70 Directors for Venice 70
Seidl was born in Vienna in 1952. He began his career as a director of documentary films as early as 1980, with titles such as Einsvierzig (One Fourty) and Der Ball (The Prom, 1982). He began to achieve recognition shortly thereafter for Good News (1990), Tierische Liebe (Animal Love, 1995) and Models (1998). Seidl made his debut in feature-length fiction films, maintaining a dryness in his style inspired by an apparently-detached observation of reality, with Hundstage (Dog Days, 2001), the story of suburban Vienna and its inhabitants during a particularly hot summer. The film was presented in Competition at the Venice Film Festival where it won the Grand Jury Prize. In 2003 he returned to documentary filmmaking with Jesus, Du weißt (Jesus, You Know), winner of the Grand prize at the Vienna Film Festival. Seidl presented his second fiction feature-length film Import/Export (2007), the double journey, practically a documentary, of a Ukrainian nurse who finds a job in Vienna and a young Viennese man who trades in video-poker machines in the former Soviet republics, in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival. In 2012 he released his Paradise Trilogy, which explores the theme of love in all its forms, from physical and sexual love to spiritual and religious love, through the figures of three women. The first chapter Paradise:Love was presented in Competition at the Cannes Film Festival, the second Paradise: Faith was in Competition at the 2012 Venice Film Festival and won the Special Jury Prize; the third Paradise: Hope participated in the Berlin Film Festival in 2013.
2001 – Hundstage (Dog Days) – In Competition (screenplay, director)
2012 – Paradise: Glaube (Paradise: Faith) – In Competition (screenplay, director)
2001 – Hundstage (Dog Days) – Grand Jury Prize
2012 – Paradies: Glaube (Paradise: Faith) – Special Jury Prize