INDUSTRY Program 2023

Masterclass mit Brandon Cronenberg und Karim Hussain
SAT. September 23, 2023 | 1:00pm POSSESSOR Screening | 3:30pm Masterclass
Historic Theater in the Metro Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna

In conjunction with Forum Filmregie, this year the SLASH Film Festival is bringing one of the most exciting, innovative and provocative directors of current world cinema to Austria for the first time. Canadian Brandon Cronenberg has effortlessly peeled himself away from the shadow of his world-famous father, David Cronenberg, over the past decade with three feature films. They’re all nested between visionary science fiction and transgressive body horror, and he’s become the internationally celebrated proponent of a genre cinema that is as radical as it is philosophical. And largely responsible for the extravagant visual language of Cronenberg’s films ANTIVIRAL, POSSESSOR, and most recently, INFINITY POOL, all of which were presented at the most relevant festivals, is Canadian cinematographer Karim Hussain, also a director and screenwriter and one of the program coordinators of the first Fantasia Film Festival in Montreal in 1997.

Together with Forum Filmregie we’ll be showing Cronenberg and Hussain’s collaboration POSSESSOR, followed by a two-hour masterclass in which the pair will give some deep insights into all areas of their filmmaking, from brainstorming and screenwriting to developing the visual language and extraordinary special effects work.

Those purchasing tickets for the POSSESSOR screening will automatically receive a ticket for the subsequent masterclass, admission for which is free. The remaining tickets for the masterclass will be handed out at the box office of the Metro Kinokulturhaus from 2:30pm.


A film by Brandon Cronenberg | CA/UK 2020 | 103 min | original version
With Andrea Riseborough, Christopher Abbott, Jennifer Jason Leigh, among others

Tasya Vos is an elite agent for a shady enterprise. Thanks to a brain implant she—or rather, her consciousness—slips into the bodies of others to commit contract killings. Each hit, however, leaves large scars in her psyche, and Taya finds it increasingly harder to find her way back to her own identity. And then she suddenly gets “caught” in a different body—with fatal consequences. POSSESSOR marks Brandon Cronenberg’s definitive emancipation from the work of his famous father, despite the closest affinity in themes and world-building. Here he offers a radical sci-fi thriller—a disturbing piece of cinema with philosophical underpinnings.

3:30pm Masterclass with Brandon Cronenberg
Moderator: Markus Keuschnigg


THURS. September 28, 2023, from 9:00am to 5:30pm
Historic Theater in the Metro Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna

9:00am Hot Coffee or Bloody Mary
Grabbing first impressions at the festival center (Metrokino Festival Center, 1st floor)

9:45am Keynote
Welcome by Markus Keuschnigg

10:00am Life’s a Pitch!
The six finalists of SLASH CAMPFIRE TALES, the genre competition organized by ÖFI and SLASH, present their projects to an international jury.

10:00am–11:15am Batch 1
Michael Winiecki: “In the Moorland”
Elias Fleischer: “Gschichtldrucker”
Sven Serah: “Die längste Zeit”

11:15am–11:30am Break

11:30am–12:45pm Batch 2
Victoria Funkl: “A / TOMOS”
Lorenz Tröbinger: “Affenberg”
Mario Karner: “Too Old to Die”

12:45pm–1:45pm Lunch Break

2:00pm–3:30pm Panel Discussion AUSFANTASIERT
On the (lack of) diversity in Austrian genre film
with Marvin Kren, Veronika Franz, Christian Fuch, and Roland Teichmann
Moderator: Severin Fiala
See below for detailed information.
A cooperation with the Austrian Film Academy.

3:30pm–4:00pm Break – Sandwiches, coffee, beverages
in the Festival Center, 1st floor

4:00pm–5:30pm The Cinema as a Place of Discomfort
Conversation with Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, and Michael
Moderator: Markus Keuschnigg
See below for detailed information.

Panel Discussion AUSFANTASIERT?
On the (lack of) diversity in Austrian genre film
with Marvin Kren, Veronika Franz, Christian Fuchs, and Roland Teichmann
Moderator: Severin Fiala

In the Austrian film industry, genre cinema has flared up almost exclusively in isolated instances since the Noughties. Andreas Prochaska’s IN DREI TAGEN BIST DU TOT films combined the juicy topoi of the American slasher and backwoods horror film with (pre-)Alpine (soul) landscapes, but surprisingly didn’t lead to similar follow-up projects despite great public success (over 84,000 visitors for part 1, more than 76,000 for part 2; both according to ÖFI). It was a similar story with ICH SEH ICH SEH by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala. In 2014, the Austrian production spearheaded a new movement within horror cinema, which brought forth a wave of serious, artistically valuable and challenging works that belonged to the arthouse as well as the genre film spectrum. Again, the one very successful example was not followed by dozens of others, although international interest was very high for Austrian “elevated horror” productions after ICH SEH ICH SEH.

So why has there not been any continuously relevant genre film production established in Austria so far? What strategies could help to strengthen and professionalize domestic genre film production?

The Cinema as a Place of Discomfort
A conversation with Veronika Franz, Severin Fiala, and Michael Palm
Moderator: Markus Keuschnigg

Almost exactly nine years ago, the career of the directing duo Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala changed as abruptly as it did fundamentally. Their first feature film together, ICH SEH ICH SEH, celebrated its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival and was immediately bought for the US market, where it also opened regularly in cinemas, heralded by a trailer that went viral. It was followed by their first English-language production, THE LODGE, which had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, and their directing of two episodes of M. Night Shyamalan’s mystery series SERVANT.

In early 2024, they will release their first German-language feature film in ten years. Based on historical facts, the psychodrama DES TEUFELS BAD, as stirring as it is abysmal, tells of mental and spiritual extreme states in the barren, harsh Upper Austria of the 18th century. A film about women, religion, and ritual murder.

In a talk, Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, supported by their long-time editor Michael Palm, will also provide insight into their working methods using excerpts and other materials, and reveal the initial details about their eagerly awaited third full-length feature film.

An Evening with Michael Ironside

THURS. September 28, 2023, from 7:00pm
Historic Theater in the Metro Kinokulturhaus, Johannesgasse 4, 1010 Vienna

Canadian actor Michael Ironside has been a fixture in genre cinema for four decades. And not without reason: His lusty, intense, and highly physical portrayals of many morally at least ambivalent if not outright abysmal characters predestine him to be a noble villain. In 1981, he celebrated his first worldwide success as an escalating underground fighter in David Cronenberg’s SCANNERS, and that decade with its simple good and evil categories also had a high demand for the pointed acting of a Michael Ironside. The year 1990 saw his first collaboration with Dutch master director Paul Verhoeven. In TOTAL RECALL, Ironside played one of his star roles as an unscrupulous executioner in the service of a psychopath. STARSHIP TROOPERS, also by Verhoeven, shows Ironside a few years later as a hardened but also emphatic instructor and later battle group leader in the war against giant alien insects. In the new millennium, Ironside ventured into video game culture and appeared in various games based on Tom Clancy novels, first as the voice and later via motion capture as NSA agent Sam Fisher. He also frequently appeared in works by younger genre film directors, such as TURBO KID by the Canadian directorial collective RKSS.
SLASH is honored and touched to welcome Michael Ironside to Vienna, where he will talk about his extraordinary career.

The conversation with Michael Ironside will take place between the performances of SCANNERS and TOTAL RECALL.

An Evening with Michael Ironside (schedule)

9:00pm Talk with Michael Ironside
Moderator: Paul Poet
Afterwards: TOTAL RECALL

A collaboration with FUTURE GATE Filmfestival (Prague)

In cooperation with