Competitions: German Animation, International Animation, New Talents
Alex Widdowson is the festival director of FAFF and an animated documentary filmmaker and researcher.
Émilie Pigeard dreamed of becoming either a magician or a lawyer. In the end, after a year at the Sorbonne, she entered the prestigious Arts Décoratifs school in Paris, specializing in Animation. Alongside painting, illustration and animation, Émilie has a natural flair for storytelling, as well as a great sense of humour. After five years of research, much wordplay and some hard graft, she earned a distinction for her short graduation film Encore un gros lapin which was noticed and produced by Les Films Sauvages. Since then Émilie has been making films as a freelancer in Paris, while continuing to draw and run workshops for kids. In February 2023, Émilie Pigeard received the César for best animated short film for her film Granny’s Sexual Life (co-directed with Urška Djukić).
Holly Murtha is a London-based artist and motion designer and founder of the Factual Animation Film Festival.
Tina Nawrocki is a 2d Animator and Illustrator who started working in the industry in 2006 and her experience spans video games, television and film. Tina joined Studio MDHR in 2015 to work on the video game “Cuphead” as a Concept Artist and 2d Animator. After Cuphead’s release, Tina worked for two years on Studio MDHR’s new project, “DLC: Delicious Last Course”, animating the boss fight “Doggone Dogfight”. Since leaving MDHR in 2020, Tina had the pleasure of animating on the Netflix Series “Green Eggs and Ham” and the feature film “Space Jam: A New Legacy” as well as providing original animations for Drake’s Music Video “Knife Talk”.
Competition: Commissioned Animation
Ian Hutchinson grew up in upstate New York on a steady diet of movies and animation which led him study Film at New York University. There, he developed his skills as a traditional hand-drawn animator. After graduation in 2003, he transitioned into VFX and compositing by starting his freelancing career with NYC design and effects boutiques. In 2007, curiosity and good fortune brought him to Berlin, where he continued his freelance career with Berlin based agencies and studios as well as teaching animation and motion graphics at CODE University. Over the years his work has blended his animation skills with his lifelong dedication to engaging storytelling, clear communication and education.
Kim Nguyen studied animation film at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg and , works as director, animator & story artist for animated commercials, feature films and tv-series.
Cris began her illustrious career in stop motion animation, but has since expanded her repertoire to include various disciplines, such as 2D and 3D animation, character design, illustration, and crafting. Her work is characterized by its texture, wit, and boldness. Though originally from São Paulo, Brazil, Cris is now based in Berlin and draws inspiration from her diverse cultural background to infuse her work with creativity and imagination. As an award-winning animation director and designer, she creates engaging storylines that are fun, fresh, and unique, using mixed-media, colors, materials, and styles to bring new worlds to life.
Born in the beautiful Maremma, after several vicissitudes Roberto landed in the mellifluous world of communication. He likes working transversally on different languages and techniques, looking for a narrative and the point of view from which to tell it. Roberto works mainly in the field of animation and directing (you can find him both in the corporate video department and in the experimental shorts department), he willingly strays into illustration, writing and video. Roberto has a beautiful daughter named Nina.
Competition: Pink Panda
Competition: German Animation
Fidan Akhundova graduated from the State Academy of Fine Arts in Azerbaijan in 2013 with a Bachelor’s degree in Illustration. In 2014, she received a DAAD scholarship and moved to Germany to continue her studies and obtain a Master’s degree at the Alanus University of Arts and Social Sciences. From 2016 to 2021, she studied education at FH Potsdam. Her first animated film “The Crow” won several awards in 2020. Since 2021, Fidan has been working as a volunteer illustrator for various organisations and activists from Azerbaijan dealing with political, human rights and feminist issues.
In 2022, she represented the Azerbaijani pavilion at the 59th Venice Art Biennale with a theme on women’s rights. The focus of her work, be it pedagogy or fine art, is the human being with its ambivalence and fragility.
Jon Frickey studied communication design at HAW Hamburg, worked as an art director at Scholz und Friends Berlin and then went freelance as an animated film director and author. He currently writes and animates for the satirical programme extra3 (ARD), for social media projects at WDR and makes GIFs for GIPHY. His short film CAT DAYS / NEKO NO HI won international awards and qualified for the Academy Awards. qualified for the Academy Awards. CAT DAYS was nominated for the German Short Film Award and the European Animation Awards. Jon is currently working on ZOOPTICON, a science fiction musical. Jon lives in Hamburg.
Felix Gönnert studied Applied Media Studies at the Technical University of Ilmenau and Animation at the Konrad Wolf Academy of Film and Television. In addition to his own projects, he has been working as a freelance animation supervisor for a number of TV commercials and as a lead character animator and animation director for CGI feature productions since 1998.
His films have been screened at over 300 festivals worldwide and have won over 30 prizes and awards. The music clip “ADOLF – ich hock’ in meinem Bonker” had over 8 million downloads on Youtube and other video platforms in 2006 alone. In addition to lectures and presentations at the Berlin University of the Arts, the Dresden University of Fine Arts, the Academy of the Arts in Berlin and the Museum of Modern Art in New York, Felix Gönnert has given several workshops in Germany and abroad. Collaboration in selection committees and juries of film festivals, including the Generation section of the Berlinale, the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film, the Berlin International Short Film Festival and others.
Felix Gönnert has been appointed professor for computer animation at the Film University since 2013.
Bin-Han To is an award winning creative director for animated content in Film, Game and Mixed Reality with a particular focus on visual development and narrative animation, with more than 10 years of experience across all disciplines of the 3D and 2D animation workflow. He studied Animation at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and HdM Stuttgart.
Mixed Reality and video game projects like the DCP-winning indie game “Tilt Pack” and various Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality projects have been part of his exploration and expansion into other fields, and been fuelled by his passion for video games and real time content. Bin-Han is a recurring lecturer on Visual- and Story-Development for Animation at the HSLU Lucerne, Switzerland.
His best known work is the critically and commercially acclaimed Roald Dahl adaptation “Revolting Rhymes” which he co-directed with long time collaborators Jan Lachauer and Jakob Schuh. The adaptationwon an Emmy, Annie, BAFTA, Annecy Crystal and was nominated for an Academy Award.
His pastimes are tea, Motörhead, ”The Wire” and obsessing over football tactics. Bin-Han works and lives in Berlin.
Competition: International Animation
Gerhard Funk graduated in Media Arts & Design from the College of fine arts Saar in 2010. From 2011, various jobs as a 3D artist and motion graphics designer followed. In 2020 he took a position as an artistic assistant at the Burg Giebichenstein College Halle. Gerhard Funk has been working continuously on his own animated short films since 2008.
Dina Goder is a journalist, curator and educator. She studied at the Russian Academy of Theatre Arts and has ever since been theatre critic.
Since 2002 Dina has been head of the School for Culture Journalism founded by ProArte St-Petersburg. In 2007 Dina became the Artistic Director of “Big Cartoon Festival” in Moscow, the biggest Russian International Animation Festival, and member for expert council of Michail Prochorov Foundation for Culture Initiatives in Russia. She also started an educational animation focused project in Tel Aviv/Israel and has been teaching history and contemporary animation at School-Studio “Shar” in Moscow. Dina has published on theatrical and animation subjects in numerous Russian and international media and served on juries in international festivals on both disciplines.
Veronika Samartseva is an animation film director and artist working preferably in analogue cut-out animation. After studying animation at the Film University Babelsberg she was a founding member of the Talking Animals Collective and taught at the European University of Applied Sciences Berlin.Her work has been shown at international festivals and received various prizes. Currently she is working on her next short film, funded by the minister of state for culture and media as well as by Hessenfilm at studio TORP.
Anna Samo was born in Moscow and moved to Berlin in 2006. As an independent filmmaker she uses a variety of analog animation techniques to create emotional and poetic work. Her most recent films “OBON”, “The Opposites Game” and “Conversations with a Whale” have been screened and awarded at film festivals around the world. In 2021 Anna was granted the “Jerome Hill Artist Fellowship”. Together with her family she currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.
Competition: New Talents
Bianka Buchholz worked as a teacher of Fine Arts and German at Berlin comprehensive and grammar schools from 1981 to 2022. Since 1990, she has been active in the school administration as subject leader for fine art as well as in the further training of fine art teachers. She particularly enjoyed the appreciation of pupils’ work through public relations work as well as the enrichment of her own artistic work through the young people’s critically fresh and often challenging creative view of our world.
Sabine Huber was born in 1963, studied communication design at the state academy of fine arts Stuttgart and animation at the Film Academy Baden- Württemberg. She has been working as a freelance director for various television stations since 1992.
Her works include the film “Das Flederschwein in der Unterwelt” and the music video “Zehn kleine Jägermeister” for “Die Toten Hosen”. As a lecturer for animated film she taught among others at the Rocky Mountain College in Denver Colorado.
Marta Palacios Anaut
Marta Palacios Anaut is a graduate in Audiovisual Communication (Madrid/ES), Filmography (Lille 3/FR) and “Creative Documentary” (Barcelona/ES). In 2007/2008 she was selected as a participant in the European training programme “Atelier Ludwigsburg – La Fémis Paris – NFTS London”, which deals with European co-production and distribution structures in the film industry. She worked as an editor for various festivals and broadcasters before founding her own production company “La Rêverie Films” in Spain and producing the film “Vostell Happening” (2011).
Marta has since worked in the field of cultural management (fellowship at the museum “Jeu de Paume”, Paris) and as a producer in various areas of audiovisual media and mediation and education for children and young people. She has lived and worked in Berlin since 2014.
Jean-Luc Slock is involved in animation and music since 1979, founded the Camera-etc animation studio. He travelled around the world, leading numbers of animation workshops and organized professional animation trainings. Since 2005, he has produced animation films and collective films with children and adults, often awarded in International Film festivals. Until his retirement he was running a 13 people team studio in Liège, Belgium. Besides collective and author productions, the NGO Camera-etc leads plenty of cooperation projects around the world and especially in French speaking Africa and Cuba. The films serve as awareness tools on issues like racism, environment, gender equality or violence.
Competition: Commissioned Animation
Helen Hyung Choi
Helen Hyung Choi is a Creative Director and Head of Culture at the animation studio Woodblock. She is also involved in IP developments at Woodblock and creator of the animation series in development called “Blue Marble”. In her own time, she illustrates funny German words for her Instagram account @helen_handshoes.
Mette Ilene Holmriis
Mette Ilene Holmriis is an experienced Director, skilled in Character Animation and Art Direction. Her passion lies within Animation as a medium for storytelling for people of all ages. She enjoys all aspects of her job, ranging from creative decision-making to supervising teams helping directors and production get their vision to the big screen and lastly being part of production breathing life into characters and backgrounds.
Over the years she has been working at many studios and productions but since 2018 mainly at Suncreature in Copenhagen where she was Head of Design on the Cartoon Network show “Ivandoe”. Here she also worked on the triple Oscar-nominated movie “Flee” as well as a few commercial projects. In May 2022 she joined Woodblock as a Creative Director and Art Director.
Chris Smallfield is VFX Supervisor for TRIXTER and he’s based in Berlin. For the last 18 years he’s worked as an artist VFX supervisor on commercials, music videos, tv series and feature films. Most recently he worked “She-Hulk”, “Loki” and “Shang Chi”. He’s had lifelong appreciation for animation and loves any art that tells a story.
Marcel Zimmermann studied text, theory and conception under Diedrich Diederichsen with a focus on youth culture, music and film, after completing his training as a graphic designer. He then worked as a creative director in various agencies and as principal of a Stuttgart fashion school and design school. At the moment he is the marketing director of an educational institution.
Competition: Pink Panda
Leonard, 6 years
Leonard often invents things out of Lego and likes to watch films. His favourite thing is to fool around with his little sister.
Emilia, 9 years
Emilia likes to draw and make stop motion films with her mum’s iPad. When she is bored, she also likes to play with her cat Bounty.
Maja, 6 years
Maja is passionate about break dancing and enjoys dashing in the playground. Her favourite cartoon series is “Grizzy and the Lemmings”.
Julie, 8 years
Julie is a real expert for entertaining video clips. When she’s not watching videos, she likes to build caves, dress up, or sing.
Olivia, 6 years
Olivia loves ballet dancing, dressing up, putting on makeup, writing her own books, painting and crafting.