Karl Markovics President of the Austrian Film Academy

“Giving the World a Home and Home a World”




I’ve had the opportunity to be a guest at Austrian Cultural Forums on several occasions in the past: in New York, in Prague, in London, and in Kiev. And every time, I felt at home in the world in a very special and unique way. I never felt like I was the citizen of a small country, but a representative of a larger whole. For each of these Cultural Forums, tradition is about accomplishing a living continuation of a shared past into a shared future, where Austria is neither in the first place nor in the last, but somewhere in the middle. But most of all, it was the people who work at these Forums who conveyed to me the refreshing recognition that our country does not always have portrayed to the world as a place that is cute and maybe a little stuck in tradition. So I’m all the more pleased that these venues are becoming so instrumental in bringing Austrian filmmaking to the public. In cooperation with the Austrian Film Academy, starting next year a series of Austrian short films representing a selection of the best productions from the past year will be shown abroad. In this connection, I would like to express special thanks to the Head of the Cultural Policy Section, Dr. Martin Eichtinger. It was his idea and initiative that led to this collaboration, which is ideally conceived as a longterm partnership rather than a singular event. And speaking of ideals and wishes, what I would like to wish the world in closing – although it’s naive because of course reality is totally different – is freedom, peace, and happiness. But after all, if wishes are worth anything at all, they have to be utopian. Just like art.

Karl Markovics (President of the Austrian Film Academy)


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