BAFTSS New Connections Talk: ‘A Failed Film Project in Austria: Interwar Star Franziska Gaal’s Unmade Post-War Comeback’ – Dr Hanja Dämon, Friday 23 April 2021

BAFTTS New Connection talk - picture of Franziska Gaal, Dr Hanja Dämon and the BAFTTS logo


Hanja has written a Blog post further exploring the fascinating world of the unmade – read it here. You can also watch the recorded talk on Vimeo.

This April we are pleased to host Dr Hanja Dämon (King’s College London) in a talk as part of the BAFTSS New Connections 2021 Programme: A Failed Film Project in Austria: Interwar Star Franziska Gaal’s Unmade Post-War Comeback. The online talk will take place on Friday 23 April 2021.

Dr Hanja Dämon’s talk intercedes in the growing field of unproduction studies, which focuses on the study of the unmade, unseen, and unreleased. It does so through a case study of post-war European production cultures and celebrity. A project prominently advertised in Austria between the end of 1946 and spring 1947 promised the return of a beloved star of the 1930s to Vienna: The Hungarian-born Jewish actress Franziska Gaal. Extremely popular in interwar German-language cinema, she left for Hollywood once she was no longer welcomed in Nazi Germany and Austria. Her post-war comeback was to be produced by the company ‘Kollektiv-Film’, founded by Franz Antel, who was to become a prolific Austrian director over a decades-spanning career. Other names associated with the project were Adolf Wohlbrück/Anton Walbrook, slated to return from Great Britain to Austria, and star composer Robert Stolz. The talk explores why the film remained unmade, touching on the conditions of filmmaking in Austria in this period, and providing a backstory to the ‘Kollektiv-Film’, which, in the end, only ever made one film, the musical comedy Das Singende Haus (The Singing House, dir. by Franz Antel) and soon collapsed.

BAFTSS New Connections Talk: A Failed Film Project in Austria: Interwar Star Franziska Gaal’s Unmade Post-War Comeback
Friday 23 April 2021, 1400-1530
Held online – to sign up please visit the Eventbrite page here and you’ll receive a link to the Zoom.

This talk is hosted by Dr James Fenwick (Media, Sheffield Hallam University) and sponsored by the BAFTSS New Connections programme.

The New Connections Programme is a BAFTSS scheme supporting early career researchers and academics on fixed-term contracts, encouraging them to broker a fresh relationship with an academic institution. BAFTSS provides travel bursaries or book vouchers to enable them to present their research to a new audience. Find out more about BAFTSS here.

Dr Hanja Dämon

Dr Hanja Dämon

Dr Hanja Dämon recently finished her PhD at the German Department at King’s College, London, working on post-war German film in the British and US zones of occupation between 1945 and 1949. Her research was sponsored for three years by the European Research Council project “Beyond Enemy Lines”, which engages with the role of culture in the context of occupations. Previously Dr Daemon studied History at the University of Vienna with a focus on Visual, Cultural and Contemporary History as well as a year abroad at Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne. Her first monograph will deal with British film policies in post-war Germany (upcoming with Peter Lang).



Dr James Fenwick

Dr James Fenwick

Dr James Fenwick is Senior Lecturer and Course Leader for BA (Hons) Media. He is the author of Stanley Kubrick Produces (Rutgers University Press, 2020) and co-editor of Shadow Cinema: The Historical and Production Contexts of Unmade Films (Bloomsbury, 2020). His research focus is on the role of the producer, production companies, archives, and cultural industries. He is the co-convenor of the Archives and Archival Methods Special Interest Group, an editor of the Open Screens journal, and mentor for the Early Career Mentoring Scheme.