Experimental essayfilm / MiniDV/Super 8/HDV / 14.30min / 2021
Funded by Land Niederösterreich, Otto Mauer Fonds, Developed in the framework of Viertelfestival Niederösterreich / Distribution: sixpackfilm

Script, Realisation & Production: Iris Blauensteiner and Christine Moderbacher / Voice: Judith Mauthe / Editorial Advice: Julene Knox, Irmgard Fuchs / Sounddesign: Johannes Schmelzer-Ziringer / Technical Consultant: Sebastian Schreiner / Color grading: Lee Niederkofler vienna FX / Supported by Arts and Culture Council Lower Austria, Otto Mauer Fonds,  Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Viertelfestival – Annual Art Festival Lower Austria

“What could I tell you about the world I live in?” Addressing her unborn child, the narrator tries to find answers partly through claustrophobic pictures interwoven with intimate notes on a pregnancy in times of a pandemic. Based on a childhood memory, the experimental short film spans from the Cold War Iron Curtain, to the so-called “refugee crisis” and the renewed closing of borders during COVID-19. Textures of walls closing in, blur with pixelated maps, creating a subjective portrait of a new reality and its digital image-world.

“Iris Blauensteiner’s and Christine Moderbacher’s The world is blue at its edges is directed at an unknown future. It’s a film about life and everything that speaks against life. As if behind glass, fragments of perception appear. They confront the somber world of today, consisting of screens and lockdowns, with the faint heartbeat of an unborn child. In the film the mother shares her thoughts with the child. What can she show to her future offspring, which images of today can speak tomorrow?

Between almost dystopic pixelated found footage of Youtube videos and familiarly unreal images of daily life with Covid a narration appears that is mainly concerned with inner and outer borders: the Wall, the Iron Curtain, police states, migration, fear. The narrator hesitates as she asks herself and her child if those borders will remain in us even after they have long disappeared. The filmmakers create an inventory of the present and a subjective involvement with the sentiment of a mother-to-be. Inklings and insecurities stick between the images of the film. Even the embryo is still an image, an obscure ultrasound image and its real body must seem like a foreign body to this visual world. A terrifying threat lingers close to the image of the child in the mother’s womb: if its heart stops beating, the image will freeze. However, at the end there is a glimmer of hope to be recovered among the constant murmur of images. One feels how insecurity is not a reason to freeze or to stop loving or to not beget a child or to stop making images. No, insecurity is just a condition in life and the eponymous blue at the edges heralds all that will be – not yesterday, not today, but tomorrow.” (Patrick Holzapfel)


Documentary Essay Film/ 71 min/ AT 2018/ DCP
Funded by the Austrian ministry of culture, Land Niederösterreich, Zukunftsfond Österreich, Otto Mauer Fonds, ORF Innovative Film/ Developed in the framework of Startstipendium BKA/ Pinanona Production/ Distribution: sixpackfilm

In the 1960s, the media pictures of the Nigerian Civil War shaped the notion of a continent. As was the case for Christine Moderbacher´s father, who decades later wants to help his priest Sabinus build a Catholic school in his Nigerian hometown. Joining them: the daughter and her camera. A personal father-daughter journey, and a cinematic diary about interdependencies and the incompatibility of independence movements and Christian missionary projects. (Diagonale 2018)

Festival-placement (selection):
Graz, Austria – Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films/ Vienna, Austria – This Human World Film Festival/ Saarbrücken, Germany – Max Ophüls Festival/ Bergamo, Italy – Bergamo Film Meeting/ Vizantrop Festival, Belgrade, Serbia – Winner: BEST FILM*/ XXVIII International Festival of Ethnological Film, Belgrade, SRB/ Ethnocineca – International Documentary Festival Vienna, AT/ Filmreihe im Weltmuseum Wien, AT

A Letter to Mohamed

Documentary Essay Film/ 35 min/ AT, BE 2013/ DCP
Production: CVB Bruxelles/ Distribution: sixpackfilm

Lettre à Mohamed is a cinematic letter to a friend in Belgian, to Mohamed, who left Tunisia. “Fleeing” and “self-immolation” have the same word root in Arabic—fire. Christine Moderbacher thus connects her letter to Mohamed with the name with which the Tunisian revolution began: with Mohamed Bouazizi, who set himself on fire. This film takes place against the backdrop of disillusionment, yet in the images is the trace of a fire that can be sparked at any time. (Bert Rebhandl)

Festival-placement (selection):
Rotterdam, Netherlands – Int. Filmfestival/ Graz, Austria – Diagonale, Festival des österreichischen Films/ Buenos Aires, Argentina – BAFICI, International Festival of Independent Cinema/ San Francisco, USA – Arab shorts/ Vienna, Austria – This Human World International Human Rights Film Festival/ Kratovo, Macedoine – Ethnographic Film Festival/ Athens, Greece – Ethnographic FilmFestival/ Zarzis, Tunisia – Les journeys cinemathographiques de court metrage de Zarzis/ Jihlava, Cech Republic – East Silver Market/ Faito, Italie – Faito Doc/ Vienna, Austria – Undox – International Festival of Innovative Documentary/ Brussels, Belgium – Weekend du doc de la Federaton de Wallonie Bruxelles/ Malina, Philippines – Human Rights Film Festival


Documentary Film/ 32 min/ UK 2010/ DVD
University School of Social Science, The University of Manchester, Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology/ Distribution: RAI

Men at work depicts the daily working life of one of the few remaining institutions in Austria that still employs only men. They are responsible for a 39 km stretch of Austria’s biggest highway and transit route, the A1. Inspired by the poem of a road worker, the film explores masculinity, danger and camaraderie between 35 men.

Festival-placement (selection):
London, UK – RAI International Festival of Ethnographic Film/ Tartu, Estonia – Tartu Festival of Visual Culture/ Moscow, Russia – Moscow International Visual Anthropology Festival/ Belgrade, Serbia – International Festival of Ethnographic Film/ Ljubljana, Slovenia – Days of Ethnographic Film/ Athens, Greece – Athens Ethnographic Film Festival/ Perugia, Italy – Contro-Sguardi Festival/ Vancouver, Cananda – International Anthropology Film Festival

Mots d'Enfant

Participatory Video Documentary/ 8 min/ BE 2015/ DVD
Production/ Distribution: Sireas sable.

Participatory Video Documentary with minor asylum seekers in Brussels, Belgium.

Bien que signataire de la Convention internationale des droits de l’enfant qui prévoit que les pays doivent tenir compte de l’intérêt supérieur de l’enfant, dans toutes les procédures qui le concernent, la Belgique ne reconnaît pas aux enfants tous les mêmes droits. En effet, en matière d’asile ou de séjour, c’est toujours la situation de leurs parents qui prime, qu’importe si l’enfant aura ou non, en cas de retour, droit à une scolarité, à des soins de santé ou à une vie en sécurité. C’est pourquoi le Siréas/SASB et la plateforme Mineurs en Exil ont décidé de mettre en place une action de sensibilisation auprès de la population belge. A cet effet, nous avons créé un outil pédagogique afin de discuter de cette problématique dans des groupes.