Universum Empire of the Vineyard
number of animals and organisms settle among the vines or hunt there as the seasons pass. The
film explores the unique eco-system created by the vineyard, its inhabitants and its guests as it has
never been seen before. The battles for dominance and survival among the animals and of the vines
themselves are the centrepiece of the story, which also investigates the role played by the weather in
this sweet, enticing empire.
Vineyards are almost invariably located on the „sunny side“ of the world. The buds, leaves, branches,
roots and even the shadows of the vines provide cover, breeding grounds, food and hunting territories.
In autumn, when their fruit is ripe and juicy, vineyards attract a range of animal visitors; they are a
unique, lively eco-system. From microbes to insects, from birds to mammals, a surprising number of
creatures are „wine enthusiasts“. As it is in any kingdom, their lives are shaped by a number of different
hierarchies. The film examines this colourful, exciting world with a healthy dose of humour.
The film is set in the picturesque wine regions in Austria and France, but similar battles for the
riches of the vineyard are repeated throughout the world. A range of central „protagonists“ and the
relationships between them provide the main theme of the film, which accompanies them from the
first signs of new life in spring to the end of the harvest. Some of these protagonists have distant
relatives in the animal kingdom, enabling the film to move easily between countries.
Writer: Eva Maria Berger & Waltraud Paschinger
Director: Waltraud Paschinger
Executive Producer Interspot Film: Heinrich Mayer-Moroni
Executive Producer Kwanza: Benjamin Ternynck
Commissioning Editor ORF: Franz Fuchs
Commissioning Editor France 2: Caroline Glorion
Executive Producer ORF: Andrew Solomon