Österreichisches Filmmuseum (Austrian Film Museum)
There can be no doubt that the Austrian Film Museum is one of the most important cineaste venues of the country. Starting in 1965, the founders of the museum, Peter Kronlechner und Peter Kubelka have been screening films at the film auditorium of the Albertina museum. The retrospectives and programmes shown at the Film Museum have always garnered international recognition right from the start. In 1989, the auditorium was redesigned as an “invisible cinema” in line with the vision of Peter Kubelka. The Film Museum is a specific exhibition and screening room for film, functioning also as an archive, a collection, a library and a venue of public discussion and reflection. The collection focuses, inter alia, on the international heritage of independent film, Austrian avant-garde films post-1950 or transnational films made by emigrants from central and Eastern Europe. As of 2002, the film journalist and curator Alexander Horvath was appointed director of the Film Museum. Ever since, the programme and profile of the institution has been reaching a growing young, film-loving audience interested in the international history of film.
Ludwig Gesek was one of the founders of the Österreichisches Filmarchiv which was set up in 1955 as a collection site for Austrian feature films, documentaries and newsreels. Today the Filmarchiv has three venues, the newly renovated Metro cinema at the city centre serves as screening venue, storage facilities and a “central film archive” can be found in Laxenburg (Lower Austria) and the third venue is the Audiovisuelles Zentrum im Augarten. Ernst Kieninger has been the head of the Filmarchiv since 1996. As of 2004, the institution set up its own publishing facilities, the Verlag Filmarchiv, producing some excellent scientific publications on the history of Austrian film and television. Because of the publishing structure, these publications only reach a small readership. The lion’s share of Austrian film before 1945 is preserved, documented and restored at the
SYNEMA. Gesellschaft für Film und Medien
In the last 30 years, Synema has become a central communicator of the Austrian film scene. Founded by Gottfried Schlemmer in 1984, Synema has been directed by the film scholar Brigitte Mayer for many years. Synema was the co-organiser of legendary international conferences on the topics of film history and film semiotics, organised international film festivals (such as Screenwise) in Vienna and self-publishes profound scientific publications on film, film history and theory.
Akademie des Österreichischen Films
Founded in 2009, the Akademie des Österreichischen Films has more than 400 members from the entire film industry. The mission of this institution is to promote and honour the achievements of the Austrian film sector. As of 2011, the institution has been awarding the Österreichischer Filmpreis. The current presidents of the institution are the actress Ursula Strauss and the director Stefan Ruzowitzky.
Founded in 1990 as an association, Sixpackfilm - headed by Brigitta Burger-Utzer - focuses on the distribution and sale of Austrian film productions. The association also publicises Austrian films at international festivals and advertises national film productions through an ambitious, continuous programme of events.
Medienwerkstatt Wien was established in 1978 as a non-commercial video studio and artists’ collective. The institution has always focused on linking the production, mediation and archiving of multimedia productions from Austria. Since 2004, the Medienwerkstatt has collaborated with Sixpackfilm in the release of the DVD Edition “INDEX” which showcases artistic films and videos created in Austria.
Rather than providing a detailed overview of the great diversity of cinema culture in Vienna and in the Austrian Länder, we would recommend readers to go out and explore the wide range of traditional and experimental art house cinemas in the country.