Official | Update : 13.02.18 . 12:38 PM

Interview with Jessica Hausner

Jessica Hausner © FIF/AM

Jessica Hausner © FIF/AM

The Austrian director, productor and screenwriter, Jessica Hausner was awarded a Special Mention from the Cinéfondation for her short film Inter-View in 1999.  She made her first feature film in 2001, Lovely Rita, selected in Un Certain Regard, and in 2004, her film Hotel was in Official Selection. The Austrian filmmaker is here again this year as a member of the Jury of the Cinéfondation and Short Films.

You're here again at Cannes but in a new position because today you are on a Jury, what does this role represent for you?
I find it's a major responsability because the prizes which are given to the films are always subjective. The choice of 5 or 6 people never means that a film is really good. I hope that on the Jury  I might help the original and unusual films from getting noticed.

You've made short films and long films, what difference is there between the two?
With a short film, you're often tempted to put too much in. But there aren't that many differences between the two, there's no recipe, everyone has their own notion. A short film is like a feature, it's a fragment of a story. No one knows the whole story, whether it's 5 minutes or 50 minutes, you only know about a part of the story as presented in the film.

What do you expect from this Short Film selection?
I'm impatient to see whether there are a lot of commercial films, or rather some artistic creations with some very personal and original films, which would be more to my taste.

What's your first memory of cinema?
It's Dersou Ouzala by Akira Kurosawa, I was very young when my father took me to see this film at the cinema. My father was a painter and he was fascinated by these films because it was a very graphic, pictoral type of filmmaking. That's what made me want to make films.

You founded Coop99 for young Austrian talents. How is Austrian cinema doing today?
Obviously there are some young talents because Michael de Markus Schleinzer is selected here In Competition at Cannes, it's a real sign, all the more so that Austria is such a small country. Michael Haneke has won the Palme d’Or. I too would like to come back to Cannes with a future film. There are also other Austrian filmmakers who see their films presented in other international festivals. I think there's a lot of talent in Austria.

This is the fifth time you've been to Cannes, what is your best memory?
It was the second time I came for my feature Lovely Rita selected for a Certain Regard, I was really happy and proud. It's really a lovely memory.

What are your current projects?
I'm writing a film script which will start shooting next year. I'll also produce and direct it. The film is called Madly in love and it tells the story of the passionate love affair between Heinrich Von Kleist, a German poet, and a woman called Henriette Voegel. The action takes place in the 19th century and it's a feature film focusing on the ambiguity of love.


Interview by A.C.

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