Svenja Böttger has been the director of the Max Ophüls Preis Film Festival, the most important festival for young German-speaking filmmakers, for 5 years and is also managing director of the gGmbH since 2019. In addition to teaching and lecturing at various film schools and at Saarland University, she is also a jury member of film festivals, a regular committee member at HessenFilm und Medien, and a jury member of the Deutsche Film- und Medienbewertung (FBW). She also advises filmmakers on festival distribution strategies and co-initiated AG Filmfestival, the nationwide association of film festivals in Germany, in 2019. Born in Berlin in 1988, Svenja Böttger studied media studies in Braunschweig and at the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF. After working for and managing various smaller film festivals and industry events, she took over as director in Saarbrücken at the Max Ophüls Preis Film Festival in 2016. Before that, she gained production experience in different film and television projects, among others at Endemol (CIRCUS HALLIGALLI) and at the Berlin production company One Two Films.
Svenja Böttger // © Oliver Dietze
Luzie Loose is a director and writer. She grew up in Berlin, where she studied at the University of Art, and is a directing graduate of the Baden-Württemberg Film Academy and La Fémis in Paris. She has realised various short films that have been presented at festivals worldwide, including San Sebastian, SXSW and the Munich Film Festival. Her debut film Schwimmen premiered at the Busan International Film Festival and won the Gold Award for Best Director at the Hofer Filmtage in conjunction with a mentorship from filmmaker Edgar Reitz. Since then, she has devoted herself to developing new cinema material, writing series concepts and directing TV formats, including the hit series DRUCK.
Felix Binder, born in Tübingen, studied film directing with Hark Bohm at the Hamburg Media School. Since his debut with the ZDF comedy series Lerchenberg, he has worked as a director and screenwriter for film and television. In 2018 he shot his first feature film, Club der roten Bänder – Wie alles begann, and in September 2020 his superhero film FREAKS was released on Netflix.
Short film / animated film
Annegret Richter works as Executive Manager of AG Animationsfilm, the Association for German Animation. In addition, she is film curator and host, animation consultant and teaches at different film and media schools in Germany. She held the position as Festival Director of the International Short Film Festival in Dresden (Filmfest Dresden) and worked as Head of Animation Program at the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film in Leipzig (DOK Leipzig). She also worked as researcher and teaching assistant at the Institute of Communication and Media Studies at the University of Leipzig, with a special focus on animated documentaries und hybrid animation.
Frédéric Schuld is an author, director and animator of award winning films. He started working as graphic designer and art director for advertising agencies, before he studied film at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne. He founded the studio “Fabian&Fred” with Fabian Driehorst in 2011.
Pia Hellenthal is a filmmaker working in fiction and documentary. Her debut film Searching Eva premiered at Berlinale and screened at over seventy international film festivals and museums. Among other Universities, Hellenthal is holding a permanent teaching position at HSD Düsseldorf.
Kenneth Gyang is a 2018 AFS Documentary Fellow at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts, a graduate of the prestigious EAVE European Producers Workshop and co-founder of the film production company Cinema Kpatakpata. He won various awards with his films Confusion Na Wa (2013), The Lost Café (2017) and Oloture (2019) including Best Nigerian Film at the African Movie Academy Awards (2013) and the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Mexico International Film Festival. Kenneth has worked with the BBC and several international donor agencies as a media consultant on documentary projects. He is currently Head of Department of Directing at Ebonylife Creative Academy in Lagos, Nigeria.
Award-winning documentary filmmaker and journalist Leona Goldstein (*1976) has studied visual communication in Rome, Dortmund and Berlin. In numerous film- and photo-documentations she questions topics of „blind spots“, with a focus on womens* rights, antiracist struggles and migration. Her last projects document the activities of social movements in Rwanda, Venezuela, Burkina Faso, Mexico as well as throughout Europe. Since 2012 she´s holding a lectureship for documentary film at the University of applied sciences HTW in Berlin, Germany.
Yulia Lokshina, born 1986 in Moscow, studied documentary directing at the University of Television and Film Munich. Her graduation film Rules of the assembly line, at high speed (2020) deals with temporary work in German meat production and European labor migration, questions of social participation and class consciousness. It was awarded the prize for best documentary at the Festival Max Ophüls Preis 2020, the “Healthy Workplaces Award” at Doclisboa 2020 and the prize of German Film Critics 2020. She works on audio-visual projects at the border of film and research, as well as in open formations with artist friends. Currently she started an artistic PhD on documentary literary adaptation at the Konrad Wolf Film University of Babelsberg.
Yulia Lokshina // © Isabelle Bertolone
Alice Agneskirchner studied political science, theatre studies and German and Comparative Folklore at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität in Munich. In 1989 she was the first student from the “West” to be invited to study directing at the film university KONRAD WOLF. Since 1995 she has worked successfully and continuously as a writer and director for documentaries of various lengths and genres; she has also realised so-called cross-over projects with feature film elements. From 2003 – 2007 she was a lecturer at the Film Academy Ludwigsburg. Alice Agneskirchner has been an elected member of the German Film Academy since 2012. In 2020, she won a Grimme prize for her documentary film How HOLOCAUST came to television.
For the last 23 years Murat Isgüder has successfully been working in the German movie industry. He started his career in advertising, before joining the film industry at the German office of Independent British movie studio PolyGram Filmed Entertainment in 1997. After PolyGram was sold to the US major studio Universal, he was appointed Marketing Director of the Home Entertainment division of Universal Pictures Germany where he spearheaded many successful marketing campaigns and the introduction of new digital recording media such as DVD and Blu-ray in the German-speaking market. In 2006 he founded his own consulting firm Movie Consult in Hamburg. Since then he is one of the most sought-after independent experts for acquiring and marketing movies for independent movie distributors, both theatrically and on Home Entertainment & Digital. Murat is 52 years old, married and father of two children.
Nadja Jumah has been a funding officer at the FFA since 2016. Prior to that, she worked as a lawyer for 15 years in various positions in the film industry, including at Phoenix Film (UFA) and as head of marketing at the renowned arthouse world distributor The Match Factory. Her expertise in film financing and promotion of German and international co-productions as well as her worldwide network of promoters, producers and distributors, which she has been able to build up at numerous festivals and film markets around the world, such as Cannes, Venice, Toronto or Hong Kong, make her a regular participant in the Berlinale Co-Production Market, among others. At the FFA, Nadja Jumah is the contact person for the areas of project film and reference film funding as well as for the commission meeting Production & Screenplay.
Mina Avramova was born in 1981 in Sofia, Bulgaria. After finishing school she started her studies of media culture at the Bauhaus University of Weimar, Germany. Already during her studies she organized the short film festival “backup_festival” featuring productions from Eastern Europe. Earlier in her career she has worked as a production assistant, casting director and assistant director for several TV series before she joined „Fortune Cookie Film“ in 2012. Additional to her work as a producer at the Hamburg based film production company she translates scripts and dialoque books from Bulgarian into German and vice versa.
Mina Avramova © Mina Avramova
Björn Koll moved to West Berlin in 1988 to study theatre studies, business administration and psychology, which he would ultimately never complete. Instead, he concentrated on producing his own short films and completed internships at the Theater des Westens and the Deutsche Oper. Since 1994 he has been both the owner and the driving force behind Salzgeber. Its range extends from queer cinema to documentaries or first-time directors to world cinema. Well over 500 films have been distributed to date. Salzgeber also owns a post-production company for digital films and a print publishing house (Salzgeber Buchverlage).
Caroline von Senden
Caroline von Senden has been head of the ZDF editorial department for television drama since 1998 and in this function has also been coordinator for cinema co-production, tv movies and high-end series for several years. Productions she has supervised have repeatedly received awards and prizes. For example, she is responsible for the multiple award-winning series Bad Banks and the television films Familienfest and Aufbruch in die Freiheit, which also received multiple awards, as well as the mini-series Preis der Freiheit, which received the German Television Award in 2020. In cinema, she is associated with the film adaptation of the legendary Kangaroo Chronicles, which was released in 2020. Filming is currently underway on the six-part mini-series Der Überfall by author Stefan Kolditz and producer Benjamin Benedict.
Caroline von Senden
Ioulia Isserlis is a Berlin based VR producer, director and writer. With strong roots in classical filmmaking, Ioulia dove full time into VR production 5 years ago, finding inspiration in a new medium that enables the spectator to enter a cinematic universe. She directed, produced and wrote PAGAN PEAK VR, the VR game for the Sky Germany/Wiedemann & Berg series Pagan Peak, that premiered at the 76th Venice Film Festival. Ioulia produced and co-wrote KOBOLD VR, that premiered at the 75th Venice Film Festival in 2018 and was named one of the 5 best horror VR games by Forbes. She is also the co-producer of BYSTANDING VR, which is a Canadian/German/ Israeli coproduction that was funded by Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg and CMF. Ioulia is the Co-Founder and CEO of AnotherWorld VR and produced VR experiences for clients such as Balenciaga,Microsoft, Siemens and Telekom. Additionally, Ioulia is a board member of the Virtual Reality Berlin Brandenburg association and was twice a tutor at the VR Biennale College.
Mariam Rafehi is an interdisciplinary designer, researcher and artist, who has lived half her life in Europe and half in the Middle East. As an artist and designer, she creates alternative worlds in virtual reality (VR) to expose an audience to unfamiliar experiences. Her creative projects have been exhibited in the US, Germany, Russia and Qatar. After receiving her bachelor’s in media & communications, her work developed into transmedia storytelling. During her MFA, she became interested in immersive storytelling and speculative design. Based on her research with immersive technologies, she has been a lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University and Northwestern University in Qatar, and teaching courses, such as Mixed Reality Design and Immersive Storytelling in VR. Together with her students, she applies world building methodologies to develop alternative future scenarios that are presented in VR.
Based in the German city of Hamburg, Tobias Wüstefeld is an illustrator who loves creating miniature worlds. Each has its own look, emotion and general atmosphere, and is full of detail for the viewer to inspect and engage with. Sometimes, these worlds are brought to life in his animation work. Sometimes they can be even experienced in his interactive works. For influences he looks well beyond the realms of art and illustration, and they include an interest in neuropsychology, as well as particle accelerators.
Born in Düsseldorf in 1973, Verena Veihl studied theatre, film and television studies and modern German literature in Bochum and Berlin. In addition to working as a journalist and media scientist, she worked as an editorial assistant in the film/television drama department of the former ORB from 2002. Later she took over the editorial supervision of the fictional LEUCHTSTOFF graduation film cinema co-productions, the short film series rbb movies of the film university as well as television films and fictional entertainment formats for rbb and Das Erste. Most recently Veihl supervised the cinema productions Die Einzelteile der Liebe (director: Miriam Bliese), Sag Du Es Mir (director: Michael Fetter Nathansky) and Was sehen wir, wenn wir zum Himmel schauen? (Director: Alexandre Koberidze).
Verena Veihl // © Martin Becker
For almost 10 years, the managing director of Studio Zental, Lasse Scharpen, has been working as a producer and has supervised formats such as DRUCK, Deutscher or Liebe Jetzt.
Karin Kaçi successfully completed her screenplay studies at the ifs International Film School Cologne. After several short films, she wrote the screenplays for the feature films Anduni – Fremde Heimat, Eines Tages… and 1000 Ways to Describe Rain, which were screened at festivals worldwide and won awards. Her latest feature film Geborgtes Weiß was completed in 2020. Karin also writes narrative texts for radio plays based on films and has published several books for young people.
Lucas Schmidt is a producer at Studio Zentral. Most recently, he worked as Director International Originals for Netflix. Before that, Lucas Schmidt was responsible for almost 20 years as an editor in the ZDF editorial department Das Kleine Fernsehspiel. Projects he has overseen in recent years include Feuchtgebiete, Familie Braun, Skylines and Liebe. Jetzt!
Lucas Schmidt // © Mina Link
Stefan Titze studied journalism in Cologne and worked at the same time as a student assistant at btf (bildundtonfabrik). For the first edition of NEO MAGAZIN Royale, Jan Böhmermann brought him on as the youngest member of his team of authors. For his work for Gute Arbeit Originals and the sketch programme Kroymann, he received the Studio Hamburg Young Talent Award in the category “Entertainment”. Since 2016, Titze has hosted the successful comedy podcast DAS PODCAST UFO together with Florentin Will. Since the end of 2017, he has developed the series How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast) together with Philipp Käßbohrer, Matthias Murmann and Sebastian Colley, for which he was awarded the Grimme Prize and the German Television Award.
Stefan Titze // © Max Sonnenschein
Janna Maria Nandzik works in Berlin as a freelance screenwriter and director of TV series. She studied film studies, art history and modern German literature and loves to combine high culture with popular culture and tragedy with comedy. She ran two film production companies with actor and producer Christian Ulmen. Under this umbrella she wrote for the mockumentary Ulmen.TV, created and produced her first TV series Die Snobs – Sie können auch ohne Dich (ZDFneo) and wrote and directed the German-French transmedia series About:Kate (ARTE). She now works independently. Most recently for the comedy series Jerks (Maxdome/ProSieben), the teen drama DRUCK (ZDFneo/funk) and the historical drama The Empress (Netflix).
Janna Nandzik // © Miriam Marlene Waldner
Amely Trinks // © Oliver Betke // known from “How to Sell Drugs Online (Fast)”
Leonore von Berg
Leonore von Berg // known from „Vier zauberhafte Schwestern“
Marwin Haas // © Disney // knwon from “An die Töpfe, fertig, lecker!”
Nils Wolf // known from „An die Töpfe, fertig, lecker!“
Katharina Widl // known from ZDF Reihe “Frühling”
Irene Böhm // known from “Babylon Berlin”