Prize of Appreciation for Karl Saurer in Freistadt, Austria
On the occasion of the 20th “Der neue Heimatfilm” festival, taking place in the Upper Austrian town of Freistadt from August 22 – 26, 2007, Swiss filmmaker Karl Saurer was bestowed with the town’s “Prize of Appreciation”. Saurer also presented his latest work “Rajas Reise” (Raja’s journey) at the festival. The prize is given to filmmakers, who, through their continuous work - which often takes place aside from commercially guided production – deserve to be honored for their contribution to “the neue Heimatfilm”, i.e., new films about their “home country”.As part of a “Swiss Focus” program, the “Der Neue Heimatfilm” festival presents, along with “Rajas Reise”, four additional films produced in the neighboring country”, including “Das Erbe der Bergler – Alpine Saga” by Erich Langjahr, “Die Herbstzeitlosen” (Autumn crocus) by Bettina Oberli, “Greina” by Villi Hermann, and “Heimatklänge” by Stefan Schwietert, which also participates in the documentary film competition.
In 2004, the “Prize of Appreciation” also went to a Swiss director: Erich Langjahr received the award for his film trilogy, “Sennen-Ballade/Alpine Ballad”, “Bauernkrieg/The Peasants’ War”, and “Hirtenreise ins dritte Jahrtausend/Shepherds’ Journey into the Third Millenium”.
“Rajas Reise”, which documents the mysterious story of the Indian elephant Raja, who was sent on a journey from the Kerala forests to Vienna via Lisbon in 1550. The film will be released in Swiss movie theatres on August 30th.
Zurich, August 24, 2007