-American collaboration. The festival also aims at introducing emerging Austrian talent to the U.S. film community, as well as showcasing work by American filmmakers in Austria.

Films Screening in Competition

A NEW CIVILIZATION by Williams Naranjo (New York University)
ESEL – CARRY ON by Rafael Haider (Film Academy Vienna)
NADIE BAILA by Javier Loarte (Columbia University, Film)
PITTER PATTER GOES MY HEART by Christoph Rainer (Film Academy Vienna / Columbia University, Film)
STOP by Reinaldo Green (New York University)
SUNDAE by Sonya Goddy (Columbia University, Film)
TEMPUS FUG’IT by Bela Baptiste (Film Academy Vienna)

Experimental and Conceptual
ANTI PREDATOR ADAPTATION by Jessyca R. Hauser and Lisa Stuckey (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
A SUBSEQUENT FULFILMENT OF A PREHISTORIC WISH by Johannes Gierlinger (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
EL RITUAL DEL COLOR by Luz Olivares (Film Academy Vienna / Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
HARD LINES by oellinger/rainer and Stefan Wirnsperger (University of Applied Arts Vienna)
KEVIN by Jesse Wakeman (Columbia University, Visual Arts)
POTTER’S WILL by Ben Hagari (Columbia University, Visual Arts)
STUDIO STUDIO by Sara Stern (Columbia University, Visual Arts)

Documentary and Hybrid
ALEXA TO EXA by Exa Zim (School of Visual Arts)
A SPACE WITH IMAGES FROM PROVINCES by Cana Bilir-Meier (Academy of Fine Arts Vienna)
JAPANESE FANTASIES by Rory Pfotenhauer (School of Visual Arts)
SO FAR by Lydia Kaminski (University of Applied Arts Vienna)
TITO ANDRONICO CAMINO VERDE by oellinger/rainer and Stefan Wirnsperger (University of Applied Arts Vienna)
TWO YEARS by Lauren Hall (School of Visual Arts)



The independent jury selecting the winning films in 2016 was composed of Austrian writer/director/producer Jessica Hausner (Amour Fou, Lourdes, Hotel), acting as Head of Jury; director/producer Sara Driver (Sleepwalk, When Pigs Fly, Stranger than Paradise); and David Schwartz, Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image. 

Jessica Hausner 
The director, screenwriter, and producer was born in Vienna, Austria in 1972. She studied directing at the Filmacademy of Vienna, where in 1996 she made the short film FLORA, which won the ‘Leopard of Tomorrow’ at the Locarno Festival. INTER-VIEW, her graduation film, won the Prix du Jury of the Cinéfondation at the Cannes Film Festival in 1999. Two years later, LOVELY RITA, her first feature film, was presented in ‘Un Certain Regard’ at the Cannes Film Festival before being distributed in twenty territories. Her second feature film HOTEL was again selected in ‘Un Certain Regard’ at the Cannes Film Festival 2004. Her next film LOURDES had its premiere at Venice Film Festival 2009 in International Competition where it won the ‘FIPRESCI Prize’. Hausner’s latest film AMOUR FOU is set around 1810 in Berlin and avails itself of the tragic life of the German writer Henrich von Kleist. AMOUR FOU premiered again in ‘Un Certain Regard’ in Cannes.

Sara Driver directed Paul Bowles’ short story, YOU ARE NOT I (1982, 48 min.). Restored, it was celebrated at the Masterworks NYFF 2011. Her feature film SLEEPWALK (1986, 78 min.) won the prestigious Prix Georges Sadoul by the Cinematheque Francaise, premiered Critics Week of Cannes, Sundance film festival, and was recently shown at BAM for their 80s series. WHEN PIGS FLY (94 min.,1993) premiered at Locarno Film Festival and was shown in Toronto, Rotterdam, and at the Museum of Modern Art in its Women in Film Series. Driver’s other film credits include Jim Jarmusch’s PERMANENT VACATION (1979, producer, production manager) and STRANGER THAN PARADISE (1984, producer). Her films have had retrospectives in Denmark, Buenos Aires, at Anthology Film Archives in New York, Thessaloniki International Film Festival, TIFF Cinematique, Toronto, Maine International Film Festival, Filmoteca Spain, and Estoril/Lisbon, where she was awarded the prestigious Tribute Award for her work in cinema.

David Schwartz is Chief Curator of the Museum of the Moving Image, where he has worked since 1985. He oversees the Museum’s wide-ranging film programs and changing exhibitions. He is a visiting professor at Purchase College, the host of the Westchester Cinema Club and the Cinema Arts Centre Preview Club. He is also the programming director of First Time Fest, a New York-based film festival devoted to the first films of emerging and established directors. He has been on numerous juries, including the international competition jury at BAFICI (in Buenos Aires) and FIDLab (in Marseille, France) in 2015.

Filmmakers in Residence

Filmmaker Patrick Vollrath (Everything will be okay) – Student Academy Award winner (2015) and Oscar-nominated for best Life Action Short (2016) – was in residence during the festival and will present his film in the framework of a special screening, followed by a conversation with Festival Curator Stephanie Falkeis.


The independent jury selected the best Austrian and American film in the following categories:

Narrative │ Experimental and Conceptual │ Documentary and Hybrid.


by Javier Loarte

Categorie: Narrative US

“For its original narrative structure and innovative approach, with performances that feel real in a film that is original and unexpected ” – AASFF Festival Jury


by Rafael Haider

Categorie: Narrative AT

“A beautifully made film with a parable-like style that tells its story in a sensitive and cinematic manner, with spare dialogue and strong images.” – AASFF Festival Jury


by Sara Stern

Categorie: Experimental and Conceptual US

“A film that creates its own unique world with great technique, transforming its basic materials and tools into a memorable experience.” – AASFF Festival Jury


by Luz Olivares

Categorie: Experimental and Conceptual AT

“A wonderfully crafted and witty film that evokes the history of cinema in just a few minutes.”  – AASFF Festival Jury


by Exa Zim

Categorie: Documentary and Hybrid US

“For treating a contemporary issue in a visual and truthful manner, dealing with struggles about gender identity that so many people are faced with now.” – AASFF Festival Jury


by oellinger/rainer & Stefan Wirnsperger

Categorie: Documentary and Hybrid AT

“A compelling and original film that blurs the boundaries between reality and fiction by creating a hybrid film that uses a Shakespeare play as the basis of a reinvention of the documentary form.” – AASFF Festival Jury


by Jessyca R. Hauser & Lisa Stuckey

Special Mention

“Special mention for a philosophical, topical, and fascinating experimental film.” – AASFF Festival Jury


“As member of the jury, I thought the AASFF was a surprisingly rich and inspiring experience. The selection of films was extremely interesting and the stylistic range was remarkable: two characteristics that were often mentioned in the jury meetings were the originality and visual energy of the films. Furthermore, I welcome the idea of intercultural exchange between Austrian and American filmmakers which opens up new perspectives to everyone involved. A truly well-made and successful festival, full of stimuli for filmmakers. I look forward to the following editions of AASFF!”
– Jessica Hausner, Head of Jury

“The Festival was wonderful: a great place to connect with people, a great selection of films in a great City. I hope the AASFF will go on for many years”.
– Patrick Vollrath, Filmmaker in Residence

“The festival felt intimate and the audiences seemed genuinely engaged. I also was very impressed by the level of work!”
– Jesse Wakeman, Columbia University/Visual Arts

Festival Partners


Columbia University
New York University
School of Visual Arts
Film Academy Vienna
University of Applied Arts Vienna
Academy of Fine Arts Vienna


Anthology Film Archives
Museum of the Moving Image
frame[o]ut Festival
NYC Indie Film Festival

Press Release


ACFNY Director & AASFF Co-Funder: Christine Moser
AASFF Co-Funder & Festival Curator: Stephanie Falkeis
Festival Coordination: Arianna Kronreif
Festival Assistants: Isabella Fellinger, Viktoria Schödl
Head of Communications: Judith Brand
Technician: Jane McAteer
Photos: Giorgio Savona & Fernanda Kock

Tue ‒ Thu: 09am ‒ 07pm
Fri ‒ Mon: 09am ‒ 05pm

Adults: $25
Children & Students free

673 12 Constitution Lane Massillon
781-562-9355, 781-727-6090