Director Kurt Langbein and producer Michael Risch chose the same “lead actor” for their documentaries. The approach to telling the young former chancellor’s story couldn’t be more different.
Langbein wanted to depict “the rise and fall of comrades through stories and a collage of video and film archives”. Two “Ibiza stars” Julian Hessenthaler and ex-FPÖ politician Johann Gudenus have also spoken out, as noted by Falter journalist Barbara Toth. But one man stands out because of his lack of involvement: Sebastian Kurz. Because “Langbein didn’t even bother trying to be objective. People around the former chancellor and current businessman point out, “Anyone who, like Langbein, portrays a democratic election as an illegal takeover of power has a problematic understanding of democracy.”
Public film funding agencies apparently did not see this problem. The taxpayer paid heavily for the “BallhausPlatz Project – The Rise and Fall of Sebastian Kurz”. 305,000 euros came from the Film Institute, including ORF production funding. An additional 164,000 euros in OFI manufacturing funding was added. So 469,000 euros in tax money.
Documentary filmmaker Reesh’s work is different. “Kurz – der Film” deliberately works without subsidies and therefore does not use tax money, the producer is quoted as saying in the “Kurier”. The documentary is a co-production by Austrian Pongo Film and German Opus-R. The latter provided pre-financing. However, this is enough for critics to become a conspiracy theory. The company Opus-R has not made any political film yet. In the first Pongo film, there was nothing to see except a logo on the cover. Critics suspected that Sebastian Kurz’s team had made a hasty film to dilute Langbein’s production.
An allegation which Reish strongly denies. He wants to investigate Sebastian Kurz’s career “seriously and from all sides”. After much persuasion, he finally succeeded in convincing the former chancellor to take part in the film. The goal: “Kurz – Der Film” should be shown in 27 theaters and reach 40,000 viewers. If it is successful, the work can later be offered to a streaming service.