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Munich Film Fest to honor Ulrich Seidl

Controversial Austrian director gets retrospective

COLOGNE, Germany -- The Munich Film Festival (June 25 – July 3) this year will honor controversial Austrian director Ulrich Seidl with a retrospective of all his entire body of work, from his first documentary shorts to Cannes Competition feature "Import/Export" (2007).

Perhaps the only European director who makes fellow Austrian Michael Haneke look tame, Seidl has spent his career dividing audiences with bleak, darkly funny films about such topics as prostitution, bestiality and the international sex trade.

Seidl is perhaps best known for his first dramatic feature "Dog Days," an unflinching look at the seedy underside of a Viennese suburb, which won a special grand jury prize in Venice in 2001.

The director himself will provide a sneak-peak at his latest project in Munich: the documentary "In the Basement," described as a "cinematic foray through the daily life of an Austrian cellar." Given the attention to Austrian subterranean spaces in the wake the Josef F. incest scandal, one expects Seidl's new film will be less of a rec room romp and more about unearthing unpleasant family secrets.