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ALS Worldwide
February 06, 2018

Winning the Prize

Christian with colleagues at the Austrian Film Festival

Winning The Prize

How is life? Absolutely not boring at all.  Although i can hardly move, breathe, eat, speak or wipe my backside on my own, i decided to go on a longer-ish trip.  Yes, i know,  longer-ish is not a proper word, yet still i wanted to use it. Sounds cool to me. As cool as my recent 1.600 kilometer-ish trip to Vienna. Why Vienna? To pick up the Austrian film prize, unofficially named Vally. Yes yes yes. Of course, and that's all there was at this point. A nomination is no guarantee to get the prize. But come on. Fate has had me on it's list for other things before. I was doomed and now I'm destined. What goes down must come up.  The harder they fall the higher they bounce . Life is a bitch and then you get a prize with no money attached to it.... Getting ahead of myself again.

The reasons to go on a long to longer-ish and potentially super-tiring trip by minivan, guaranteed to be on the exhausting side of the spectrum, were a few. One I have not talked about was an inner urge for completion. I worked on " LICHT.", the film i was nominated for (for best sound design) 15 months ago, and it was exactly then that the first limping symptoms appeared that later turned out to be the disease with the unpronounciable  name of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis, pet name ALS. So like the criminal that compulsively returns to the scene of the crime, i had to come back where it all began. Cycles. Rhythm. Yin. Yang. Other reasons to undertake this mission were on the one hand my ego-related need for external validation but also the wish to see and meet and chat with and laugh and cry with a couple of people that i hadn't seen for a while and - who knows - might never meet again. Plus i fulfilled myself a dream. The motto of the evening was GLAM.  Ever since I witnessed Xavier Bardem receive a Teddy Award at the Berlinale a a few years ago wearing a black suit and long fake eyelashes, i wanted to copycat this fashion statement. I would have preferred to do it at the Academy Awards but hey! with a terminal disease you can't be too picky.

Long story short. The Eyelashes were brilliant. The people were lovely. The winner was.....  Not me! Not me? Not me!

To be honest the moment i did not get the award was utterly unglamorous. I was waiting backstage where my forever chair had been wheeled when my category was announced so in case i got the thing i could drive on stage. A dark hallway. One assistant with a walkie.  And the winner is  "Untitled". (That's the title.) And back we go to my seat. To endure two more hours of awards.  With an increasingly unfunny team of moderators.

But i showed up. And even slightly blinded by the light of my sarcasm you must know that i loved every minute of it.  Life is crazy. Film business too. And within those two days a lot more happened. Andre the Giant was my driver.  I met Andre the Giants wife. I was in  a steamy steam bath in Krems with Anja. Starbucks Vienna. If you know what I mean. I spat in the river Danube. (Greyish Green)  Deer Gulasch in Petrovice, Czech Republic....

The Prize is, was and always will be to be here.

To be here NOW.

And the winner is me.

More of Christian Conrad's posts can be found at his  Work and Love Blog