Krieps hit Corsage “tarnished” by child porn charges

Austrian actor Florian Teichtmeister is expected to plead guilty to charges of child pornography possession. Photo: Felix Vratny/Samsa Film

Austrian actor Florian Teichtmeister is expected to plead guilty to charges of child pornography possession. Photo: Felix Vratny/Samsa Film

Austria’s film academy is keeping period drama Corsage, starring Luxembourg actress Vicky Krieps, in the running for an Oscar after one of the film’s leads was charged with possession of child pornography.

Corsage, a film about Austrian empress Elisabeth, has won rave reviews with Krieps in the starring role bagging several awards, including the best actress prize at the European Film Awards.

But her co-star Florian Teichtmeister now faces up to two years in prison after being charged for the possession of 58,000 digital pornographic images of minors. The actor’s lawyer has told media that the actor plans on pleading guilty in a trial that begins on 8 February.

The film’s director, Marie Kreutzer, in a statement said that she is “sad and angry” that a “feminist film that more than 300 people from all over Europe worked on for years may be tarnished and damaged by the horrific acts of one person.”

The allegations of possession of child pornography emerged only after shooting of the film wrapped. Production company Film AG said that Teichtmeister had “convincingly assured us (and others) of their falsity.”

The production company only learned of the latest developments via the media, it said.

International distributors have yet to announce whether they will pull the film from cinemas. Austria’s broadcaster ORF said it would no longer air films starring the actor. The country’s Cineplexx chain meanwhile has cancelled Corsage screenings.

“We do not wish that the serious misconduct of one actor destroys the incredible performance of the entire cast and crew of the film,” Film AG said further, adding that it had informed the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscar, about “the publicly available facts on Florian Teichtmeister.”

Film & Music Austria (Fama), the country’s selecting body for the Academy Awards, has said Corsage will remain the country’s Oscars entry for the best foreign film category.

Krieps has not publicly commented on the matter but following the revelations posted a photo of her hugging Corsage director Kreutzer with the comment Forever, followed by a heart.

Corsage is currently still playing in Luxembourg cinemas. It was co-produced by Luxembourg production company Samsa Film.