While Austrian filmmaker Fritz Lang initially studied civil engineering, he later trained as a painter, before switching to screenwriting and direction. He was a prominent figure of German Expressionism and mostly worked in Germany and the US. His Woman in the Moon was a pioneering science-fiction movie.
Maximilian Schell was an Austrian-born Swiss actor who won the Academy Award for Best Actor for his portrayal of Hans Rolfe in the 1961 courtroom drama film, Judgment at Nuremberg. Remembered for his versatility, Schell received the Golden Globe Award for playing Vladimir Lenin in the 1992 TV film, Stalin. A multi-talented personality, Schell was also an accomplished conductor and pianist.
While he initially wished to follow in his prosecutor father’s footsteps to be a lawyer, Otto Preminger later discovered his love for theater. A master stage director, he later signed with Fox as one of its first independent filmmakers. He soared to fame with the 1944 film Laura.
Award-winning Austrian film director and screenwriter Michael Haneke, who teaches film direction at the Film Academy Vienna, is best-known for films like The Piano Teacher, Caché, The White Ribbon and Amour. Haneke has made films in English, French and German, and mostly deals with subjects that examine social issues and portrays feelings of individuals facing social alienation in modern society.
Four-time Academy Award-winning director Fred Zinnemann had started off as an extra. He later directed/produced masterpieces such as A Man for All Seasons and was one of the first to use non-professional actors along with stars. He was shattered when his ambitious project Man's Fate was shelved.
Max Reinhardt was an Austrian-born director and producer. The son of a Jewish merchant, he took acting lessons and embarked on a brilliant theatrical career. Before long, he came to be regarded as one of the most prominent directors of German-language theater. However, he had to flee Austria during the Nazi invasion and eventually settled in USA.
Austrian filmmaker Veronika Franz teamed up with her nephew, Severin Fiala, to make several films. Initially a film journalist, she later gained fame with the German-language psychological horror movie Goodnight Mommy, which she co-directed with Fiala. She is married to award-winning filmmaker Ulrich Seidl.
G.W. Pabst was an Austrian actor, director, and screenwriter. He studied drama at the Academy of Decorative Arts and became a stage actor. He soon started directing plays as well. He later became a film director with the movie The Treasure. He eventually came to be counted amongst the most influential German-language filmmakers during the Weimar Republic.
Austrian director-producer Ulrich Seidl is best known for his iconic films Dog Days and Paradise: Love. He uses a distinctive documentary style to make his movies more authentic. Born into a Catholic family, he had initially aspired to be a priest and had also studied journalism, before stepping into films.
Austrian actor Karl Markovics was the son of working-class parents but shunned a regular job to become an actor instead. Best known for his portrayal of Ernst Stockinger in Inspector Rex and its spin-off, he also starred in the Oscar-winning film The Counterfeiters and appeared in The Grand Budapest Hotel.
Known for pioneering the Hollywood B-film, or low-budget film productions, director Edgar G. Ulmer was the man behind movies such as The Black Cat. Initially a stage production designer for Max Reinhardt, he later mostly explored the noir, drama, and horror genres as a director.
Bernhard Wicki was an Austrian actor and film director who gained international fame with his 1959 anti-war film Die Brücke. He studied at the drama school of the Staatliches Schauspielhaus in Berlin and began his career as an actor. Eventually, he began directing movies as well. He is a recipient of the Silver Bear for Best Director.
Johannes Grenzfurthner is best known as the man behind monochrome, an alternative art magazine. The Austria artist and filmmaker often deals with topics such as subversion and nerd culture in his documentary-style films. A pioneer of techno-hedonism, he also heads festivals such as Arse Elektronika, which mingles sex and technology.
Austrian actor-director Fritz Eckhardt is best remembered for his portrayal of Marek in the series Tatort. The winner of the Austrian Cross of Honour for Science and Art, Eckhardt is also known for his roles in Almost Angels and Oberinspektor Marek. Actor Irmgard Riessen is her stepdaughter.