NIGHTSTILL (9', Austria, 2008)


NIGHTSTILL, both Sundance and Berlinale nominee, discovers a different perspective on things around us. We are witnessing a night that lasted two years for Austrian filmmaker ELKE GROEN. Her documentary on the Dachstein region, shot entirely in long-exposure takes, creates the feeling of a miraculous, almost out of space environment, where the human is merely a passing guest.

Director: ELKE GROEN

With the support of:




Producer: ELKE GROEN

Production: GROEN.FILM

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Director's contact: office[at]groenfilm[dot]at



From the found footage of the short film TITO-MATERIAL, to the portray of Chinese farmers in the long feature EVERY SEVENTH PERSON, passing then to the social and political landscapes of Romanian living, in BUNICA, ELKE GROEN has tried different ways of documenting life, in an never-ending enterprise to experiment within the documentary genre. She received awards for her innovating style at Hamburg 1999 and Ann Arbor, for her debut with TITO-MATERIAL, and both Sundace and Berlinale selected her latest short film, NIGHTSTILL in their competition. The Austrian filmmaker has studies in architecture and photography, and she worked also as film editor, along with her experience as film director.


Berlinale 2008 / Sundance 2009 / Best Experimental film - Jihlava 2008 / Ann Arbor 2009 / Semana de Cine Experimental de Madrid 2008 / Montreal Nouveau Cinema 2008 / Vila do Conde 2008 / Cork 2008 / Drama ISFF 2008 / St.Petersburg 2009 / Istanbul 2008


"ELKE GROEN's NIGHTSTILL, just under nine minutes long, is a filmic survey of the Dachstein region in Austria's Alps. However, it has nothing in common with a documentary record, serving as a confrontation between the givens (a landscape, artifacts and living beings; the sky, weather and the light) and a film technique, which has always possessed the ability to alienate. With the exception of a Webcam sequence, the special effects were created with the camera, an old spring-wound Bolex. Over two winters, always at night and before, during and after a full moon, the filmmaker roamed the Dachstein region with it. Each frame was exposed for 30 seconds, resulting in 12 minutes per second of film and 12 hours of real time for every minute of film in this work. In this careful condensation the rock massif seems doubly static, movements and the play of light take on even more dynamism and fleetingness. Night turns into day, and the moon resembles the winter sun as it hangs over slopes deeply buried in snow. Delicate showers of stars fall from the azure heavens. Man stands surrounded by it all, shaking his head in delighted awe." (Isabella Reicher)