Can you tell us in a few words what your film MICHAEL is about and what makes it unique?
Markus Schleinzer: May I take the liberty to use someone else's words?
Screen International wrote: “There are all too many movies that are callow and exploitative in their violence, that are dubiously exciting or just plain ugly. This isn't one of them. In an impressively restrained, formally gripping and sociologically relevant manner, MICHAEL follows a 30-ish pedophile who keeps a 10-year-old boy locked in his basement. Unfolding over five months, and taking a non-judgmental, non-psychological approach to what is well understood to be a disturbing topic, the film slowly reels viewers in with its strong lead performance, a creepy accumulation of ordinary detail and suspenseful twists. Look beyond the subject matter to the film itself and you will discover a rigorously responsible, endlessly disquieting piece of work, acutely sensitive to issues of exploitation.”
How did you hear about the nomination for the Discovery Award and what was your initial reaction?
I heard it on the radio. Two Austrian movies nominated for the Discovery Award! That is a symbol for the quality and the range of our filmmaking, which has to be fostered and cultivated.
How important is the Discovery Award for you as a young filmmaker and what do you expect from the nomination?
Being nominated is the goal. Being considered as one out of five new directors worthy of this prize fills me with pride. Thanks for that.