Jury International Feature Film
Giacomo Abbruzzese’s films combine the passion for visual experiments with a passion for storytelling, the eye for decrepit political structures with a sympathy for those who elude them in subversive ways. The born Apulian studied at the Art Academy Le Fresnoy. His films were shown at many of the most renowned festivals: Clermont-Ferrand, Oberhausen, the Viennale, IndieLisboa or Premiers Plans d‘Angers. His feature film debut Disco Boy was chosen for the writing workshop of the Cinéfondation in Cannes. Two years ago, he was a guest at LICHTER with his short film Stella Maris, this year, Fame can be seen as part of the International Shortfilm-Roll II.
Uri Aviv is the founder and general director of the Utopia non-profit association and its namesake festival, which groups together the Tel-Aviv International Film Festival for Fantastic Film, and a program of events and creative projects titled Science, Imagination and Future Visions, which include academic and professional conferences, public talks, creative workshops, art exhibits and more. Aviv is also curator of the digital program for Copro, Israel’s Documentary & Animation Marketing Foundation, film coordinator at Israel’s Ministry of Culture project Culture to the Periphery and consultant at B3, the Frankfurt Biennial of the Moving Image, focusing on digital, tech, design, and media innovation. Aviv’s primary interests are the fantastic genres, science fiction film and speculative thought, science communication and the intersection, influence and inspiration between science, technology, art and society.
After winning the Audience Award at the 10th LICHTER Film Festival Frankfurt International 2017 with Ghostland – The View of the Ju/’Hoansi, we are excited to be able to welcome him as a jury member this year. Simon Stadler studied Historical Ethnology at the Goethe University Frankfurt, and the influence of his studies can be sensed in his films as well. He initially worked on TV productions of Sat 1 and ZDF as well as on Bolivian productions. In 1997, he founded the production company Cameleon Film GbR with Ivo Fuchs in Frankfurt. Since then, Stadler has made numerous films as camera operator and director - particularly documentaries – for, among others, ZDF, 3Sat and the big screen.
Jury Regional Feature Films
Since 1990, Uwe B. Carstensen has been the head of S. Fischer Theater und Medien Verlag, where he is also the editor of the series Theater Theater. Before that, he worked as a dramaturg at the Bayerisches Staatsschauspiel in Munich (Bavarian State Theatre). There, he worked with Herbert Achternbusch, Ingmar Bergman, Wally Bockmayer and Werner Schroeter, among others. Carstensen has held teaching positions in the past and currently teaches at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Frankfurt (Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts).
At not even 30 years old, Carolin Weidner is one of the most prominent film critics of the new generation. Weidner studied film studies and journalism in Berlin. She writes, amongst others, for the taz, Spiegel Online and the Cargo. In addition to her journalistic work, she participated in the critics jury of various renowned festivals such as the International Film Festival Rotterdam or the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen. Since 2017, she has been a member of the DOK Leipzig's selection committee and a board member of the Association of German film critics (VDFK).
Julia Zange gives to German film what it lacks all too often: intelligence paired with artistic talent and style, as well as openness and an eagerness to experiment. She portrayed the protagonist in not one but two of the most exciting films of the past few months: Irene von Albertis’ Der Lange Sommer der Theorie (The Long Summer of Theory) and Philip Groenings Mein Bruder heißt Robert und ist ein Idiot (My Brother’s Name is Robert and He is an Idiot). Before mixing up German cinema, she studied Social- and Business Communications and wrote two much discussed novels. She also regularly organises the event series Dead Poets Society at the Soho House Berlin. She has a dog and lives and works in Berlin. Hopefully, we will hear a lot more about Julia Zange in the future.
Jury Regional Short Films
At the tender age of eleven, Andreas Heidenreich started his film and cinema career at the Youth Film Club Reutlingen – the beginning of a great passion. His next stops were the Student Film Club at the TU Darmstadt, the municipal cinema in Weiterstadt, as well as the local open-air festival. At present, he is part of numerous film festivals in the Rhine-Main Area: the Nippon Connection, the exground filmfest, and the goEast Festival. Since 2000, he has been active at the film archive of the German Film Institute in Wiesbaden and responsible for the programming of the Caligari Filmbühne. He is the chairman of the Bundesverband Kommunale Filmarbeit and a member of the German Federal Film Board’s and Cinema Commission’s administrative council.
In her work as director, film author and producer, Lilo Mangelsdorff has specialized in documentary and experimental film. Her projects are produced by her production company Cinetix GmbH, founded in 1983 with her colleague Wolfgang Schlemmert. She is not an unknown at LICHTER anymore: two of the films she produced, have been shown in the regional competition in the last few years. In 2014, she was represented by Wenn Pferde träumen (When Horses dream) and in 2016 by Unterwegs in der Musik – die Komponistin Barbara Heller (On the go with Music – the composer Barbara Heller). Wenn Pferde träumen won both the first place and the cinema price at the Choreographic Captures competition. She lives and works in Frankfurt am Main.
Jury VR Storytelling
Since February 2017, Eckart Köberich has been Head of VR at ZDF Digital. From late 2014 to January 2017, he managed the 360° and VR development project for ZDF. During this time, more than thirty 360° productions and platforms for IOS, Android, Google Daydream and the web platform vr.zdf.de were realized. The VR Unit at ZDF Digital, which was set up in 2016, produces 360° films and interactive Virtual Reality applications. Moreover, it involves and actively promotes the exploration of the new medium of VR. In 2017, he was also a jury member and curator of the VR Storytelling contest, the VR Conference and VR Trade Fair at LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International.
Philipp Mehler studied Theatre, Film and Media Studies in Frankfurt. In addition to his work as a project manager at the Filmhaus Frankfurt, he did freelance work as a journalist, media educator and filmmaker. As an early enthusiast of VR, this longstanding member of LICHTER is once again taking the lead on the VR-section of the festival.
Tomislav Bezmalinović studied philosophy and literature in Basel and works as a freelance journalist. He's a co-editor of the German online magazine VRODO, which covers the development of Virtual and Augmented Reality.
Vanessa Kincaid is a founding member and the Chief Brand Officer at Littlstar, the largest global platform dedicated to immersive virtual and augmented reality content. The platform allows consumers to discover, watch, and share content on all major virtual reality headsets, native mobile iOS and Android, Apple TV and Android TV, and the web. Littlstar’s proprietary technology distributes immersive content from global brands such as Disney, Sony, ABC, NBC, Fox, Universal, Showtime, A+E Networks, Syfy, Sony, Discovery VR, National Geographic, and more. Prior to building Littlstar, Vanessa was the Design Director at DKNY and Partner at Basta Studio – a New York based design studio & consultancy firm.
Jury LICHTER Art Award
Stefanie Böttcher is an art historian and curator. Since 2015, she has been the director of Kunsthalle Mainz, where she curated among others a solo exhibition with Lebanese artist Rabih Mroué and the duo show Daniel Buren & Bettina Pousttchi. 2017 she was the curator of the Icelandic Pavilion at La Biennale di Venezia. She worked as artistic director of the Künstlerhaus Bremen from 2007 until 2013, where she gave young international artists such as Lara Almarcegui, Ahmet Öğüt or Kateřina Šedá their first solo shows in Germany. In 2013, the Goethe-Institute awarded her a curatorial research stipend for Serbia, and the same year she co-curated the group exhibition 8 Ways to Overcome Space and Time at the Museum of Contemporary Art Belgrade.
Since July 2016 Sergey Harutoonian is the Deputy Head of Collection of the MMK Museum of Modern Art in Frankfurt am Main, where he is currently in charge of the collection presentation of the MMK and exhibitions on young, emerging artists. Prior to that he was involved as a freelance art historian in various art exhibition projects in Frankfurt am Main.
Saul Judd is an independent curator based in Frankfurt, Germany. Since 2010 he is responsible for the video art section of the LICHTER Filmfest Frankfurt International. He conceived exhibitions with artists such as Keren Cytter and Mike Bouchet in the context of the festival until he created the LICHTER Art Award in 2011. He started to curate the LICHTER Short Films International program in 2015. Among his project BLANK SLATE a publication about art, architecture and design he started in 2016 with SCHAUT! - a series of exhibitions of contemporary art film and video art at the MAL SEH’N movie theater in Frankfurt. In 2017 he presented the artist John Skoog as a guest curator for Double Feature at Schirn Kunsthalle.