I found ‘Alma and Oskar’ characters interesting, hence thought of making film: Dieter Berner

Dieter Berner, Director of Austrian Film ‘Alma and Oskar’, which was the opening film of International Film Festival of India, on Monday said that he found the characters of this story interesting, which made him think of making this film.

The passionate and tumultuous relationship between the Viennese society Grand Dame Alma Mahler (1879-1964) and Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka (1886-1980) is the subject of this biopic.

Berner, during the table talk programme, said that he liked the characters and hence he decided to do a film on them.

The story of this film is about a love affair between a composer and an artist. Oskar Kokoschka, an upcoming painter, finds Alma, a music composer, during a time when she had already begun a relationship with architect Walter Gropius, after the death of her first husband, Gustav Mahler.

Not wanting to be with another man in whose shadow she cannot realise her artistic potential, Alma initiates a fiery affair with Oskar Kokoschka. Such is the nature of their relationship that Kokoschka paints his most famous work based on it. The film explores their relationship which has been described as ‘stormy’ and ‘tumultuous’.

Narrating the story of the film, Berner said that the film is about Viennese famous personalities at the beginning of the last century. “Alma was a beautiful, intelligent and challenging woman. She didn’t care about the social conventions,” he said.

He said that Alma faces difficult times in her life. “I found characters of this story very interesting and hence I thought of making the film,” he said.

Berner said that he along with his team is honoured and feels proud that the film was chosen as the opening film of IFFI. “Ever since young days, I have dreamt of India, and now my dream has come true,” Berner said expressing his happiness to participate in IFFI.

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