Statement of the Project Commission of the Austrian Film Institute 2024 – 2026

Great cinema for the big screen!

We support cinema films, feature films and documentaries, that are intended and made for the big screen!

When selecting projects, we endeavour to strike a balance between artistic excellence and popular cultural quality. With this in mind, we develop an annual portfolio of projects from all genres and are guided by a catalogue of criteria that is used as a yardstick for assessing funding decisions (see below for details).

The primary goal is always to reach the largest possible audience and to strengthen the “brand” of domestic film, both nationally and internationally, which is ultimately also the legitimisation of film funding.

In terms of content, we endeavour to promote a diversity of themes and stories that reflect the many different realities of life and reflect our society in a contemporary, critical and entertaining way. The structural goal is the representation and inclusion of all people living in Austria in front of and behind the camera.

Due to its social relevance, equality of all genders is a matter of course for us in order to be able to utilise the full potential of Austrian filmmaking and audiences.

Our aim is to build up an annual funding portfolio in all funding areas that serves both the international “brand” of Austrian film at the key festivals and the market share in national cinema in equal measure.

In the area of production, the target value is around 25 films in a balanced ratio between feature films and documentaries in accordance with the current budgetary possibilities.

In accordance with our very broadly formulated legal mandate in Section 2 of the Austrian Film Funding Act (FFG), we endeavour to make funding decisions in the development of our annual funding portfolio that cover the following areas in the best possible way:

Genre films, especially comedies (due to high audience potential) for a broader audience and innovative genre films (thriller/horror) especially for a young audience, high-quality family entertainment and children’s films (preferably based on original ö stories)

Goal: depending on the general development of the cinema market, a national market share of at least 6.5% (equivalent to around 800,000 admissions per year) and the greatest possible worldwide exploitation (sales) due to the international marketability of the funded films

Arthouse films (auteur films) of particular artistic relevance and quality

Goal: Strengthening national and international artistic recognition of Austrian film in the form of relevant festival participation (especially at A-festivals) and the greatest possible exposure through worldwide sales

Documentary films in a balanced relationship between audience-orientation (national and international) and artistic recognition (international) at relevant festivals and through worldwide sales

Co-productions are indispensable for a small film country like Austria, not only for financial reasons, but also for reasons of creative exchange and the associated internationalisation and professionalisation of domestic filmmaking with an open view of the world.

In the case of minority co-productions (from an Austrian perspective), the economic and artistic share / effect of the participation of Austrian filmmakers in the project, as well as the market potential (cinema) and the potential for international sales and at (key) festivals are taken as the basis for the funding-decision.

Catalogue of criteria for funding decisions:

When assessing the projects submitted, we are essentially guided by the following criteria.

The publication of these criteria is intended to serve as a guide for submitters and contribute to the transparency of the basis for funding decisions.

Assessment criteria

Ranking in alphabetical order and not by weighting (no points system)






Utilisation potential




By this we mean the strategic goal of enabling objectively successful filmmakers and producers to achieve the greatest possible continuity and establishment in their filmmaking, thereby contributing to the strengthening of Austrian film as a whole.


By this we mean projects that have their own strong signature, that do not copy but reinterpret, that dare to take risks and that show clear unique selling points.


By this we mean the mastery of the production and creative craft, which – apart from the qualification to be objectively checked in advance according to the type and scope of the project – also manifests itself in the type and content of the submission.


By this we mean the “need” of the topic, which does not necessarily have to lie in topicality, but calls for a necessity of narrative in cinematic form for the cinema (“the big screen”).

Exploitation potential

By this we mean the analysis of the target group(s) and the market opportunities in the cinema (national), at relevant (A) festivals (international) or a coherent international festival strategy for the individual project, as well as the general potential to reach the largest possible audience.

The cinema market is in the process of recovering and is growing continuously. Nevertheless, the exploitation of films in cinemas is becoming increasingly selective and competitive. Marketing for cinema exploitation must therefore be even more convincing and innovative than before in order to persuade audiences to go to the cinema.

The festival market has also changed. Successes at relevant festivals are even more difficult to translate into cinema success than before, regardless of the film-cultural impact of a festival presence. Here, too, it will therefore be necessary to use innovative marketing strategies and individual exploitation measures, such as target group-specific special screenings, to contribute to the best possible distribution of films in cinemas.


By this we mean the power / vision of the visual cinematic, image-creating realisation of the written screenplay.


March 2024, The Project Commission of the Austrian Film Institute


The Project Commission of the Austrian Film Institute

Main Members

Geraldine Bajard, Jakob Claussen, Mark Hirzberger-Taylor, Nina Kusturica


Substitute Members

Valentin Hitz, Marika Kozlovska, Annick Mahnert, Pia Marais, France Orsenne, Agnes Pluch, Andreas Schreitmüller, Erwin Wagenhofer



Roland Teichmann