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26th International Film Festival

for Children and Young Audience

9 – 16 OCT 2021

Professional Jury Feature Film International


Beate Biermann


Leipzig, Germany

After finishing her studies in TV- and film production Beate Biermann worked at the University for Television and Movies Konrad Wolf Babelsberg as a director and director's assistant for children’s series for the television broadcaster of the GDR. She has been the editor of the main editorial office of TV Movies-Series-Children of the MDR since 1991 and is responsible for the planning and acquiring of children’s movies and series.

Prof. Dr. em. Rüdiger Steinmetz


Göttingen, Germany

Prof. Dr. em. Rüdiger Steinmetz is a member of the media council of the state media authorities in Saxony (SLM). From 1992 until 2018 he was chairholder of Media Science and Media Communication at the institute of Communication at the University of Leipzig. Since 2016, he researches and publishes on the topic of ‘TV next door. Pictures of upheaval in Saxony’s local TV’ (1990-95).

Katrin Franz


Chemnitz, Germany

Katrin Franz was in Dresden active in senior positions in the fields of youth culture and libraries. She was responsible for Film and Media in the Cultural Department of the city of Chemnitz. Since July, 2015, Katrin Franz has been leading the Cultural Management Office and the Cultural Strategy in the Cultural Department of the city of Chemnitz. She is an active member of the EUROCITIES culture forum and in the Programme Council Chemnitz2025.

Felix Vanginderhuysen


Brussels, Belgium

Felix Vanginderhuysen studied Social Sciences at the University of Louvain, Belgium. He was the managing director of Jekino-Films and is general secretary of the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA). In 1989 he founded the European Youth Festival of Flanders in Antwerp. Since 2003 he is also president of the school screening circuit Lessen in het Donker.

Silke Haverkamp


Erfurt, Germany

Silke Haverkamp graduated with a diploma in Pedagogies with a focus on Intercultural Communication and Counselling. After her studies, she worked as a unit manager at various cinema and TV productions, as an editor at the Family Entertainment GmbH, and as a producer at the Bastei Media GmbH. Since 2017, she has been working as an editor at KiKA in the fiction department.

Professional Jury National


Lena Kingelin


Goethe-Institut Helsinki, Finland

Lena Kingelin studied Art History at Turku University. After exciting cultural projects like the Culture Capital of Turku 2011, the host country Finland on the Frankfurter Buchmesse 2014 and the Venice Biennale of Architecture in 2016 she worked at the Finnland-Institut and the Finnish embassy in Berlin, and at the Finnish museum of architecture in Helsinki. Since August 2018, she has been working at the cultural project of the Goethe-Institut in Helsinki especially on the fields fine arts and film.

Mirko Wiermann


DEFA Foundation, Berlin, Germany

Mirko Wiermann studied Medicine from 1999–2004 and worked as an assistant doctor. After he graduated in Theatre and Film Studies from the FU Berlin, he worked as a research assistant in the Zeughauskino, in the inventory database project of the Deutsche Kinemathek and for the Retrospective of the Berlin International Film Festival. Since 2016 he has been a member of the DEFA foundation and the DEFA film distribution within the Deutsche Kinemathek.

Georg Milz


Goethe-Institut München, Germany

Georg Milz studied ethology. Afterwards he worked as a freelancing journalist for radio editorial offices like “Zündfunk” of the Bavarian broadcast. “Kompressor” of the Deutschlandfunk Kultur and for the editorial offices “Wort” and “Musik” of the WDR Cosmo. He also worked for the creative industries of the Munich record label “Outhere Records”. Since November 2019, he has been working as a volunteer in the section film, TV and radio of the Goethe-Institut Munich.

Heidrun Rottke


Goethe-Institut Dublin, Ireland

Heidrun Rottke has been Cultural Programme Coordinator with the Goethe-Institut in Dublin since 1997. She studied Art History and German Language and Literature at Bonn and Zürich Universities. After graduating she worked as a researcher at the Peter Behrens School of Arts / University of Applied Sciences Düsseldorf and at the Children’s and Young People’s Theatre Centre in Frankfurt am Main before moving to Dublin and joining the Goethe-Institut Ireland.

Dr. Till Grahl


Dresden, Germany

Till Grahl, PhD, is the academic director of the German Institute for Animated Film (DIAF). Following his graduation in American Studies and Art History, the Dresden native initially worked as a film journalist and senior editor for various media before he returned to the Dresden Technical University, where he received a doctoral degree for his research of structural transformations occurring during the production of remakes. Afterwards he worked as the head of marketing of a national cinema chain.

Ines Wolter


Chemnitz, Germany

Ines Wolter has been working also at the Chemnitzer Filmwerkstatt for more than 20 years and has contributed to making it to one of the most important establishments when it comes to media pedagogical institutions in Saxony. The Filmwerkstatt could realize many short film productions and received the German short film awards with Olaf Held in 2013.

Viola Lippmann


Dresden, Germany

Viola Lippmann was born in the Saxon region Erzgebirge. At the College for Arts Burg Giebichenstein in the city of Halle she studied design for games and learning aids. Since then, she has been working as an illustrator and designer. In 2016, she received the MDM advancement prize. Now she mainly developes children films and series with the focus on kids and young people. Therefore art projects in kindergartens and schools are an important part of her work. Viola Lippmann is member of the association Filmverband Sachsen.

Karstern Matern


Berlin, Germany

As a cinephile college dropout, Karsten Matern initially worked primarily for live-action- cinema- and TV-productions, before he got in touch with animation for the first time when he became the production manager of the 25-minute German-Polish animation film “Esterhazy” (2007 to 2009). From 2017 to 2020, he was production manager of the Dresden company Balance Film. He is a member of the board of directors of the AG Animationsfilm.

Jury of The International Federation of Film Critics (FIPRESCI)


Seray Genç


Istanbul, Turkey

Seray Genç majored in Radio, TV and Cinema at the Boğaziçi University in Istanbul and graduated with a PhD. She continued her studies at the Marmara University in Istanbul in which she majored in Communication Studies. She has published numerous articles on the topic of cinema in several periodicals and newspapers. Furthermore, she has organized workshops for children and joined a collective short animation known as “Berkinimiz”. Currently, she is an editor and writer for the “Yeni Film Magazine” and has contributed books, such as “Third Cinema and Third World Cinema” and “Turkish Cinema in 80’s”.

Hamed Soleimanzadeh


Teheran, Iran

Hamed Soleimanzadeh is an executive film researcher for Farabi Cinema Foundation. He studied Mathematics in Mashad, Play Directing in Tabriz and Dramatic Literature in Tehran. He completed his studies with a PhD in Art Research and Film Studies at the Nazar Research Center for Art, Architecture and Urbanism in Tehran. Now he holds workshops and seminars on the topic of cinema and has also written several articles for the online-portal “Irancinemaonline”. Furthermore, he is a programmer for the International Film Festival for Children and Youth (ICFF) in Iran.

Holger Twele


Rogau, Germany

Holger Twele successfully completed his Masters in Literature and Theater Studies as well as in Psychology and Philosophy in Erlangen. Since then, he has been a freelance journalist for multiple papers, journals, and websites. Initially, he worked in Nuremberg for municipal film works and as a lecturer on film for the German Federal Agency for Political Education until 2007. He led the online version of children and youth correspondence in the years 2008 to 2014 and has been working for the Federal Association of Youth and Film e.V. and the German Centre for Children’s and Youth Film.

Jury of the European Children’s Film Association (ECFA)


Sebastian Grobler


Lemgo, Germany

Sebastian Grobler is a film director, producer and professor for film and has directed eight feature films and 80 episodes of TV series. After teaching assigments at the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg and the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapur he holds currently a professorship for film at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts Ostwestfalen-Lippe. Inspired by his own experiences as a director Sebastian Grobler started in 2016 an international research project about child actors.

Xiaojuan Zhou


Montréal, Kanada

Xiaojuan Zhou is President of Attraction Distribution (aka Delphis Films) and Executive Producer of Attraction Kids. She has obtained two master’s degrees from China and Canada in media studies. Over two decades she was instrumental in raising Attraction Distribution to a position of world leadership in high quality and award-winning family films and kids entertainment. This gave her company the reputation of the “the UN of independent family films”.

Marjo Kovanen


Helsinki, Finland

Marjo Kovanen works as a senior specialist at Koulukin-Skolbio. The organisation promotes film-education in Finnish schools, film screenings for children and young people in cinemas during the school and it organises also training courses and produces pedagogical materials. Marjo Kovanen is also a chair of the Finnish Society for Cinema Studies and a vice chair of the Finnish Society on Media Education.

Cosima Stracke-Nawka


Bautzen, Leipzig, Germany

The film and drama expert Cosima Stracke-Nawka was dramaturge and director at the Deutsch-Sorbisches Volkstheater (German-Sorbian Popular Theatre) until 1991. Between 1992 and June 2020, she was a consultant for youth media protection and film funding at the Saxon State Agency of Private Broadcasting and New Media (SLM). She is a member of the allocation committee of the MDM and FSK assessor. Since 2015, she has been spokesperson of the Sorbian-German Filmmaker’s Network Łužycafilm.

Ecumenical Jury


Anna-Maria Kégl


Witten, Germany

Anna-Maria Kégl is a Master’s student in PPE (Philosophy, Politics, Economics) at the University of Witten/Herdecke. Previously she graduated with a BA degree in Theatre, Film and Media Studies from the University of Vienna. During the Ministrant Pilgrimage in Rome 2018 she was supporting the (inter)national team and supervising the app “goRome!”. Additinally she was a volunteer of the organisation Misión Maya in Mexico and the summer camp of the Order of Malta in Lebanon.

Dr. Josef Nagel


Erlangen, Germany

Dr. Josef Nagel studied Theatre, Film, TV, German Literature and Sociology. He is a freelance journalist since 1978. Furthermore, he is an editor of the Feature Film Department at “Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen”, member of the German Association for Film Critics, member of the advisory board at Deutsches Filminstitut & Filmmuseum. Additionaly, he was a member of several juries on different film festivals.

Eleonore Sladeck


Leipzig, Germany

Eleonore Sladeck is a media pedagogue and film critic. Furthermore, she is board member of the Filmschule Leipzig e.V. and supervisor of the children and youth jury at DOKLeipzig. Additionally, she is Film reviewer at the FSK in Wiesbaden and former honorary telephone counsellor. Moreover, she was multiple member of the Ecumentical Jury in Leipzig, Berlin, Oberhausen and Mannheim.