animator, director, Wiesbaden
animator, director, Wiesbaden
Alexandre Espigares is an animator and director from Luxembourg with an international career spanning 17 years and four continents. Over the years his assignments have brought him to Singapore, Australia and Germany where he currently lives and works. After graduating from the animation department at the Lycée Technique des Arts et Métiers (LTAM) in Luxembourg, he went on to pursue a career as a CG animator. His animation credits include several large-scale projects, among them the animated TV show “Star Wars – The Clone Wars” and the feature films “Happy Feet 2” and “Iron Man 3”. In 2014 he won the Oscar for best animated short film with “Mr Hublot” which he co-directed. He is an occasional guest lecturer and panel speaker at international animation schools and film festivals, among them the Animation Workshop in Viborg and the Annecy International Animated Film Festival. In 2018 he releases his feature film debut “White Fang”.
director, screenwriter, animator, artist, Moscow
Ivan Maximov, born in Moscow in 1958, is a director and screenwriter as well as an animator and artist. The son of renowned physicists initially studied at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology. He began to work as an illustrator for various magazines as early as 1981. From 1986, following an engagement at the Russian Space Research Institute he took courses in directing and scriptwriting. Since then, he has directed numerous films such as “5/4” (1990), “Bolero” (1992), “Long Bridge of Desired Direction” (2012) and “Alternative Walk” (2016). In 1995 he founded the Virtual Studio IVAN MAXIMOV for film, video and computer animation. He has also worked as a caricaturist, teaches at academies such as the Gerasimov Institute of Cinematography in Moscow, and has designed the computer game “Full Pipe”.
fashion photographer and filmmaker, Stuttgart
Monica Menez, born in 1971, is a fashion photographer and filmmaker from Stuttgart. After her professional trainings in dance therapy and in photography she worked as a freelance press photographer 1998–2002. Since then she’s acting as a fashion and people photographer and since 2010 as a director for fashion films. Her rich imagery is profound and peppered with bits of absurdity, humor and eroticism. In 2013, she won the Berlin Fashion Film Festival Award in the category “Best Fashion Film 2013” for her film “Odditory”. Her film “The Journey” (2014) is praised by critics to be one of the best fashion films ever made and was honoured at the 2015 Miami Fashion Film Festival in the categories “Best Film Audience Award”, “Best Cinematography” and “Best Hair”.
animator, director, Tallinn
Olga Pärn, born in 1976 in Minsk, is an Estonia based animation artist, film director, illustrator and teacher.1996-2003 Olga Pärn worked as an art director and animator (specialising in sand animation) in the animation department at Belarusfilm Studio. 2003-2005 she completed a course in film directing at the La Poudrière animation school in France. Since 2006 she co-directed with Priit Pärn five multi awarded animated films (“Life without Gabriella Ferri”(45min), “Divers in the rain”( most awarded Estonian animation film, 23min) and “Pilots on the way home” (Co production with NFB, 17 min) at Eesti Joonisfilm Studio, Estonia. From 2014 Olga working as associate professor at Animation Department of Art Academy in Tallinn.
musician, animator, visual artist, Calgary
Chad VanGaalen is a musician and visual artist. He graduated from the Alberta College of Art & Design in 2000 and immediately started an active arts practice. The 2005 release of a video for his song “Clinically Dead” brought him international attention as an animator. Over the following year he produced videos for several artists as well as for himself. The videos “Flower Gardens” and “Red Hot Drops” were nominated for MTV Subterranean “Best of 2006”. With the release of his album “Diaper Island” in 2011, Chad VanGaalen’s music career was launched onto an international platform. Videos for Timber Timbre, Black Mountain and his own albums have established him as a highly sought-after animator. In 2017 Chad VanGaalen put the finishing touches on his short film “Tarboz: Translated Log of Inhabitants”.
Producer, Festival Director BLON Animation & Videogames Festival, Vilnius
Festival Director and Film Producer Laura Almantaitė started her career in film industry in 2007 with the Paris-based Media Consulting Group, where she worked as junior consultant and contributed to the coordination of film events (World Forum on Strategy & Finance for Cinema 2007, Rome Film Festival). She later coordinated arts educational events at Vilnius – European Capital of Culture 2009 programme. Laura Almantaitė took over the position of Managing Director of the Vilnius Documentary Film Festival in 2011 and later served as Manager of Cultural Programmes at the Lithuanian National Commission for UNESCO. Since 2008, Laura Almantaitė has worked on a dozen of film projects, including documentary, animation and fiction films; she focuses on social documentary and international coproductions. Her latest title as producer is the successful documentary feature “Rūta”, which saw theatrical release in Lithuania. In 2014 Laura Almantaitė founded BLON Animation & Videogames Festival, remaining the festival‘s director to date.
filmmaker, producer, film scholar, Tallinn
Ülo Pikkov (born 1976) is an internationally renowned filmmaker, producer and film scholar. He studied animation at the Turku Arts Academy in Finland and since 1996 has directed several award-winning animation films (“Empty Space”, “Tik-Tak”, “Body Memory”). He has published articles on film and written fiction books for children and adults. Ülo Pikkov is the author of “Animasophy: Theoretical Writings on the Animated Film” (2011). Currently he is completing his doctoral studies at the Estonian Academy of Arts.
3D generalist, technical director, director, ZEITGUISED/ foam Studio, Berlin
Julius Steinhauser (born 1988) works as 3D generalist, technical director and director for ZEITGUISED and foam Studio. In 2012, he graduated from FH Joanneum, University of Applied Sciences in Graz, Austria with a Bachelor’s degree in Information Design. Once a year he conducts a workshop there for the Master’s degree programme, “Communication, Media, Sound and Interaction Design” on the issue of “Story and Visualisation”. Since 2011 he has been with the art and design office ZEITGUISED. Over the years, following an internship, he worked his way up from 3D generalist to technical director. He made his debut as a director for foam Studio with “AUTO NOM” (2017).
animation director, Riga
After graduating from the Baltic Film & Media School in Tallinn, Estonia and the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Reinis Kalnaellis kick-started his career as an award-winning animation director. His internationally reocgnised filmography includes titles such as “The Golden Horse”, “Funny Alphabet”, “When Apples Roll”, “The Fire and Clay Master”, and “Singing Hugo and his Incredible Adventures”. Reinis Kalnaellis has participated in many international film industry events like EFM, Marché du Film, MIFA, MipCOM, MipTV, MipDoc, Cartoon Movie, AFM, and FilmART. Recently he held the position of Chairman of the Latvian Filmmakers Union. He is currently working on the animated feature film project “Apple Pie Lullaby” produced by Rija Films and Paul Thiltges Distributions.
CEO, Producer, TrickStudio Lutterbeck, Köln
Richard Lutterbeck studied Photo Film Design at the Bielefeld University of Applied Sciences. He was a founding member of Filmhaus Bielefeld and art-house cinema Lichtwerk in Bielefeld. In 1987 he established Trickstudio Lutterbeck in Cologne which he has been running since 1998 (together with Matthias Bruhn). He is also a member of the ITFS Programme Committee and has worked as a lecturer for various academies and training facilities. In addition to the production of commercials, trailers etc. the studio has a focus on the production of children’s films. Their portfolio includes short films such as “Post!”, “Der Fuchs, der seinen Verstand verloren hat” as well as numerous productions commissioned by broadcasters such as WDR, ZDF and SUPER RTL. They released their first feature film in 2016, “Molly Monster – Der Kinofilm”. The studio is currently working on their second cinema feature film, “Fritzi – Eine Wendewundergeschichte” which is expected to release in October 2019.
Production Supervisor, Line Producer, Berlin
Angela Poschet is a Line Producer, Production Supervisor, Manager and Consultant for Animation productions in Europe. Her credits include numerous distinctive and commercially successful film and television projects. She was the Production Supervisor on Wes Anderson movie “Isle of Dogs” and Tim Burton’s Oscar nominated “Frankenweenie”. Her portfolio includes the CGI Feature “Maya – The Bee Movie” and Roald Dahls “Revolting Rhymes“, “Sandman and the Lost Sand of Dreams” and “How to Raise the Moon”. She worked as a cinematographer on several pre-school series and in 1998 as DoP she was setting up the first season of the television series “Bob the Builder”. Angela Poschet received over 20 awards, including a BAFTA Award for “Best Animation” and two Parents’ Choice Awards.
Anne-Sophie Bergmann – 9 years
Matti Fritzsch – 11 years
Clara Haug – 12 years
Julius Hildebrandt – 10 years
Luise Kuschke – 10 years
Fanny Laipple – 10 years
Melisa März – 9 years
Tristan Oldendorf – 9 years
CEO, Producer, Fabian&Fred, Hamburg
Fabian Driehorst founded the studio Fabian&Fred together with Frédéric Schuld in 2011 to produce films and animation. In 2014 they won the scholarship of the Wim Wenders Foundation for the development of their first animated feature. Their films won several international awards and honours. In 2016 Fabian Driehorst was part of the Berlinale Talents programme, and he is a member of the national and international animation associations AG Animationsfilm, ASIFA-Germany and European Animation Awards.
Animator, Director, Plymptoons Studio
Bill Plympton is the first person to hand draw an entire animated feature film. He began his career creating cartoons for publications such as New York Times. In 1987 and 2005, he was nominated for an Oscar® for his animated short “Your Face” and for his short “Guard Dog”. “Push Comes to Shove” won the Cannes 1991 Palme d’Or and in 2001 “Eat” the Grand Prize for Short Films in Cannes Critics’ Week. After producing many shorts, he turned his talent to feature films. Since 1991, he’s made twelve feature films. He has also collaborated with Madonna, Kanye West and Weird Al Yankovic in a number of music videos and book projects.
President & Publisher Animation Magazine, Los Angeles
Jean Thoren is the owner and publisher of the Los Angeles-based Animation Magazine and all of its related endeavours. For over 30 years, Animation Magazine has been the first and only international monthly publication dedicated solely to animation. She has served on numerous animation industry panels, boards and festival juries over the past decade e.g. The Annecy Animation Festival, along with keynote speeches for example at 4th China International Cartoon & Animation Festival. Jean Thoren just wrapped up the 5th season of The World Animation Feature Films & VFX Summit in Marina del Rey along with a new reinvented World Animation Celebration, designed to celebrate and incubate short films.
Head of Business Development, bwcon GmbH – Turning Ideas into Business, Stuttgart
Managing Director, Organisation and Finances, Film- und Medienfestival gGmbh, Stuttgart
Dieter Krauß has been Managing Director, Organisation and Finances of Film- und Medienfestival gGmbh since October 1, 2017. Previously, he was a senior executive at MFG Medien- und Filmgesellschaft, responsible for the film funding department; in addition, he was granted power of attorney in 2011. Dieter Krauß was a committed board member of kinomobil Baden-Württemberg e.V. until 2014, and still is a member of the advisory board of the Bundesverband kommunale Filmarbeit. He also serves on the juries of several initiatives such as the Rolf-Hans Müller Preis für Filmmusik. Furthermore, he is co-founder of Kommunales Kino Guckloch in Villingen-Schwenningen and Furtwangen as well as the Landesverband der Kommunalen Kinos Baden-Württemberg, where he also serves as a dedicated board member.
Former Managing Director, Organisation and Finances, Film- und Medienfestival gGmbh, Stuttgart
Dittmar Lumpp was finance director at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg from 1992 to 1997. From 1998 to 2005, he was board member and managing director at Euroarts Medien AG/Elektrofilm Postproduktion GmbH. From 1993 to 2001, Dittmar Lumpp was vice-chairman of Internationales Trickfilm-Festival Stuttgart e.V., and from 2005 to 2017 managing director, organisation and finances at Film- und Medienfestival gGmbh.
Managing Director of Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS)
Dr. Walter Rogg has been the founding director of Wirtschaftsförderung Region Stuttgart GmbH (WRS) since 1995. He is chairman of the board of Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH and of BioRegio STERN Management GmbH, and a member of the board of Internationale Bauausstellung 2027 StadtRegion Stuttgart GmbH. In addition, he is a managing director at Regio Stuttgart Marketing- und Tourismus GmbH and a board member of Hochschul- und Wissenschaftsregion Stuttgart e.V.
Founder and Managing Director, Caligari Film- und Fernsehproduktions GmbH, Munich, Traffix Entertainment GmbH, Stuttgart
Gabriele M. Walther is the founder and managing director of Caligari Film- und Fernsehproduktions GmbH (Munich) and Traffix Entertainment GmbH (Stuttgart). With successful 2D and 3D CGI film and TV projects such as “Coconut The Little Dragon”, “Knight Rusty” or “Princess Lillifee”, Caligari is at the top of the German animated film industry. Gabriele M. Walther received the prize for Bavarian businesswoman of the year 2007 and is a member of the executive board of the German Producers Alliance – Film & Television.
Artist and Director for animated film, studio kathi kæppel, Berlin
Artist and animation director Kathi Kæppel works on experimental drawings and animations. She studied at Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin and the University for the Creative Arts London. Her works have been published all over the world and won many awards. In 1999, she was a founding member of design studio “monogatari”, and from 2000 on she was in charge of the animation department of production company “filmlounge”. From 2014 to 2018 she was a visiting professor at Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin.
Cluster Manager, Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart, Stuttgart
Stefanie Larson studied international business in France and psychology in Tübingen. For more than 20 years she has been working in brand communication, brand architecture and corporate communications, with projects for Mercedes-Benz, Daimler AG, and the interior design of Stadtbibliothek Stuttgart. Stefanie Larson has been lecturing at various German universities since 2009. Together with her husband, she heads an office for architecture and brand architecture. She has also been managing the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart since summer 2016.
Creative Consultant, Festival Director „spotlight Festival für Bewegtbildkommunikation“, Stuttgart
1973: Art director and creative director for GGK, Düsseldorf. 1984: Mc Cann-Erickson, Frankfurt/Main. 1988: Chief creative officer, McCann-Erickson Germany. 1994: Freelance work with GPP, Stuttgart. 1990: Board member, ADC Deutschland, 2004-2008: Spokesman of the ADC board and board member of the Berlin School of Creative Leadership. 2009-2014: Committee on Culture and Media, City of Stuttgart. Currently: Creative consultant and festival manager for spotlight, Festival für Bewegtbildkommunikation. Campaigns for IBM, Deutsche Bahn, Levis, Coca Cola, ZDF, among others. More than 100 national and international creative awards including three Cannes Gold Lions.
Senior Producer Creative & Design Nickelodeon, Viacom International Media Networks Northern Europe, Berlin
Born 1978 in Kempten, Allgäu. Initial experience with Super 8 animations while still in school. Began an internship at MTV in London in 1999. Afterwards employed as an On Air Producer at MTV Networks in London and Munich for one and a half years. Studied animation at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg from 2002 on. Graduated in 2006 with the stop-motion film “Sperrholzpiraten”. Since 2007 employed as Senior Producer Creative & Design at children’s interest channel Nickelodeon in Berlin.
Director and Producer, Managing Director, M.A.R.K. 13, Stuttgart
Dominique Schuchmann has won many advertising and entertainment awards. He launched his career in 1993 with international music videos and commercials. Following his studies at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and together with Holger Weiss he founded the animation and film production company M.A.R.K.13, now divided into M.A.R.K.13 – COM and M.A.R.K.13 – STUDIOS. In addition to projects for clients such as American Express and Daimler, they primarily produce 3D CGI films, most recently “Knight Rusty – 3D” and “Maya the Bee: The Honey Games”.
Head of Story Department, FFL Film-& Fernseh-Labor Ludwigsburg GmbH & Co. KG
In 2009, Juliette Alfonsi completed her Bachelor of Arts in German and Romance Studies in Paris. Following her internships in the editorial departments of publisher Klett-Cotta in Stuttgart (literature) and ARTE Strasbourg (feature films), she has been working for the FFL Story Department since 2011, where she is responsible for the conception of advertising spots and project acquisition, and looks after the dramatic quality of incoming content. Most recently, she has co-written the comedy “Schmidts Katze” (SWR). “The Journey of the Elephant Soliman” is her first animated film.
producer, screenplay writer, Berlin
Head of Acquisitions & Sales Family Entertainment German Speaking Territories, TELEPOOL GmbH, Munich
Julia Müntefering graduated from her German, philosophy and educational sciences studies at LMU Munich with a Master of Arts in 1993. Alongside, she completed a number of internships with Bavaria, WDR, Quartier Latin (Paris), etc. Since1993 she has been responsible for Acquisitions & Sales / All Rights GST at Telepool Munich. Her acquisition activities focus on productions for TV and cinema such as “Intouchables” and children’s films such as “Hilfe, mein Lehrer ist ein Frosch” as well as animated films: “Ernest & Celestine”, “Khumba”, most recently “Luis and the Aliens” and “Bayala” and – in development – “Die Chaosfee” and “Ainbo”. Julia Müntefering has been a member of the jury for the ITFS German Animation Screenplay Award for sponsor Telepool since 2011.
Head of film acquisition Germany/Austria as Senior Content Acquisition Manager, Amazon Prime Video
1997-2006: Gerrit Roth studied and completed a PhD in economics, in Munich and Marseilles. 2006-2009: Management consultant at McKinsey Germany, Munich office, with media and other projects in France, Germany, Ukraine, and Turkey. 2009-2014: ProSiebenSat.1 – strategy department (programme manager, 2009-2011), central licence acquisition (programme acquisition, 2011-2014). 2014-2015: founding and managing of Roth Media GmbH, development of a political satire. Since 2015 at Amazon Prime Video, heads film acquisition Germany/Austria as Senior Content Acquisition Manager. Entered into a multi-year cooperation agreement with ITFS, to include the ITFS Amazon Audience Award which takes place before and during the Festival since 2016.
CEO, M.A.R.K.13, Stuttgart
In 1993 Holger Weiss started his studies in Animation at the Filmakademie Baden- Württemberg and graduated in 2000 with his graduation film “Station D”, which ran at several Festivals (eg. Annecy 2001). In 1999 he founded together with some fellow students M.A.R.K.13 and still is running the company together with Dominique Schuchmann. Since 2011 he’s in charge of the animation studio of M.A.R.K.13, producing feature movies like “Rusty Knight” and “Maya the Bee”.
Animation Art Director and Co-founder, Samaka Studio, Cairo
Ahmad Abdelhameed is a Cairo-based art director, illustrator and animator. He graduated from the Higher Cinema Institute (Egypt) – Animation Department in 2012 and directed and worked on many animation short movies and commercials. In 2018 he co-founded Samaka Studio.
Head of Production, M.A.R.K. 13, Stuttgart
3D-Artist, M.A.R.K.13, Stuttgart
Animation Director, VFX Compositor, Animation Supervisor, Co-founder Samaka Studio, Cairo
Born in Cairo 1992, Islam Mazhar graduated from “Academy of Arts, Higher Cinema Institute” (Egypt) in 2013. He worked in the media and cinema industry since 2009 as a 2D animator and VFX compositor at many different studios in the MENA region, until he established his own studio in Cairo – Samaka Studio – in 2018 together with some colleagues.
Localisation Specialist (German), Jagex Ltd., Cambridge
Susanne Bauer studied Computer Science and Media at Stuttgart Media university. Following a game design and project management scholarship in Finland, her love for the games industry took her to Cambridge, England in 2014, where she has been working for Jagex ever since, currently as a localisation specialist. She is responsible for translating and testing German versions, does community work, and collaborates closely with developers, to ensure a high level of quality in localised versions of the games, too.
Game Designer and Creative Director, Black Pants GmbH, Berlin
Tobias Bilgeri is co-founder of the Black Pants Game Studio, where he works as a game designer and creative director.
Project Manager Tinkertank, Creative Producer, Interactive Media Foundation gGmbH, Ludwigsburg
Jasmin Srouji is part of the founding team of technology initiative Tinkertank and has been project manager of their creative laboratory in Ludwigsburg since 2013. She finds inspiration, creative exchange and exciting mentors for Tinkertank in her extensive network, which she partly owes to her Interactive Media studies at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Since 2017, she also implements training programmes together with the Tinkertank team, to introduce interested adults to innovative processes with creative solutions.
Chief Content Officer, Studio100/m4e, Munich
Jo Daris started his career in marketing working for major FMCG companies. He moved into the children’s area in 1999, working in the toy industry in various roles (going from sales to product development, working with well-known licenses such as Pokemon, Winx, Yu-Gi-Oh etc.). In 2006 Jo Daris moved to the family entertainment sector, joining forces with Studio 100 to develop the international business. Jo Daris was instrumental in the acquisition of E.M. Entertainment in Germany, the creation of Studio 100 Animation in France and the opening up of the English-speaking markets.
Head of Unit Film Funding, Stuttgart
Director TV Channels & Program Management, Studio 100/m4e, Munich
Petra Keil studied communications sciences in Munich. She started her career as a TV editor and author for various programme segments at ARD/Bayerischer Rundfunk. Later she moved on to KirchGruppe where she was entrusted with establishing and running a children’s channel at Premiere (now: Sky). Currently, she is responsible for the company’s pay-TV channels and the TV productions of Studio 100 Media and m4e. For many years, Petra Keil was a member of the ITFS “Tricks for Kids” selection committee.
Senior Vice President Group Marketing, Brand Management & Business Development, Studio100/m4e, Munich
Managing Director, Programme, Film- und Medienfestival gGmbh
Prof. Ulrich Wegenast has been Managing Director Programme of the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film since 1993. From 2002 on, he was also programme director of the European Short Film Biennial in Ludwigsburg. In 1987, he was a founding member of Wand 5, the organiser of Stuttgarter Filmwinter – Festival for Expanded Media. Prof. Wegenast gives lectures at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart and at other academies such as the Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf, where he was appointed honorary professor in 2012. Prof. Wegenast is a member of Goethe-Institut’s programme advisory board for film, television and radio.
Head of Fiction/ Children and Youth, ZDF, Mainz
As Head sf Fiction / Children and Youth, Irene Wellershoff is responsible for pre-school programmes, series (animation and live action), cinema co-productions, and fairytale films. She studied in Cologne and Aachen, did a PhD in German studies and a teacher traineeship for secondary education in Wuppertal and Solingen. After an intership with ZDF, she worked for their children’s programme and developed “Siebenstein” which she oversaw for a decade. Their current programmes include “Bibi & Tina” (series and productions for cinema), “JoNaLu”, “Der kleine Drache Kokosnuss”, “Wir Kinder vom Möwenweg”, “Die Biene Maja”, “Heidi”, “Wickie”, “Conni”, “Der kleine Ritter Trenk”, “Dschermeni”, “Petronella Apfelmus”, “Der besondere Kinderfilm”, “Timm Thaler” and the “Märchenperlen” (such as “Die Schöne und das Biest”, “Die Schneekönigin”, “Die weiße Schlange”, “Rübezahls Schatz”, “Der Zauberlehrling”). Irene Wellershoff is a member of the advisory board of Förderverein Deutscher Kinderfilm and a child protection expert for FSK, the German film industry’s voluntary self-regulation. She has also run many international workshops.
director & animator, Berlin
Gitte Hellwig gratuated in Animation at Academy of Film and Television „Konrad Wolf“ Potsdam-Babelsberg in 2014. She works as Guide and Workshop leader in the Museum of Film and Television in Berlin and is a freelance animator for documentary film and also working in the fields of video art, animation short and series.
Director & Animator, Breda
Born in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, in 1985 as the child of two ceramists, Jasper Kuipers was brought up with an overabundance of materials to play with. From an early age he became fascinated by clay and drawing; fascinations that persist to the present day. After graduating from the animation department at the Academy of Art and Design St. Joost in Breda, he started working as a freelance director and animator. From his studio space in Breda he has worked on a diverse range of commissioned projects spanning from educational films and music videos to installations and video projections for museums and theatres.
Marketing/Brand Management, LAIKA, Portland
Mark Shapiro’s diverse marketing and communications career has taken him across the United States, working in brand development, advertising, public relations, film production and writing for companies including Nike, Town & Country Magazine and Upper Deck.
In 2007, he joined LAIKA, where he manages brand strategies, including the marketing efforts for LAIKA’s corporate identity as well as the company’s feature films.
A native of Seattle, Mark attended Emerson College in Boston and received his Bachelor of Arts in English from The Colorado College in Colorado Springs. He also completed education studies at Lewis & Clark College in Portland.