Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel laureates of this year's Underground Spirit Award

This year’s Underground Spirit Award goes to directorial duet Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel. Established in 2008, this Award has been assigned for exceptional work in the field of independent cinema, and unique approach to film expression and authentic author’s poetics accomplished off the main stream of cinema.  

Since 1996, Italian director and writer Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel, an Austrian director and photographer work together in the field of film, theater and photography. They studied photography at the University of Vienna, and in 2001 they directed documentary  Das ist alles (That’s All). In 2002 they established their own production company Vento Film. Their 2005 documentary Babooska about modern nomad’s everyday struggle won Volfgang-Staudte Award at Berlinale. La Pivellina is their feature debut screened at more than 130 international film festivals around the world. The film won many international awards like Europa Cinemas Label at Cannes and was selected as Austrian choice for Best Foreign Language Film at 83 Academy Award in 2010. Their full length feature, story about relation between theater actor and his forgotten uncle, The shine of the day premiered in 2012, was awarded a Silver Leopard at Locarno for the Best Actress.

Mister Universo is their latest feature film, that follows life of Tairo a circus lion tamer. After he loses his lucky horse shoe, he cannot do shows any more so he starts quest for a man who gave him the horse shoe in the first place. The film premiered in 2016 Locarno where it won several awards including Europa Cinema Label and Fipresci. At Vienale it was awarded with ExtraVALUE prize.

„Their art acts like force of nature, showing what remains after luck and muscles disappear“, says Cinema Scope about Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel who are working on their new documentary at the moment.

Underground Spirit Award is going to be handed to them during the screening of their selected films at the 25 European Film Festival Palic,

Mister Universo trailer

La Pivellina trailer

Tizza Covi and Rainer Frimmel photo

Tica Kovi i Rajner Frimel

This authentic award was so far assigned to French director F.J. Osan, German director Uli M. Shupel, Serbian filmmaker Želimir Žilnik, Norwegian of a Scottish origin Joern Utkilen, Swedish director’s duet  Ola Simonson and Johan S. Nilsen, French animator Eduard Salier, Hungarian super 8 duet Buharov brothers and artistic group of five Spanish directors called Electric Riders of the Apocalypse by Sight & Sound magazine. Last year’s laureate was Slovenian filmmaker, black wave pioneer, Karpo Godina. Last year’s laureate was French animator, director and visual artist Bertrand Mandico.

Jubilee 25 European Film Festival Palic takes place from 14 to 20 July in Palic and Subotica with about hundred relevant Europeans titles divided into twelve programs: Official Selection, Parallels and Encounters, Young Spirit of Europe, New Hungarian Film, Black Sea Region in Focus, Aleksandar Lifka Award Laureates Homage, Underground Spirit Award Laureat’s Homage, Eco Docs, Classics on the Square, Best of Europe 2017, film selection from Szeged Film Festival Vilmos Zsigmond and Palic in Belgrade.