Open Call 2025

This was the open call for the Festival of the Regions 2025

The Festival of the Regions invites all artists, cultural initiatives, and people invested in cultural, social, and political life, once more not to let things run their course unquestioned.

The upcoming Festival of the Regions will take place from 13 to 22 June in the Innviertel in Upper Austria, with a main focus on Braunau am Inn as the festival site.

Under the motto of “Realistic Dreams”, we are dealing with the current omnipresent feeling of insecurity and take an unflinching look towards the future. We are looking for new connections, narratives, and utopias.

The deadline for project applications is 30 April 2024.

A regional starting point for change  

The Festival of the Regions has been exploring and performing in various regions in the state of Upper Austria, every two years since 1993. The rural setting was often focussed on as a counter-model to globalisation and internationalisation. However, the relationship between rural and urban surroundings is a lot more complex today. Over the past thirty years the image of what is regional has changed, from places to retreat into or to pass through with a new shape of neighbourhood. Some ostensible contradictions became ambiguities. These ambivalences shape the starting point for artistic and social creation at the festival. The goal is always to get a region to dance to the melody of its contradictions. For this, the festival is always looking for new paths of understanding the regions as laboratories for societal change. The Festival of the Regions takes a close look at current, but also timeless questions. Through artistic and cultural projects it deals with societal topics. Here international artists engage in direct contact with local residents, and local cultural initiatives with supra-regional cultural actors. Passers-by are also a part of the festival.

The fog will not clear  

Insecurity is a scourge. Is this still a dream or already reality? What is true and what is false about an image, a story, a claim? Certainties are no longer as sure, but could this also be seen as an opportunity for new knowledge and discovery?

We are on the precipice of many existential decisions. Where do we want to go? How do people get to Innviertel and back again. Standpoints are on the move. Borders are being shifted. The earth is being sealed. Prices are exploding. What about those who want to build a house, what about those who don’t? Who do we listen to? Who has to fight to be seen?

Is there still a shared public space where everyone is welcome, or does life only take place behind a white picket fence in a garden with a pool? What does it mean for a region that experiences many people moving into it, many people leaving it, and maybe coming back? How and where can we find common ground? How keep the conversation alive?

Realistic dreams  

If we truly have already seen everything in films, newspapers, in the internet, if we have images in our mind’s eye of the most terrible, but also the most beautiful things, from moments of anguish to moments that touch us. If we are understood so precisely by algorithms that no wish is unattainable: What does that mean for spaces that we move through, for togetherness, for the banalities of the day-to-day, that may seem just a touch more usual through our twisted points of view as consumers of media.

The Festival of the Regions is looking for moments of dreams and fiction in “Realistic Dreams”, and asks how matter-of-fact can we allow ourselves to be in our possibilities. And is the cruelty that crosses though all part of reality?

Braunau am Inn as the festival site  

Braunau am Inn, right on the German border on the Inn, presents itself as a typical Austrian small town with picturesque streets, charming houses from the 15th century, and a long-established industry. Nonetheless, the town is often perceived mostly by outsiders as the village in which Adolf Hitler was born.

Braunau seems to be in a perpetual state of limbo, as if the next scandal is already lying in wait. This perception from the outside is almost entirely dominated by a single building and how it has been used throughout history, and so it allows for almost no other narratives to shape the identity of the town. We want to deliberately look further than this one-sided image, imagine the future, and remember the past in all its diverse voices.

When leaving the town square in Braunau, the bridge across the Inn leads directly to the neighbouring Simbach. A quick stroll, without losing your breath. Economically, historically, and in daily business, these two border towns are tightly interwoven. You can meet people from Braunau in Simbach, and people from Simbach in Braunau. Nowhere else does this border between nation states seem so fluid and permeable.

In the year 2025, we can view Braunau as a place where we can collectively work at utopia. A place that surprises us, and lets us find moments that bring us together, and clearly show our place in the world – a place where we are.

Selection criteria

We are looking for projects, unconventional ideas, and artistic interventions that deal with the topic of “Realistic Dreams” beyond the scope of everyday politics.

Projects that dare to experiment and look for new artistic forms and ways of connection and transfer.

Projects that engage with the cultural, social, and economic idiosyncrasies of the Innviertel region as a whole and with the festival site specifically.

Projects from a supra-regional and international perspective.

Projects that cross borders, both in a figurative sense, but also literally into Germany and back again.

Projects that include different and even contradictory players, and bring these together.

Projects that enter into close contact with the place, the people, and local initiatives, that start a conversation that deals with what is here and what can be, openly and critically.

Projects that can be seen and felt already during the process of development and inspire, interest, and challenge the local population.

Projects that move people, collectives, and cultural actors and initiatives in Braunau to actively engage and participate.

Projects that incorporate the entire Innviertel region with all its idiosyncrasies, extravagances, and contradictions.

We are also looking for projects that take the journey to Braunau into account. Actions and incentives that make people curious, that motivate people to make the journey to Braunau, from Ried, Schärding, Linz, Salzburg, Vienna, Munich, Passau, and other places.

A personal presence at the festival of all included artists before, but especially during the time of the festival is explicitly requested.

The Festival of the Regions very much appreciates diversity, accessibility, inclusion and participation and therefore welcomes all submissions – regardless of gender, nationality, ethnic or social background, religion, disability, age, sexual orientation, or identity.

As a Green Event we place a particularly high value on sustainable production and the use of regional resources.

Components and project proposals

  • Information concerning the point of contact.
  • A short written summary of the proposal and rationale in terms of the festival topic (max 1000 characters).
  • Description of the project with visualisations that are as descriptive as possible, in the form of sketches, photos, plans, concepts for mediation (max seven pages, max data size 20 MB).
  • Information concerning the planned place for the realisation, or the spacial requirements.
  • Short biography of the people involved in the project (max 2000 characters).
  • Time frame for the development and realisation of the project.
  • Financial plan/calculation (see added calculation form).

Deadline: 30 April 2024, 24:00

Project proposals can be submitted in either German or English. The forms are available in both languages. Submissions cannot be altered or re-submitted once they have been sent in. A confirmation will be sent out via e-mail. Should you not receive a confirmation, please contact opencall@fdr.at. Project proposals that are submitted after the deadline or are incomplete cannot be taken into consideration. All those who submitted will be informed of the decision regarding their project by the end of June 2024.
For any questions regarding the submission you are welcome to contact Ulla Steyrleuthner (ulla.steyrleuthner@fdr.at).

Selection of projects

The decision on the selection of projects is made by a five person programme board. The programme board has the curatorial responsibility for the festival programme and is unique for every edition of the festival. For the edition in 2025, the programme board is made up of Fina Esslinger, Doris Mitterbacher (Mieze Medusa), Isa Schieche, Katharina Spanlang, and Antoine Turillon. The selection of projects will be made by the end of June 2024.

Approximately 20-25 projects, depending on size, will be selected from the Open Call. The following are possible: Small projects up to €5,000, medium-sized projects up to €10,000 and large projects up to €20,000.


The Festival of the Regions will support artists with contacts regarding research and networking within the region. You have an idea, a point of connection, or a starting point for the festival as an initiative from the Innviertel, but do not want to submit an entire project by yourself, or you are interested in engaging in a direct exchange and collaboration with the artists or the festival?

You want to submit a project and are looking for an appropriate venue in Braunau, interested cooperation partners, or event organisers? You can get in touch with the festival office. You can also get in touch for topical or formal consultations. Contact person for submitters is Ulla Steyrleuthner (ulla.steyrleuthner@fdr.at).

On-site exploration

On Friday 5 April 2024, the Festival of the Regions invites you to Braunau am Inn and offers the possibility to take a look at the festival site together with the team, the board of the Festival of the Regions, and regional representatives. The meeting point is at 2pm at the town hall in Braunau, Stadtplatz 38, 5280 Braunau am Inn. Please register with Ulla Steyrleuthner (ulla.steyrleuthner@fdr.at).

Kick-Off Meeting

On Friday 13 September 2024, a first kick-off meeting with the selected project submissions is planned. The participation of those selected is required for networking, planning, and organisation of the festival projects.

About the Festival of the Regions Since 1993, the Festival of the Regions has been taking place every two years in a decentralised manner in alternating places and regions throughout the state of Upper Austria. It was founded by a young generation of artists, cultural workers, and activists, and as such the festival is very involved in the development of an “autonomous art and cultural scene”. The idea was always to support young, non-established cultural actors, strengthen the existing forces within the regions, and allow for contemporary, critical and daring art and cultural work beyond the established centres. The festival sees itself as a kick-off for change, and an impulse for new movements, initiatives, and projects. The focus is a collaboration between regional, supra-regional, and international artists together with local collectives, cultural initiatives, and an open dialogue with the local population.

Organisation The Festival of the Regions is an independent collective, supported by the state of Upper Austria and the Federal Ministry for Art, Culture, Public Service, and Sport.

Board Thomas Diesenreiter, Fina Esslinger, Mario Friedwagner, Katharina Spanlang, Janina Wegscheider.

Team Renée Chvatal, Fina Esslinger, Mario Friedwagner, Vinzenz Landl, Valentin Lischka, Ulla Steyrleuthner, Otto Tremetzberger

Programme Board 2024-2025 Fina Esslinger, Mieze Medusa, Isa Schieche, Katharina Spanlang, Antoine Turillon

Regional Advisory Board 2024-2025
Andrea Eckerstorfer, Hanna Kirman, Florian Kotanko, Simon Mayer

Association advisory board Susanne Blaimschein, Margot Nazzal, Gerald Priewasser, Julius Stieber, Brigitte Vasicek, Rainer Zendron, Karin Zizala

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