MFA Alumna Liza Johnson's "In The Air" Film wins the


Vienna, Austria

The award goes to the director of the best film in the International Competition: Fiction and Documentary. It is awarded by a jury.
Renumeration: 4000 Euros
Donated by: The City of Vienna
Jury: Maike Mia Höhne, Benny Nemerofsky Ramsay, Miranda Pennell

In the Air by Liza Johnson (USA)
Statement of the jury: In the Air is a portrait of a “lost” generation in a community seeking expression and a meaningful future. The film’s experimental style blurs the boundary between fiction and documentary, which we feel reflects contemporary social reality. We appreciate that this film took risks and sought out creative, open-minded solutions.


Geliebt by Jan Soldat (Germany)
The Conservatory by Matilda Tristram (UK)

About Vienna Indespendent Shorts (VIS)
VIS started as a students’ project, with all the advantages and disadvantages coming along with the untamed will. Since then, the festival has grown professionally both in programming and organizational aspects. As of now, VIS is the biggest short film festival in Austria.

"In The Air"

Liza Johnson made "In the Air in collaboration" with a circus studio in her hometown of Portsmouth, Ohio. In the short film she interweaves images of the challenges of adolescence and everyday life in an economically depressed environment with scenes of circus action that approach the sublime. (22 mins., 16mm transferred to video).

The film was shot in early January 2009 and was supported through the Wexner Center's Art & Tech residency program.

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Liza Johnson

Still image courtesy of Liza Johnson.