Retrospective 2014 // Elisabeth Scharang
© Pamela Russmann
The Retrospective of the FrauenFilmTage 2014 will be dedicated to the all-round director of film and TV, scriptwriter and radio host Elisabeth Scharang.
Elisabeth Scharang uses a wide range of media tools. The Viennese with Styrian background (co)writes the scripts of her films and often takes on the role of camera woman by herself. With her specific way to focus on social-political realities she forces the viewer to take a closer look as well.
An early start. After finishing high-school Scharang starts her career working as a radio journalist. Soon she also explores the possibilities of film and starts to direct numerous TV-reports and documentaries. The wide topical range includes documentaries such as “Kinder klagen an - Eltern vor Gericht” - a portrait of former neo-Nazi Ingo Hasselbach, a documentary on the November progrome in 1938 in Austria as well as a documentary on Otto Muehl and the Friedrichshof Commune.
Since 1997 Elisabeth Scharang has worked as an independent director and screenplay writer for TV and cinema. In 2005 she directed her first television film “Mein Moerder “. In 2010 she directed her first feature film “In Another Lifetime”, for which actress Ursula Strauss received the Austrian Film Award.
Many Awards. Between 2006 and 2011 Scharang received several awards for her work. In 2011 she won the Axel-Corti-Preis for outstanding TV productions. One of her best known TV-films, the docu-drama “Franz Fuchs – Ein Patriot”, won several awards.
Scharang is recognized beyond her cinematographic work. She is still engaged on the radio channels of FM4 and oe1, focussing on people and their stories as well. Elisabeth Scharang’s multimedia approach often acts as an interface, as demonstrated with her documentary film “Tintenfischalarm”. During an FM4-radio broadcast she got to know Alexi, who for the first time speaks in public about her intersexuality. This meeting triggers a cooperation over the next five years, a joint film project, a search for identity, a growing friendship between the two and the sex transformation from Alexi to Alex. The cinema documentary “Tintenfischalarm” had its world premiere at the Berlinale 2006 and will be screened at the FrauenFilmTage 2014.
Current projects. At the moment Elisabeth Scharang is working on her second feature film – exploring different approaches to the (hi)story of poet and serial murderer Jack Unterweger. Shooting will start in autumn this year. Also this year the general release of Scharang’s latest documentary film is scheduled. In “Kick Out Your Boss” she encourages to find alternatives to working conditions that negatively affect the wellbeing and health of so many of us. In a 90 minutes travelogue from Graz via Belgrade to Brazil she stirs up the usual hierarchical structures.