Virgil Widrich was born 1967 in Salzburg. He gained his first experience with film at a very young age and was given his first camera, a Super-8, at the age of 13. At the age of 15 he made Monster in Salzburg, on which he worked with actors for the first time. He created the rampaging monster using stop-motion photography. In 1983 he began work on Vom Geist der Zeit (Spirit of Time). Even bad marks at school were not enough to prevent him finishing his first feature-length movie, which took him 14 months. During this time he also took on a job as a props manager at the Salzburg Festival to finance his films.After passing his school-leaving exams at the Akademisches Gymnasium in Salzburg he entered the Vienna Film Academy, only to leave again after a matter of weeks to work on the script for a science fiction film which, in the end, he never made. In 1987 he founded the film distributing company Classic Films with two partners with the aim of distributing mainly artistic films. Later on he became assistant to John Bailey, a camera man and director, and in 1990 he went to Hollywood to work with Bailey on the science fiction comedy The Search for Intelligent Life in the Universe. After selling Classic Films in 1991 Widrich turned his attention to the computer and the possibilities it offered for creating art. His next major project, which saw him working as production manager, was a new festival for Austrian film, held for the first time in 1993 under the name Diagonale. From 1997 Widrich started concentrating more on making films of his own again, producing the short film tx-transform, which was a great success at the Ars Electronica festival. He also returned to his script for Heller als der Mond (Brighter than the Moon), which he filmed in 1999. The film premiered in 2000 in Rotterdam. Copy Shop was his next project, and one of his most successful to date. Following its premiere in 2001 the film won numerous awards and was nominated for the Oscar. His next short, Fast Film, was likewise very successful. A large number of multimedia projects for companies followed (in 2001 he founded his own firm, checkpointmedia AG, and is its CEO) as did films productions. In 2004 Widrich became chairman of the Austrian Film Directors’ Association and a member of the jury for Ars Electronica. He lives in Vienna.
Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.