Ruth Kaaserer is the recipient of the 2017 Erste Bank’s ExtraVALUE Film Award, which she received for Gwendolyn at the 2017 Viennale. On the occasion of her residency at Deutsches Haus at NYU, Deutsches Haus co-presents together with Anthology Film Archives, Erste Bank, and the Austrian Cultural Forum two screenings of Gwendolyn (2017), on Wednesday, November 7, and Thursday, November 8, at 7:30 p.m.
2017, 85 min, DCP. In English and German with English subtitles.
Tickets are available at Anthology Film Archive‘s box office on the day of the show only. The box office opens 30 minutes before the first show of the day. There are no advance ticket sales. If you have questions about tickets, please call (212) 505-5181.
Ruth Kaaserer’s Gwendolyn is a documentary portrait of an extraordinary individual: Gwendolyn, a retired anthropologist and active weightlifter, who became a three-time world champion at age 65. Fragile and lightweight, she is anything but a typical weightlifter. But when she is stepping towards the dumbbell there is no doubt she is serious. Kaaserer’s film finds Gwendolyn facing profound challenges: as she prepares for her third cancer surgery, her body is weakened and part of her face is paralyzed. But rather than submit to the rest and relaxation her doctors have prescribed, she sets her sights on becoming world champion once more. With the help of her loyal trainer Pat, her Ivorian husband Charlie, and her son Joseph, she prepares for the upcoming weightlifting season. Gwendolyn is a vivid, sensitive, and intimate depiction of a fiercely determined woman fighting against her physical and personal limits.
ABOUT THE FILMMAKER
Ruth Kaaserer grew up in Munich and studied sculpture at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna. She has received numerous grants for her work as an artist from the Austrian Arts Council including residencies in London, Paris, Beijing, Chicago and New York. In the US she also filmed her first feature-length documentary Tough Cookies. For her film Gwendolyn about retired anthropologist and active weight lifter Gwendolyn Leick from London, she received the Viennale Mehrwert Film-Award 2017 and the Franz-Grabner-Award 2018.
About the MoreVALUE Film Award:
Since 2011, each annual edition of the Viennale (Vienna International Film Festival) has featured the presentation of the MoreVALUE Film Award to one or more Austrian filmmakers whose films are included in the festival. Designed to showcase the best of Austrian cinema, the award was founded by Erste Bank, the Viennale’s main sponsor, and is awarded by an independent jury. The award brings a cash prize as well as a residency as a visiting film scholar hosted and organized by Deutsches Haus at NYU. The screenings are co-organized by Deutsches Haus at NYU and the Austrian Cultural Forum New York. Anthology Film Archives has presented the award-winning films in the past, and they continue the tradition this year with a special screenings of the 2017 winner’s Ruth Kaaserer’s Gwendolyn.