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Nino Film Blog | June 12, 2024

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“Wir Staatskünstler” skits (ORF)

“Wir Staatskünstler” skits (ORF)
Nino Leitner

There is a lively scene of comedians in Austria (who we call “Kabarettisten”), some of which have their own TV shows. One of them is “Wir Staatskünstler” (“We state artists”), which makes fun of a lot of political kerfuffle constantly going on in our little country of Austria – corruption, misuse of power, protectionism – you name it, these guys have it covered.

Nino Leitner shooting with Robert Palfrader for "Wir Staatskünstler" (ORF / Gebhardt Productions)

Nino Leitner shooting with Robert Palfrader for “Wir Staatskünstler” (ORF / Gebhardt Productions)

Robert Palfrader, Florian Scheuba, Thomas Maurer and Nicholas Ofczarek are some of the most prominent names in this game, and rightfully so. I was hired by Gebhardt Productions GmbH to be director of photography on a handful of skit shoots for “Wir Staatskünstler”. On this shoot I also got to know director Jan Frankl, a great and very talented young director who I have subsequently worked with on the music video “Deja – Struck by the light” (shot on the F55 – click here!).

The skits are satires on the Viennese coalition government between Social Democrats (mayor Michael Häupl) and the Green Party (Maria Vassilakou). The other one, “Frankie Goes to Ballhausplatz” makes fun of Austro-Canadian billionaire-turned-politician Frank Stronach, a relatively new figure in the Austrian political landscape who uses his power and money for his new party in the upcoming national election.

Please excuse the low quality of the videos, they did not post the HD version of the skits.

(Click here to see other skits from “Wir Staatskünstler” on their Vimeo account.)

It’s always great to work with such a bunch of talented, professional and experienced people on a set, and the creativity and improvisation throughout the shoot was outstanding. The TV ratings on public TV ORF, which airs “Wir Staatskünstler”, were very good for these episodes, and the skits are a great hit online as well.

Shot on Canon C300 with Zeiss LWZ 15.5-45mm T2.6 and the Zeiss Compact Primes.




Between takes: Nino Leitner behind the camera with Robert Palfrader next to it, and Nicholas Ofzcarek & Maria Kottal in front of the lens.



  1. Stephan

    i found out about you via Philip Bloom and once more i am surprised about you! I knew about your documentary work, but also “die Staatskünstler?” ich bin hin und weg 😉
    i’ll be at Mr Blooms short lecture on November 17 in vIenna. hope i can talk to you there because i really want to become a filmmaker after the matura and want to know how/where to study, and so on

    LG Stephan

    • Ha! Die Welt ist klein 🙂
      Looking forward to meeting you there. I should be there with him, and before that for the meet & greet at the Sobotka booth at around 12.

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