The Diagonale is the main platform for the presentation and discussion of Austrian film productions. It aims to raise awareness and recognition of Austrian filmmaking. Thus, filmmakers and their work are at the centre of the festival. The Diagonale’s programme selection is characterized by curiosity and its sense of openness, and presents the unique opportunity to see the many faces of Austrian filmmaking, trace current artistic tendencies and (re)discover a number of films.
The Diagonale has turned Graz into the film capital of Austria since 1998. In the last 13 years, it has proved to be an indispensable venue for both the film industry and the public. Every year, around 1,300 accredited professionals as well as 25,000 visitors, including a high rate of young filmgoers, gather in Graz for the Diagonale. They flock to the cinemas to absorb the unique festival atmosphere, and encounter the special guests in attendance.
From over 500 submissions the Selected Programme presents outstanding feature films and documentaries, as well as the best short, animation and experimental films and videos. Many of these productions are either world or Austrian premieres. In addition, the Show Case presents all feature length films and documentaries of the previous year.
Among the highlights are the Historic Special Programme and the Solo Retrospective which focuses on and honours the impressive oeuvre of an individual Austrian filmmaker. The tribute is a transnational emphasis on an International Film Guest and their selected work. Spectrum, on the other hand, focuses on European co-productions with Austrian participation, highlighting Austria as a film-producing nation within an international context.
There will be extensive Additional Programmes in and around the festival centre at the Kunsthaus Graz, which will offer exhibitions, workshops and discussions on current cultural and political questions in regards to film.
Another highlight is the appearance of many directors who travel to Graz to screen their films in person, and offer the opportunity for discussions after screenings in moderated film talks.
In order to facilitate an exchange of ideas beyond borders, the Diagonale organizes an Industry Meeting of Austrian and international film professionals on different subjects of particular current importance for the local film industry. But the celebration of Austrian cinema doesn’t stop there: there is also the Opening Gala, the much-noticed awards for actors and screenplay, numerous receptions and the Nightline extending an exciting festival day into the evening. The Diagonale Awards, Austria’s most prestigious film prizes, are traditionally awarded at the end of the festival. Among them is the Grand Prize of the Federal Province of Styria which includes 21,000 Euros in prize money for Best Austrian Feature Film and Documentary.