“It is not as dark as it was. It is not dawn yet, either.”

Comrades and Comradettes! Ladies and Gendermen!

It is hard to believe but 2017 marks the end of our first five-year plan.
Ages ago someone in our team put a note on our group’s to-do list: “February 2017: Sierra Zulu final deadline”. This entry is often referred to as “the note that jinxed the shit out of it”. We are still working on “Sierra Zulu” (e.g. we just finished a clean-up of the screenplay) — but the film is not done yet.

I know this is probably very frustrating for some of you. You were very generous in supporting our project back in 2012 — and I can understand that you want to see re-fuckin-sults. Some of you may have already given up and file their donation as “totally wasted on crazy fuckers”.
To be clear: a) We haven’t spent a dime of your money. b) “Sierra Zulu” is still alive.
It’s our opus magnum, and we are not giving up on it.

The main problem: We realized that we can’t make the film with the Kickstarter money alone. We need more than 10 times the amount. The road to the movies is paved with blood, sweat, tears and Excel sheets. And back in 2012 and 2013 the Austrian film funding agencies were not sure they could trust us with such large sums. To be honest, they wanted to see more work… they wanted us to create other small-scale movies before they would invest a bunch of taxpayers money into our unconventional Soviet endeavor. We needed to prove ourselves worthy. And that’s only fair.

We started working on other flicks, all of them very low budget: the post-apocalyptic sci-fi comedy “Die Gstettensaga” (2014) and the nerdy road-trip documentary “Traceroute” (2016). Both won a bunch of awards and were well received. We consider them our business cards for sponsorship folks and film grant people.
Currently we are in pre-production for a feature musical film about the brilliant yet bats-in-the-belfry-ish astronomer Tycho Brahe and his sister Sophia.
Our plan is to finish and release “Tycho” and then we want to re-approach the funding folks to finally get “Sierra Zulu” off the ground.

We never thought this project would be our personal “Spartacus”… but that’s not a bad thing anyways. And good projects take time.
I hope you understand.

The monochrom committee
Vienna, Austria

“Communism is Soviet power plus the electrification of the whole country.” — Vladimir Lenin


A storm is brewing!

Comradettes! Comrades!

You have not heard from us in a while! It is time to break the silence, as we feel a storm brewing! We feel the tender leaves of revolution move with the wind! We hear the whispers: “When? Where? When? Where? When? Where?”

First: Don’t be too existential, Western money-laundry folks!
And second: Your investment is still working! “Sierra Zulu” is still on track.
But it resembles more closely a classic “5-year plan” than originally thought.

We are still accumulating “the Capital”. And our primary problem is: We only have one more try at the Austrian Film Institute to get their funding. Oh Lenin! Oh noes! And we don’t want to waste that last precious try! The jury was not keen in giving us their filthy money, because monochrom has not produced a feature film before, and Johannes “Ze Hawk” Grenzfurthner has not directed a feature film before. Reluctant jury, why can’t you be like Stachanov!

Anyways, we don’t want to waste our last chance to get A FAT AMOUNT of government bills for Sierra Zulu, that’s why monochrom and “Ze Hawk” decided to create one or two other films (like “The Gstetten Saga: The Rise of Echsenfriedl”) before re-applying. We want to show off! Stun them! Win at their own game! So: no worries. “Sierra Zulu” will be made. And if you consider inflation, you get way more out than you put in. (Or is it the other way around?)

Greetings! And: Fuck Putin!


“The Russians Are Coming!”

“23 WORKS” is a video series documenting the history of the art/tech group monochrom. monochrom has chosen 23 projects, anecdotes and stories out of their 20 years of material and recreated them as dioramas and machines.

Episode #6 tells a story from 2001 — about the early days of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf.

Link (Video)

Sierra Zulu Kickstarter Reward for Disk Proletarians!

Complaints? Do we hear complaints? YES!
People on the international network demand a reward including a copy of the film in a lower price segment! Bolsheviks! Do not worry! We listen to the people! It is our profession!
Henceforth, we shall offer a proletarian, unlimited, unsigned and completely regular “DVD” of “Sierra Zulu” for “$54”. It will also include a small cardboard Soviet. We shall make it with this machine:

Link to Kickstarter.

Sierra Zulu says: Defeat is not an option!

We were informed that our film grant was declined by the Austrian funding bodies. That is bad for troop morale and it complicates things, but it’s not the end of our little utopia.

First of all, we plan to re-apply. It seems there were a couple of open questions, and considering the unsual style, content and boldness of our production(*), we can’t blame the jury. A project like Sierra Zulu was never ever attempted in our little country of Soviet… aaah… Austria.
We plan to update our application and send in a few more tons of paper in July.

Still, we need to find alternative solutions for financial problems. So we decided to launch a Kickstarter campaign. We are well aware that it is unrealistic to obtain all the funds we need via Kickstarter, but even a symbolic amount is important for additional investors and foreign grants. It’s the old game: no one wants to invest money in a project that doesn’t have any money.

We will keep you updated, and we hope you will support the struggle of the creative proletariat!

(*) It’s the bastard offspring of Catch-22 and Buckaroo Banzai, reborn with the soul of Harun Farocki. Nothing that you usually see in a jury meeting.

Soviet Unterzoegersdorf asked for bravery, and Connie Panzenboeck provided!

Soldiers, performers! A triumph of international solidarity comes to an inspiring closure! Soviet Unterzoegersdorf asked for your bravery — and you responded fast, reliable and swift!
We received truly engaging videos! All of them a sign of hope and struggle!

Special kudos to Lukas Hoffmann, who not only worked out and sang, but also shot a dozen Nazis using the tactical simulator “Castle Wolfenstein”! We want to hire him as a truck driver or mechanic.
And we apologize to Cali, the dog. Your effort is beyond comparison, but there are no canines in Soviet Unterzoegersdorf. Trust us.

The glorious winner of our socialist outreach is Connie Panzenböck.
See for yourself.

She will be a motivated part of Soviet Unterzoegersdorf’s military might!

A message to all other contestants:

Never forget to persistently educate yourselves in communist convictions! Learn to live, work, and struggle as Leninists, as communists!

Sierra Zulu’s Costume Designer: Monika Buttinger

Costume Designers‘ work is integral to defining the overall ‘look’ of films, and their role requires a great deal of expertise. Their creative work ranges from designing original costumes, to overseeing the purchase and adaptation of ready made outfits.
During pre-production Costume Designers break down scripts scene by scene, in order to work out how many characters are involved, and what costumes are required. They then begin the more complex task of developing costume plots for each character.
Costume Designers must carry out research in to the costume styles, designs and construction methods which are appropriate for the productions’ time period.

We can assure you that there is a ton of research and design to be done for Sierra Zulu. A challenging job for a real pro!

We are very fortunate being able to announce Sierra Zulu’s costume designer: Monika Buttinger.

She was born in Wels/Upper Austria. After attending art school in Linz and studying fashion design in Vienna, she worked as a freelancer for different fashion labels such as Eisbaer and Airfeld.
In 1998 she made her first costume design works for TV. Her prolific feature film credits now span over thirty-five films. They include Fernando Mereilles’ 360°, Goetz Spielmann’s Revanche, Arash T. Riahi’s For a Moment Freedom and Erwin Wagenhofer’s Black, Brown, White.
In 2008 she started her label “zojas” which is based in Vienna.

Soldier, Performer! Soviet Unterzoegersdorf needs your bravery!

The Soviet Unterzoegersdorf Armed Forces (in co-operation with Soviet Unterzoegersdorf’s Bureau For Analytical Research Of Problems Related To International Understanding) want to add a new member to its workforce.

Task assignment:

  • Create a video (1 minute or shorter) of you doing work-out while singing the Soviet anthem.
  •  Add an element of surprise.
  •  Don’t be afraid. Just do it. (Not in a Nike-sense.)

There is no limit of age and no gender-bias.
Send the video link to sierra-zulu AT monochrom.at before June 6, 2012.

If we like your video, you will be allocated to the honorable cast of Sierra Zulu.

Don’t disappoint the State.

(June 7, 2012 – Update: And the winner is…)