Jury international Feature Film

Niko Apel

Niko Apel was born on the 15th of December 1978 in Frankfurt/Main. During his school years, he worked as a projectionist at a repertory cinema in Frankfurt and began to shoot first short films. Between 2002 and 2007, he studied Documentary Film Direction at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. His degree film SONBOL was awarded the “first steps award” as well as the “Grimmepreis”. Other feature-length documentary films followed such as VON KINDERN (ZDF 2010), FREISPIELEN (arte 2012) and ON THE ROAD WITH SOCRATES (arte 2014), all of which attracted much attention at national as well as international festivals.

Nicole Baum

Born in Stuttgart, Nicole Baum has been living in Frankfurt-Sachsenhausen since 1994. After studying Romance and German Studies in Strasbourg, Freiburg and Berlin, as well as absolving a newspaper internship, she worked as a freelancer for print media, radio and television. Since 2001, Baum has been an editor at ZDF/3sat in Mainz, supervising documentary films for the cinema at the 3sat film section, among others, the films ARTEHOLIC by Hermann Vaske and ENDSTATION DER SEHNSÜCHTE by Sung Hyung Cho, both of which were shown at LICHTER.

Betty Berr und Rainer Wothe

BETTY BERR staged numerous contemporary, frequently musical plays as theater director. In addition to her work as an actress for film and television, she also appears in theatere performances. Especially worth mentioning amongst her roles are LE TERRE AU VENTRE by TONY GATLIF, NO MAN’S LAND by ALAIN TANNER or FRANCE TOUR DETOUR 2 ENFANTS by JEAN-LUC GODARD. Together with RAINER WOTHE, she has been managing the CINÉMA DE CONTIS and the FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL DE CONTIS for more than 20 years.

RAINER WOTHE has worked as a stage designer with many theater directors and choreographers such as ION OMESCO and RÉGIS OBADIA. He is also a producer of the performing arts and short films and worked with HANNA SCHYGULLA on texts such as by JEAN-CLAUDE CARRIÈRE. As the founder of the A CONTIS association, he is responsible for international partnerships as the ambassador for cultural diversity.

Jury regional Feature film

Pepe Danquart

Over many years, Pepe Danquart has made a name for himself as an internationally renown director. Having started in the late '60s with his first Super-8 films, he co-founded the Medien-Werkstatt Freiburg (MWF) in 1977. Between 1978 to 1991, this film collective produced more than 30 documentary films, in which he participated as author, director and producer. Among others, Pepe Danquart was awarded the Oscar® for the Best Short Film for SCHWARZFAHRER (1994). Since then, Danquart continously works on nationally and internationally influential and distinguished productions. The most recent award added was the accolade for the “Beste Regie Kinder- und Jugendfilm“ for LAUF, JUNGE, LAUF! as part of the BVR’s director award Metropolis in 2014. His latest film AUF DER ANDEREN SEITE IST DAS GRAS VIEL GRÜNER was released in 2016.

Reza Brojerdi

The actor REZA BROJERDI, born 1983 in Iran, has lived in Germany since the age of two. Raised in Melle, Lower Saxony, he relocated as a teenager with his family to Bielefeld. In 2006, he moved to Berlin where he has lived since. BROJERDI played various roles, amongst others in the television series NOTRUF HAFENKANTE and in several film series such as UNTER VERDACHT next to SENTA BERGER and ULRICH TUKUR. End of 2011, he appeared in a KÖLN TATORT with KLAUS J. BEHRENDT and DIETMAR BÄR. In 2015, he played a guest part as Hanif in the US television series HOMELAND, season 5.

Mischka Popp

MISCHKA POPP studied at the HOCHSCHULE FÜR MUSIK UND THEATER. She then worked at various theatres in West-Germany and Switzerland. Since 1973, she works together with THOMAS BERGMANN. Together they develop and produce FS formats in the field of education and social policy. Mischka shot films for the ARD and the ZDF. Her topics: countryside, province, German everyday life. In 1983, she founded the company PILOTFILM GMBH. Amongst Mischkas’s works are MAZEL TOV (2009), AUGENLIED (2003), KOPFLEUCHTEN (1998), HERZFEUER (1993), DIE POTEMKINSCHE STADT (1988), HIGGS (2000), 90 JAHRE PLUS (2006), DER RAUCH DER TRÄUME (2007). Mischka has been honoured with numerous national and international awards and prizes, including the HESSISCHER FILMPREIS, GRIMME PREIS, KULTURPREIS DES LANDES HESSEN, GOETHE PLAKETTE, ROBERT GEISENDÖRFER-PREIS, DEUTSCHER SOZIALPREIS, ÖKOMEDIA-PREIS, PREMIERE-PREIS, ÖNGÖREN PREIS FÜR DEMOKRATIE U. MENSCHENRECHTE, 1.PREIS JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL BERLIN, PRIX LEONARDO as well as awards from various US film festivals. MISCHKA POPP works as an author and filmmaker and lives in Frankfurt am Main.

Jury regional Shortfilm

Robert Hertel

ROBERT HERTEL is a producer from Frankfurt / Main. He is a founding member of 'GOLDHAMSTER FILM' and has been successfully producing short films and documentaries since 2009. Image and advertising films are also part of his portfolio. For several years now, he has increasingly been working in the field of feature films and has been working as a post-production manager and production manager for TV and cinema productions in Hesse (i.e. EIN ATEM, JUGEND OHNE GOTT, TATORT and TAUNUSKRIMI).

Sylvie Hohlbaum

Born in Frankfurt, Sylvie Hohlbaum lives and works in Hamburg as a freelance writer, director and lecturer for non-fiction films. Already during her film studies at the HfG in Offenbach, her films were characterised by detailed observations and subtle humor. Her attention thereby is turned to sociological phenomena and subcultures. Among her most famous films is the award-winning short film BEIGE, which is about older people’s penchant for the color beige and, noticeable only at second glance, a self-deprecating generational study. Occasionally, Sylvie Hohlbaum also plays with the audience’s ability to observe and invites it to have a close look to check whether the narrated content really corresponds to the truth.

Christel Schmidt

Her love for film led her to television. After an internship at the arts section of the Hessischer Rundfunk, Christel Schmidt worked as a film critic for many years and later, as an editor and director in different formats, genres and stations (hr, 3sat, ARD). As author she shoots many documentary films and is awarded the Regino-Preis for DIE GROßEN KRIMINALFÄLLEFAMILIENBANDE. Between 2011 and 2015, she heads the hr-Filmförderung, marrying her enthusiasm for film and filmmakers. As part of the Hessischer Film und Kinopreis, Christel Schmidt is responsible for the Hessischer Fernsehpreis (Best Actress/Actor).

Jury Virtual Reality Storytelling

Ralph Benz

RALPH BENZ has been working as a TV editor for 22 years, focusing on IT technology topics. The certifyable geek and nerd, who was responsible amongst other for the well-known computer broadcast NEUES on 3sat, worked for the computer/games/culture TV magazine PIXELMACHER and was responsible for the e-sports magazine FTW on ZDFKultur . Next to his current 2D-TV work for the 3sat magazines NANO and SCOBEL, he has been preoccupied with VR/AR for several years and is a member of a 360-degree video development group at ZDF/3sat.

Marco Heutink

MARCO HEUTINK is a user experience designer for virtual reality projects at CHEIL. He designs captivating, immersive worlds in virtual reality through the skillful combination of intuitive interaction and 360°-storytelling. In 2015, he co-produced the VR video series “VR THE FUTURE for SAMSUNG. He was LEAD CREATIVE for the award-winning VR video platform SAMSUNG DISCOVR, which went online for the first time in September 2016.

Astrid Kahmke

ASTRID KAHMKE has been directing the First Movie Program at the Bayerisches Filmzentrum since 2012. In 2015, she launched the IMMERSIVE STORYTELLING 360° HACKATHON and directed “VR CREATORS' LAB. Since October 2016, she curates the international conference “I4C”, which deals with Content Creation for Virtual Worlds. On the 6th of April, the next “I4C – SPRING INTO 360°” will take place in Munich.

Eckart Köberich

ECKART KÖBERICH has been HEAD OF VR at ZDF DIGITAL since February 2017. From end of 2014 to January 2017 he directed the 360° and VR development project for the ZDF [Second German Television]. During this time over 30 ZDF 360° productions, as well as VR platforms for IOS, Android, Google Daydream and the web platform VR.ZDF.DE. were created. The ZDF DIGITAL VR UNIT, formed in 2016, produces 360° films, interactive virtual reality applications and actively participates in and promotes the research of the new VR medium. This is also the case with this year's VR conference and VR fair as part of the 10th LICHTER Filmfest.

Kay Meseberg

KAY MESEBERG studied political science at the University of Potsdam and graduated with a diploma. After having been stationed at the ARD programme POLYLUX and journalistic activity for various ARTE formats and the 3sat programme FOYER, he has been an online editor and TV author for the investigative ZDF magazine FRONTAL21 for many years. Since the end of the 90s and parallel to his TV career, Meseberg was involved in the conception and implementation of many online projects like POLYLOG.TV for POLYLUX and BERLINFOLGEN.DE together with the taz and 2470media. In 2013, he joined ARTE where he was involved in the development of the ARTE FUTURE thematic product. Since the success of the POLAR SEA 360° project, Meseberg has been working on the implementation of content in a 360° video viewer and virtual reality. He has also been involved in the conception and editorial support of many successful, innovative web formats such as ScrollDocs and WebDokus. Meseberg has received numerous awards for his work, including three Grimme Online Awards, the Deutscher Reporterpreis, the Deutscher Wirtschaftsfilmpreis and a LEAD Award.

Jury LICHTER Art Award 2017

Saul Judd

SAUL JUDD, (born 1963, Brazil) freelance curator in Frankfurt, is responsible for the video art section of the LICHTER FILMFEST FRANKFURT INTERNATIONAL. Within the context of the festival, he designed exhibitions with renowned artists such as KEREN CYTTER and MIKE BOUCHET, until he launched the LICHTER ART AWARD in 2011. His current projects are BLANK SLATE, a publication on art, architecture and design, and since January 2016, together with the film- and cinema-maker GUNTER DELLER, SCHAUT!, an exhibition series at the MAL SEH'N cinema in Frankfurt.

Olaf Stüber

OLAF STÜBER is a gallery owner, curator and publisher for contemporary art and film. In 2008, he and IVO WESSEL founded the international platform VIDEOART AT MIDNIGHT at BABYLON KINO in Berlin. In addition, he gives lectures and holds workshops, in particular on art films and videos, curates programmes for institutions, trade fairs and festivals. He was a member of the jury of the VIDEOKUNSTFÖRDERPREIS BREMEN 2009, the DOKUMENTAR UND VIDEOFEST KASSEL 2012, the VIDEONALE AT THE KUNSTMUSEUM BONN 2013, the EMAFEUROPEAN MEDIA ART FESTIVAL in Osnabrück 2015 and, most recently, FILMWINTER 2017 in Stuttgart.

Mathilde ter Heijne

MATHILDE TER HEIJNE (born in 1969, Strasbourg, France) lives as an artist in Berlin and has been a professor for Visual Art / Media, Installation and Performance at KUNSTHOCHSCHULE KASSEL since 2011. She completed her art studies in the Netherlands at the STADSACADEMIE in Maastricht and the RIJKSACADEMIE in Amsterdam. Mathilde ter Heijne's artistic practice is informed by feminist thinking which she links with her interest in the historical composition of social minorities and current power structures. Her installations, performances and videos were included in numerous national and international exhibitions, such as the HAUS AM LÜTZOWPLATZ, the MUSEUM FÜR NEUE KUNST FREIBURG, the LENTOS KUNSTMUSEUM LINZ, the KUNSTHALLE NÜRNBERG, the STEDELIJK MUSEUM AMSTERDAM or the MIGROS MUSEUM FÜR GEGENWARTSKUNST ZÜRICH.

Regional Feature Film

Born 1968 in Czernowitz, the city that at some point was Austrian, Rumanian, Soviet and ended up being Ukrainian. Studied Psychiatry in Siberia, worked by A. Kaidanovsky in Moscow and K. Zanussi in Warsaw. Holder of the Nipkow – European Scholarships for Audiovisual Media Professionals, Berlin. Founder and Curator of the project space for Contemporary Art – Platfrom Sarai for 11 years. Worked with numerous channels as 3SAT and ARTE, museums like the Russian State Museum in Sankt-Petersburg or the MAKFrankfurt. Now he is living with his 5 kids in Frankfurt/Main, reading books and, together with Peter Rippl, making films in collaboration with dancers, architects and fishermans. Film>>

Regional Shortfilm

Futur German Cinema

Producer: Gaza Surf Club Film>>

Regional Feature film out of competition

Director: Number of Silence Film>>

International Feature Film

Director: The One-eyed King Film>>

Director: Nuts! Film>>

Director: The Woman Who Left (Ang Babaeng Humayo) Film>>

Director: Act & Punishment Film>>

International Shortfilm "Truth"

Born in Barranquilla – Colombia in 1985, Jorge Cadena studied photography in Buenos Aires and graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor in Cinema from HEAD – Geneva School of Art and Design. His diploma film El Cuento de Antonia received the high honours from the Jury. In his research, he tries to open subversive spaces to make visible the intimate and the marginalized. His work reveals a reflection on the different layers of violence in our society. After an experience of teaching in Colombia, he showed his work in exhibitions and international film festivals and more recently at Nouveau cinéma Montréal 2015, Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement BIM (Center of Contemporary Art Geneva) in 2016 and Visions du Réel 2016. He won the Tiger award for short films 2017 at the International Film Festival of Rotterdam. Film >>

VR Storytelling

Linara Bagautdinova is a feature film director. She is doing commercials and is having a try at documentaries. Linara has worked for Russian TV as an interviewer, scriptwriter and a director of TV shows for 8 years. She is currently a student at the directing faculty of the Moscow Film School and preparing to film her diploma short feature film, following her own script. Linara prefers to work in the genres of drama and melodrama. “Family Circle” was her first project with VR-360 technology. “Everything was new for us in VR. We tried to make a story for the spectator, not just betting on the effect of virtual reality. We were imagining what would happen if we mix a classic plot, theatre and VR. It was an unforgettable experience for every member of the crew. “Family Circle” now shows the results of this experience.” VR Storytelling-Website>>

Alex is General Manager and Head of Development at expanding focus, a content studio for VR experiences and format creation or as he likes to put it: a playground for virtual spaces. He used to work as Project Consultant at the Institut of Animation at the Filmakademy Baden-Württemberg in the department of Interactive Media. As such he was in charge for putting together interdisciplinary workshops for transmedia storytelling. He is passionated about innovative entertainment formats which he already discovered theoretically and practically during his studies of dramaturgy (LMU Munich) and Multi Media Art (University of Applied Sciences Salzburg) and Production (Filmacademy Ludwigsburg/La FEMIS Paris). With his collective he develops methods to bring together the best of storytelling and science. The aim is to create new formats and unique approaches of narration and knowledgetransfer. Besides this he is consulting broadcasting companies and online portals in matters of digital enhancement, interactivity and format creation such as Universal and Red Bull Media. VR Storytelling-Website>>

Michael Kaschner, born in 1975, has been working as a freelance content creator, screenwriter and director in the field of factual entertainment for the public-law broadcasters (amongst other things for TerraX, TerraXpress, ZDF Info, ARTE, Andreas Kieling, and show teasers for Thomas Gottschalk). Since October 2013, he is the Senior Producer at ZDF Digital Medienproduktion GmbH where he initially manages the set-up of an editorial office for the series TerraXpress. By now, he has also been supervising a network consisting of more than 100 freelance authors for various formats. In parallel to his commitment in the field of interactive VR, Michael Kaschner is setting up a new fiction department at ZDF Digital, which develops new formats for the crime film genre and web series, as well as horizontal, episode-spanning series for streaming services and Pay TV. Michael Kaschner is a guest lecturer at the center for media competences, ZFM, at the Eberhard Karls University in Tübingen, as well as at the Film Academy in Ludwigsburg. VR Storytelling Website>>

After graduating from the ESEC film school in Paris, Alexandre Perez embarked on a career in directing, starting with the short awarded « PARKING ». He followed that with more award-winning shorts and two collaborations with France Inter – CANNES YOU HEAR (2014) and ROUGE (2015). In 2017, he presents SERGENT JAMES, his first 360° fiction (VR). VR STorytelling Website>>

Valentin Rogatin is a screenwriter and producer. He is working at one of the most popular TV-channels in Russia (TNT) as an editor. Valentin also studies at producer faculty of the Moscow Film School. He will graduate this year so now Valentin is preparing to film his diploma short feature film written and produced by himself.
“Family circle” was his first project in VR-360 technology.
“I came up with the idea of making the audience decide where and when to look at. Wanted to make them the directors of the film, not just viewers. Our film tells four different stories at once and all of them merge into one main idea. We decided to use the “Dogville” style so that nothing would distract the audience from the actors and their actions. I am very greatfull to all of the crew – they believed in the project and worked for free. “Family circle” is a product of people who put cinematography first. Hope, you will feel their inspiration” VR Storytelling Website>>

Lewis Smithingham is a filmmaker who lives in New York City. He has gained international recognition for his early adoption of VR film production having shot a number of projects with Nokia’s OZO as well as work with Phantom, Jaunt and custom rigs. He most recently was VR Supervisor and Editor for Doug Liman’s VR series Invisible. Prior to working in VR he worked as a bullet time technician and a concert tour videographer. He is a graduate of Werner Herzog's Rogue Film School. As a director, he is interested creating hybrid forms that meld experimental film, documentary and narrative cinema into a single form. VR Storytelling Website

Thomas Wallner is an Emmy award winning producer, writer, and director working in film and interactive media. In addition to producing many innovative cross-media properties for television, he has written and directed eight award-winning feature documentaries. Thomas Wallner is a rare example of a creative filmmaker who is truly at home in the interactive media world. Over the past ten years Thomas has consistently applied his award winning vision as a storyteller to push the limits of interactive narrative. He is the founder of DEEP a German and Canadian based studio dedicated to exploring and defining the evolving language of cinematic VR. To meet this exciting challenge, DEEP has developed LIQUID CINEMA, a software platform and toolset that allows filmmakers, producers and broadcasters to create and distribute story based 360 and VR content across the web, mobile and VR devices. Thomas is a recipient of numerous honours including two Emmy Awards with a total of five nominations, three Geminis, a Rose d’Or, two SXSW Interactive Awards and two Webbys. VR Storytelling Website>>

Ali Weinstein is a documentary filmmaker based in Toronto, Canada. She has a particular interest in exploring how people find community and meaning in a complex and at times chaotic world. She recently completed a feature documentary entitled “Mermaids” about a universal myth as seen through the eyes of a group of women who strongly identify with the powerful female icon of the mermaid. “Siren Song”, co-directed alongside Nico Jolliet, is her first foray into virtual reality. Ali holds an MFA in Documentary Media Studies from Ryerson University, and is currently an Associate Producer at Primitive Entertainment. VR STorytelling Website>>

Finalists LICHTER Art Award

// Last Chance Junction // D 2016 // 21:07 Min. Art Award>>

// The Balcony // D 2016 // 18 min. Art Award>>

// As Much As Anyone // D 2016 // 16:43 min. Art Award>>

// Simba in New York // D 2016 // 32 min. Art Award>>

// making waves,,, unmastered // D 2016 // 07:38 min. Art Award>>

Debates & Lectures

Endre Dányi is currently lecturer and postdoctoral researcher at the Department of Sociology at the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main. Inspired by Actor-Network Theory (ANT), his doctoral thesis focused on the ways in which liberal democracy can be understood as a diverse set of material and discursive practices held together by a parliament. In his habilitation, Endre examines three instances when liberal democracy breaks down or reaches its limits: the European refugee crisis, global drug policy, and indigenous politics in Northern Australia. In addition to teaching and doing research, Endre is also founding editor of Mattering Press, an open access book publisher. Panel>>