Prague Spring – The last Coup of the Soviet Empire


On the night of August 20,  1968, the rebellious state of Czechoslovakia is invaded by an army of the Warsaw Pact countries numbering 500,000 men. Forty years later, the ORF recalls the events of the fateful Prague Spring in a documentary drama directed by Manfred Christ and Michael Kreihsl. The film examines the dramatic events of the time using recent research, interviews and narrative sequences.

Michael Kreihsl directed the dramatic re-enactments, while Manfred Christ assumed responsible for the film as a whole and the voice-over. _DSC6047_Bildgröße ändern“Prague Spring” includes statements from witnesses and contemporaries including the Austrian television legends Gerd Bacher and Hugo Portisch, Helmut Zilk, the diplomat Klas Daublebsky, friends and colleagues of Alexander Dubcek, the interpreter Tamara Reimannova  and the two Czech TV presenters Kamila Mouckova and Otka Bednarova.

Alexander Dubček: Jan Hrušínský. Leonid Breschnew: Bogdan Stupka. Script: Harald Pokieser, Manfred Christ. Camera: Reinhold Vorschneider, Stephan Mussil. Edit: Adam Wallisch, Jörg Achatz. Music: Andy Baum.
A co-production of Cosmos Factory, ORF, ARTE, Austrian Federal Ministry of Education, in association with Vienna Film Fund, Austrian Television Fund and Lower Austria Film Fund.

Franz Ringel – The Decent Painter

FranzRingelLoaded with sexuality, violence and pain, disfigured and illuminated by an explosion of colour, his figurative works and portraits were considered by many to be offensive and obscene. Although collectors of the time were forced to hide his paintings away in attics, today Franz Ringel is recognised as one of the giants of contemporary painting. Galleries, private collectors and museums are all eager to snap up his work. This documentary tries to find the person behind the pictures. What does Ringel love and what does he hate; what is and isn’t to his taste? A conversation, a monologue, a collection of thoughts about sexuality, alcohol, colour, pain, love, travel and coming home. Written and directed by Thaddäus Podgorski.

Extreme! – From Freezer to Furnace

Regisseur Udo Maurer im Death Valley

This is a journey to the hottest and coldest places on earth, where people go about their everyday lives under extreme conditions – and even enjoy it.

The Northern Pole of Cold, where the northern hemisphere’s lowest air temperature of minus 71.2 degrees Celsius has been recorded, lies in north-east Siberia. Thousands of miles away lies America’s answer to the record-holding Russian village: Furnace Creek, headquarters of Death Valley National Park. Another infamous blast furnace is the Danakil Depression in the borderland between Eritrea and Ethiopia – one of the most forbidding deserts on earth, a volcanic wasteland almost 150 meters below sea level, which boasts the highest measured annual average temperature: 34.6 degrees Celsius. Directed by Udo Mauer, written by Manfred Christ and Udo Maurer. A co-production of Cosmos Factory for ORF in association with Fremantle Media.

25 Years of Leyrer + Graf

Leyrer + Graf LogoWith an annual turnover of 235 million Euros and approximately 1700 employees, Leyrer + Graf is one of Austria’s leading construction companies. Since 1964, the family-run business has been managed by the Graf family, and it maintains a culture of putting humans first to this day.

25 years after the company took over the Traschler construction company in 1983, the owner Franz Graf invited employees, colleagues and friends to an anniversary celebration. Manfred Christ created an interesting and varied filmic foundation for the event, which included statements and reminiscences from early associates and management. Camera: Bernhard Wallentin, Sound: Hermann Winklhofer.