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Dor Film

Feature film by Sabine Hiebler & Gerhard Ertl after a novel by Cornelia Travnicek

CHUCKS, the new film by Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl ("Coming of Age/Anfang 80"), tells the featherlight story of Mae's growing up between life and death. Full of humor, at times rebelliously loud, then extremely tender – completely in the spirit of the literary version it is based on, the successful novel by Cornelia Travnicek about which Clemens J. Setz once wrote: “If I were to get stuck in a lift with a character of contemporary literature, I would want it to be Mae. I don’t know whether I would come out safe and sound, but it would be worth it.”

Chucks: Film Details I Film website I Trailer I Production notes


Chuck won Audience Award (again!) at its world Premiere in Montreal World Film Festival


CHUCKS - Live. Love. Dance. Now! 

The team behind "Coming of Age (Anfang 80)", Montreal 2012 Festival Audience Award Winner (and best actor Award), returns to the Montreal with a new comedy having its world Premiere in competition.

A film by Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl

After the novel by Cornelia Travnicek


CHUCKS, the new film by Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl (“Coming of Age / Anfang 80” – Public Award – Most Popular Film in Montreal 2012)), tells the featherlight story of Mae’s growing up between life and death. Full of humor, at times rebelliously loud, then extremely tender – completely in the spirit of the literary version it is based on, the successful novel by Cornelia Travnicek about which Clemens J. Setz once wrote: “If I were to get stuck in a lift with a character of contemporary literature, I would want it to be Mae. I don’t know whether I would come out safe and sound, but it would be worth it

Montreal World Film Festival in Competition screenings

Cinéma Impérial                   Sunday,             August 30th       at 2   pm

Cinéma Impérial                   Wednesday,      September 2nd           at 12 pm



Live. Love. Dance. Now! Mae (Anna Posch) roams the streets of Vienna as a punk in her dead brother's Converse shoes. She lives on canned beer, sprays walls, tries her hand at poetry slams. She’s not interested in bourgeois life but in stronger experiences. When she is sent to an AIDS center to work off a punishment, she meets and falls in love with Paul (Markus Subramaniam).

CHUCKS, the new film by Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl (“Coming of Age / Anfang 80”), tells the featherlight story of growing up between life and death. Full of humor, at times rebelliously loud, then extremely tender – completely in the spirit of the literary version it is based on, the successful novel by Cornelia Travnicek about which Clemens J. Setz once wrote: “If I were to get stuck in a lift with a character of contemporary literature, I would want it to be Mae. I don’t know whether I would come out safe and sound, but it would be worth it.”



Directed by: Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl / Screenplay:  Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl after the novel by Cornelia Travnicek (published by DVA Verlag ein Unternehmen der Gruppe Random House GmbH, München)

Starring:  Anna Posch, Markus Subramaniam, Thomas Schubert, Stefanie Reinsperger, Susi Stach, Lola Khittl, David Süss, Karl Fischer, Gerald Votava, Barbara Gassner, Alice Schneider, Paul Matic

DOP: Wolfgang Thaler / Editing: Roland Stöttinger / Production design: Nikolai Ritter
Costume: Monika Buttinger / Make up: Daniela Langauer / Casting: Judith Limberger and Eva Roth

Sound: Hjalti Bager-Jonathansson, Sound re-recording mixer: Ingo Pusswald

Music: Soap&Skin, Hella Comet, MOnsterheart, Julian & der Fux, Propella, Chrome, Bilderbuch, Clara Luzia, APPARAT, Matthew Herbert

Co-producer: Sabine Hiebler und Gerhard Ertl, Producer: Danny Krausz und Kurt Stocker, DOR FILM  -

Produced with the support of :

Austrian Film Institute, Film Fund Vienna, FISA (Location Austria), ORF Film/Television Agreement

German (English or French subtitles), 93 min., colour, DCP 2K, 5.1. Surround Mix




Sabine HIEBLER and Gerhard ERTL the Directors :   Bio/Filmography


Sabine Hiebler und Gerhard Ertl Santa Barbara Film Festival 

Ever since they were students at the University of Art and Industrial Design in Linz, Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl have worked together.

In the early stages of their artistic cooperation they produced and staged prize-winning experimental films which were shown around the world (e.g. the New York Film Festival, Berlin Film Festival, MOMA Museum of Modern Art, New York).

Their artistic endeavours in the realms of photography, visual arts and video have been presented in numerous exhibitions (Ars Electronica, Neuen Galerie Graz, Vienna Museum of Art History, Biennale de l´image Paris).

Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl’s first feature film was NOGO – an episode film with Jürgen Vogel, Michael Ostrowski in his first film role, Jasmin Tabatabai, Meret Becker, Oliver Korittke and Mavie Hörbiger.

The film had its international premiere in Rotterdam and at the Max Ophüls Festival in Saarbrücken, was invited to festivals around the world and received numerous awards including the Variety Critics’ Choice and the Diagonale Award for Innovative Production.

This was followed by another feature film which won numerous awards, “Coming of Age / Anfang 80”, with Christine Ostermayer and Karl Merkatz in the leading roles. Both the film and the actors were awarded in Austria and around the world (including the Best Foreign Film Santa Barbara, Best Actor and Audience Prize World Film Festival Montreal, Best Narrative Film Wisconsin).


F i l m o g r a p h y:



Schönberg, Crossover, Crossover 2, Position Simultan  1990 /

LIVINGROOM 1991 /  Definitely Sanctus 1992 / General Motors 1993 /

SPOT-CHECK 1994 /  PROST 1995 /  KOMAKINO 1996 / 

TRANSCODER (Understanding Lydia) 1998



CHUCKS  2014 / 2015

ANFANG 80  2011 (with Karl Merkatz and Christine Ostermayer, Erni Mangold )

NOGO 2002  (with Michael Ostrowski, Mavie Hörbiger, Jürgen Vogel)


PRIZES / AWARDS: (selected)

         1993:  Film Prize from the Ministry of Education and Art

         1995:  Media Prize from the Sate of Lower Austria

         2000:  Upper Austria State Prize for Film

         2001:  Thomas Pluch Screenplay Prize for NOGO

         2002:  Diagonale Prize for Innovative Production for NOGO

                    Variety Critics´ Choice for NOGO

         2012:  Diagonale Graz – Best Actress Award for Christine Ostermayer in Anfang 80

           World Film Festival Montreal:

           Most Popular Film of the Festival – Audience Prize for Anfang 80

                    Best Actor for Karl Merkatz in Anfang 80

           Hof Film Festival – Millbrook Screenplay Prize for Anfang 80

           Zürich Film Festival – German Language Contest: Special Mention for

          Anfang 80

         2013:  Austrian Film Prize, Best actor for Karl Merkatz in Anfang 80

                    Santa Barbara Int. Film Festival – Best International Feature Film Anfang 80

                    Wisconsin Int. Film Festival – Best Narrative Film for Anfang 80


Film Festivals: (selected)

     New York Film Festival 1991, 92, 94 and 97   / USA

     International BERLIN Film Festival 1991, 96 /  G

     San Francisco Int. Film Festival  1993  /  USA

     London Film Festival 1991, 92, 93 / GB

     Sydney Film Festival 1993, 95  /  AUS

     Sao Paolo Int. Film Festival  1995, 2002, 2012 /  BRA

     Melbourne Intern. Film Festival  1992, 95, 96, 98, 02  /  AUS

     Worldfilm Festival Montreal 2012 / CAN

     Philadelphia International  Film Festival 1992  /  USA

     Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema Tour USA 1994/95 ( MOMA  New  York)

     ARCO Arte contemporàneo Madrid 1993, 94 and 97  /  S

     Bombay Int. Film Festival 1996  /  IND

     Rotterdam Int. Film Festival 1997, 2002  /  NL

     Toronto Worldwide Short Film Festival 1997  /  CAN

     Los Angeles AFI Int. Film Festival 2002 / USA

     Chicago Int. Film Festival 2002 /  2012 USA

     Fort Lauderdale Int. Film Festival 2002 / USA



Ars electronica 1993

Theseustempel (Vienna Museum of Art History) 1993

Neue Galerie Graz 1994

Biennale de l´image Paris 1998


A Conversation with Cornelia Travnicek, The Author of Chucks



A Conversation with Cornelia Travnicek


Was there a scene or statement that led you to write the novel CHUCKS?

In hindsight, of course, that’s always hard to say – there’s that nice word “inspiration” that means an idea appears out of nowhere. But the point of departure for me was actually the family constellation behind the main female character. What happens to families who are confronted with these kinds of strokes of fate. For me there were two possibilities: Either you stick together and wall yourself in against the “evil” outside world that dealt you this devastating blow, or as in the case described in the book you drift apart, become estranged.


How would you describe Mae?

Not conforming to expectations. People often want young women to be very friendly and behave nicely. Mae is the absolute opposite of this. At readings in schools people often comment that she is so unfriendly and to some extent callous – but she isn’t. She only acts this way with others because she is so vulnerable. For her character it was very important for me while writing and in the language to forget all my expectations and to let her be the way she is.


To you is there a key scene where the fundamental conflict thickens both in the book and the film?

There are several small key scenes and I think they are what really make the book and the film. There are a lot of books that work up to the climax for 200 pages and once you reach it, there is a denouement. With CHUCKS it’s different and I like that. It consists of many little bright moments between the individual characters. In the book there is a key scene in which it becomes clear that something isn’t right between the parents as seen from the child’s perspective. Or the scene in the film between Mae and her mother with this slight hesitation, where they stand in the doorway and can’t be close with each other even though you know that they both want to. And this is expressed by the little awkward hug.


A nice coincidence: Parallel to the theater release of the film your new novel “Junge Hunde” (Young Dogs) is also coming out this fall. Is this book a consequence of your experiences with CHUCKS?

Actually, no. If you do something that is very successful, you want to prove to yourself and other people that you can do other things too and don’t want to pin yourself down. Here, too, I see two possibilities: Either you churn out more of the same and milk the formula for all it’s got, or you prove your versatility. But the theme of my new novel is also the family – family constellations, what a family actually is, and that it doesn’t just mean blood relationships in a narrow sense.


So what does family mean to you?

Sticking together. In the case of CHUCKS Mae found a surrogate family in a sick man who had been abandoned by his own family. In this way she has more family status for him because they left him stranded. It’s not so much about a kind of birthright as it is about an offer that someone accepts or doesn’t.



Born in 1987, lives in Lower Austria. She studied Sinology and computer science at the University of Vienna and works part time as a researcher at a center for virtual reality and visualization. She has received numerous awards for her literary work, among others the Lower Austrian Recognition Prize and the Kranichsteiner Children’s and Youth Literature Scholarship awarded by the German Literature Fund for her debut novel CHUCKS (DVA 2012). In 2012 she was awarded the Audience Prize at the Days of German Language Literature in Klagenfurt for an excerpt from her novel “Junge Hunde”, being published by DVA in October 2015. Besides several independent publications, various texts have also appeared in newspapers, journals, and magazines.


Pressreview novel  CHUCKS by Cornelia Travnicek

published 2012 in Deutsche Verlagsanstalt

available as btb-Paper Back, 192 pages, ISBN 978-3-442-74702-3


“Poetic, laconic, and unsentimental ... A remarkable talent.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung


“With Chucks Cornelia Travnicek has written the story of a painful adolescence.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung


“Cornelia Travnicek strikes new punkish notes in her deeply sad, gently humorous novel. Mae is rebellious and bitter, love-hungry and worldly wise – a girl you can’t help liking.”

Augsburger Allgemeine


“Excellent! Cocky, wise, sad, and bursting with color ... The surprisingly sure, poetic, and humorous language amazes and enchants.”


“The author has succeeded in writing one of the most surprising books of the season, a book that weighs heavy precisely in its lightness and possesses great power of zeitgeist diagnosis.”

Der Standard


“Wonderful to read: One grasps how difficult and confusing it often is to be young. Amusing, sad, and profound.”

Wiener Zeitung


“The young author has a special talent for telling stories like fairy tales and she uses a uniquely fresh, witty language. A true jewel.”

rcn – event & music





A Conversation with ANNA POSCH (“Mae”)


If you had to describe Mae, which attributes would you give her?

Impassioned, exacting ... she is very meticulous when it comes to certain things like values or emotions. Exactly the opposite of what she often criticizes about people when they are too exacting about everyday things that simply aren’t very important to her.


Had you already read Cornelia Travnicek’s novel?

At the time I thought the book was fantastic, and when I found out I was invited to audition, I was very, very nervous. I also thought about not doing it because I just wasn’t sure if this was the right thing for me even though the book had really moved me. My friends all encouraged me and said I should do it. I went to the audition with absolutely no expectations. When I got the part, I was totally excited and quickly became very engrossed – I immediately immersed myself in my role.


Did Mae feel like a relative or a stranger to you? Was it easy or difficult to fall into character?

Certain things in me are or were similar to Mae. And I’ve experienced some things myself too. I imagined the kind of music she listened to and drew parallels to myself. In that way I adopted a certain attitude toward life. Of course I didn’t take everything personally and I had to make changes. I had a tough time understanding or imagining doing certain things at first. I concentrated on those things and tried to put myself in her position. And then it was possible.


Was there a moment for you during shooting where you could say: The entire experience of the film is condensed right here?

On the same day we shot the scene at the poetry reading, which doesn’t come till the end of the film, and right after that we shot the poetry slam scene. I was deeply moved that so many people came to the poetry reading. For me that’s when something fell into place in the movie because I realized that it is a liberating feeling to create something like this book. I think that has a certain power: To find listeners for what one thinks, feels, and has experienced.


In the movie a young woman falls in love with someone who is terminally ill. Can you relate to this aspect?

I consider it irrelevant that this person dies in the end. If you allow yourself to fall in love, there is always the possibility of loss. I don’t even need to know, for example, that my partner has AIDS and is going to die. He might have an accident or something else could happen, or he might simply fall in love with someone else despite all the effort you invest in trusting a person. With Mae this is even harder because she has already had to deal with losing her brother. I think that’s why she is not all that keen on letting herself become emotionally involved, trusting someone or yielding certain things to another person. That is why she tests Paul in certain places to see how he reacts. It is not until she starts to see how he ticks that she is able to open up to him. The film urges us to live in the here and now and – especially when it comes to love – not to discriminate: If you are lucky enough to love someone, you shouldn’t get caught up in agreements about things that don’t even exist or that never will because often things can change so quickly.



Born in Neunkirchen/Lower Austria in 1992, lives in Vienna. After graduating from high school she studied acting for two years with Elfriede Ott.



CHUCKS (2015, directed by: Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl)

Die Detektive (2013, pilot of TV-series directed by: Michi Riebl)

Diamantenfieber (2012, directed by: Peter Kern)






A Conversation with Markus Subramaniam (“Paul”)


Who is Paul to you?

I would describe him as funny and wise, in fact extremely wise for his age.


What role does illness play in the relationship between Paul and Mae?

A crucial one! If Paul didn’t have his illness, he wouldn’t be the person he is. This closeness to death determines his character extremely. And it has also brought him to this state of inner punkishness. Mae is punkish on the outside and Paul on the inside. You can’t tell by looking at him, but that’s what they have in common.


Did you find it hard to get close to Paul?

I find it hard to act wiser than one is. As an actor you can expand in many directions, but you can’t, for example, be cooler or wiser or funnier than you really are. You have personal limits and you’d quickly end up playing this or that cliché, for example the wise old man. And that doesn’t fit. That was the greatest challenge for me.


Were you familiar with the novel and how was it for you? Which world did it present to you?

Above all Mae’s world. A girl who has gone slightly astray, has stress at home, and is looking for her place in the world.


What was it like working with Sabine Hiebler and Gerhard Ertl?

Very intensive. It was my first movie. I had had very little shooting experience and had previously only done stage acting. In a way working with Sabine and Gerhard was a crash course. Making movies is much more intimate. It focuses more strongly on what is going on inside a person, about feeling things. Sure you have to think and feel on the stage too, but there you also need “momentum” to turn everything inside out. When you’re making a movie, you are acting for a smaller radius.


How did you absorb your role?

I lost weight for three months (laughs). With the help of a nutritionist I lost ten kilograms. That’s how I prepared myself physically. Otherwise, I met with AIDS patients, went to the AIDS center, and informed myself about what they can do and where they have to be careful.


Was there any particular scene during shooting that sticks out in your mind?

What I remember in particular is my first day of shooting, right here around the corner outside by the Danube. I was super nervous and just as insecure. Was I good? What do they expect of me? After everything went well that day, I looked forward to the rest of shooting.



Born in Dachau in 1986. After graduating from high school, he studied acting at the Max Reinhardt Seminar (2006–10). Ensemble member at the Landestheater Linz (2010–2014). Currently guest actor at the Landestheater Vorarlberg.


Filmography (selection):

CHUCKS (2015, directed by:: Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl)

Jesus Cries (2013, directed by: Brigitte Maria Mayer)

Schongang (2012, directed by: Guy Lichtenstein)

Eaton – Power Solutions (2011, directed by: Günter Kaser)



Coproducer &  Directors


DOR FILM. A-1170 Vienna. Austria




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