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Ronita Torcato

A little chit, a little chat, a little bit of this & that;meaning news, views & lotsa reviews from an independent journo based in Bombay aka Mumbai



The Austrian Road Show in Mumbai organised by Stefan Herzl's Panorama Tours saw a large number of travel experts waxing lyrical on the Tirol, Salzburg, Innsbruck,Wien, Mozart Concerts, and some lesser known places in the country. Of special interest to movie fans would be the Sound of Music special which pays tribute to the film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.  The Von Trapps fled Austria in 1938 to settle in Vermont,USA which reminded them best of their home on a sylvan lake in Salzburg.

Stefan Herzl is a friend of the Von Trapps and his Sound of Music tours in Salzburgreceived laudatory comments from Maria before she died at age 82 in 1987. In  America, the von Trapps converted their  home (on Trapp Hill Road, Stowe, Vermont ) into an upscale  resort, now run by Maria's youngest son,Johannes, 72.

  I learnt from Frau Gunda Beckmann of Salzburg Tourism Board  that Schloss Leopoldskron has belonged to the American NGO Salzburg GLOBAL SEMINAR for some 60 years now. Schloss Leopoldskron was commissioned as a family estate in 1736 by the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian (1679-1744). in 1918, the year in which the Schloss was sold to Max Reinhardt, Europe's most famous theater director and co-founder of the Salzburg Festival. In 1938 the Schloss was confiscated as "Jewish property". Reinhardt, who was living and working in Hollywood at the time, never returned to Schloss Leopoldskron, but his heart had never left. Reinhardt died in New York City in 1943.

During the war the Schloss was occupied by the Nazis. In 1945, it was returned to the Reinhardt estate, and in 1946, Helene Thimig offered the use of Schloss Leopoldskron to Clemens Heller, Harvard graduate student and visionary of the Salzburg Seminar which finally purchased Schloss Leopoldskron in 1959. Since then 1988-1989,  the Schloss has been used as a conference center and venue for exclusive events when Salzburg Seminar program events are not in session. Schloss Leopoldskron is a national historic monument in Austria.

I also got to know about the Austrian Film Commission (AFC) and googled to discover it was founded in 1986. (Info below has been uploaded from the website)

The AFC’s role is to increase awareness of Austrian filmmaking abroad and to support the positioning and release of Austrian films on the international marketplace.

Acting both as an information clearing house and as a facilitating agency for export purposes, the AFC maintains ongoing contacts with festival directors, sales agents, buyers and distributors, as well as the press, concerning new Austrian productions. Offering a wide variety of services at the domestic and international level, the AFC consults with producers and creative artists attending international festivals and markets and supports their activities.

The AFC represents Austrian films at all major festivals and markets - including events at Cannes, Berlin, Venice, Toronto, San Sebastian, Rotterdam, Locarno, Karlovy Vary, Pusan, Buenos Aires and Los Angeles (AFM). It advises Austrian producers and film professionals on promotional and sales strategies and handles all festival arrangements.

Information about new Austrian films is distributed through various publications including: The catalogue Austrian Films, which presents an annual overview of current Austrian filmmaking; the Austrian Film Guide; and the magazines Austrian Film News and AFN International, which include a comprehensive list of all production in progress in Austria.

In addition, the website www.AustrianFilm.Com offers updated news, background-information, an extensive film database, and lists all relevant associations, institutions, productions companies and distributors.

Umut Dağ’s feature debut Kuma will be opening Berlin’s Panorama, The Wall by Julian Pölsler,Faith Love Death by Peter Kern, Spain by Anja Salomonowitz and What Is Love by Ruth Mader complete a strong Austrian presence at the 62nd Berlinale (9-19 feb). 

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About Ronita Torcato

Torcato Agnela Ronita
An incomplete round-up of movie news, features & views from an independent journo & (dare I say it:-) film critic in Mumbai



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