Speakers & Special Guests

Dennis Albrecht

Dennis Albrecht, born 1972 in Berlin (West). House-painter, tank driver, techno DJ. Then going to the autodidactic film school of life and passing all departments of a film and TV production. Gaffer, scriptwriter, director of music clips, advertisement and image films, and now independent serial maker with great idealism. His dogma is: "Turn away from the market and no longer produce films and series for analyzed target groups or anxious TV channels. But do it for you. First of all for you!"

Joël Bassaget

Joël Bassaget lives in Berlin and is a TV writer since 1990. In 2014 he created the blog "Web Séries Mag" for the French paper "Liberation" online edition where he reviews web series from all over the world. He is also founder of the „Web Series World Cup“ and a freelance consultant for advising and assisting producers and networks on digital content.

Dipu Bhattacharya

A technical writer by day, Dipu Bhattacharya spent his free time on indie film projects such as comedy "One Eye Peeled" and documentary "Six Man, Texas" before he and Tom Chamberlain created "The Pantsless Detective". The writer, director and editor of Season 3, which won "Best Comedy" at Kwebfest (South Korea), Second Place at "Wendie Webfest Hamburg", and "Best Spoof Comedy" at "Miami Web Fest", Bhattacharya wears many hats in front of and behind the camera. He has won awards for writing, editing, and directing the comedy noir series, with nominations ranging from best visual effects to best supporting actor. The series also finished in the "Web Series World Cup" top 10 in 2015 and 2016.

Cristiano Bolla

Born in Brescia in 1991, he graduated in Science and Technology of Arts and Spectacle (Cinema curriculum at UCSC of Brescia) and has two Master's Degrees, one in Screenwriting and Dramaturgy at ANAD Silvio d'Amico of Rome and one in Web Marketing for the Cinema. His dedication to the digital series world is divided into three branches: since September 2015, he started to work with Chiara Bressa and her Italian blog World Wide Webseries, serving as editor and correspondent at the webfests around the world; he works also for Riccardo Cannella and his Cinnamon Production: he's General Coordinator and Social Media Manager of the Sicily Web Fest since the second edition, he's Executive Producer and co-screenwriter of the series "Hidden" and Cannella's first assistant for his new series "Anachronisme".

Meredith Burkholder

Based in Berlin, Germany, Meredith Burkholder began her career in New York City as a freelance commercial photography producer and production manager for television – a graduate of Boston University, she worked in nearly every major market across the United States for 10 years. She has worked alongside industry leading advertising agencies, production companies, and photographers on national campaigns for clients including American Express, Johnson & Johnson, Wal-Mart, Nestle, and Exxon Mobil – her television credits include projects for Lifetime, MTV, VH1, Oxygen, and the Food Network. In 2011, she and Lucas Fortes DaSilva founded the Marketing and Production company, "Et Tu Tableau". In 2015 she founded the first international digital series festival in Germany – "Webfest Berlin". The third edition of Webfest Berlin will take place on September 8-9, 2017.

Riccardo Cannella

Grown up on the island of Ustica, after working in different cinematographic productions, in 2012 Riccardo Cannella decided to use up all of his savings to auto produce the series "Run Away", which received numerous national and international acknowledgments, amongst others the award for the best direction at the "Rome Web Fest", at "LA Web Fest" and at Festival IMMaginario in Perugia. Along with the new series "Web Horror Story", "Run Away" was chosen for distribution by Canal+. In 2015 he created the "Sicily Web Fest", one of the most appreciated and famous webfests in the world, based in Ustica. His third web series "Hidden" was released in September 2016 and, in April 2017, he started working on "Anachronisme", a series produced along with the "Sicilia Film Commission" and MIBACT, winner of a national call for projects.

Susan E. Clarke

Susan E. Clarke is the Europian Correspondent for "Webvee Guide", a web magazine devoted to finding and promoting quality streaming content through reviews, interviews and web fest coverage. Coming from a creator's background, Susan also produced the multi-award winning long-form sci-fi series, "Chronicles of Syntax".

Rose of Dolls, Ph.D.

Rose of Dolls (Rocío de las Muñecas) is a Phd in Social Communication, specifically in the area of digital entertainment with her Cum Laude Thesis titled "Webseries: The Audiovisual (R)evolution". She is also a producer, director and actress, with over 20 worldwide laurels for different productions, in particular, the multi-award-winning "Gifted Corporation". Together with Oliver Mend, she founded the "Bilbao Web Fest" & Market, dedicated to highlighting and awarding the leading digital contents and to the pitch, production and distribution of the short formats.

Nicole Fornoff

Nicole Fornoff is an actress, writer and producer from the Forest of Odes. Before her film career, she worked many years as a nurse, an experience that had a profound and lasting effect on her, changed her view of the world and shaped the authenticity of her film subjects and characters. She went to Berlin and graduated successfully at “Schauspielschule Charlottenburg” acting school in 2009. She wrote the web series “Emmas Welt”, played the leading role in it and in 2015 the series won the award for the best German web series. In 2016 she was awarded with “Best Actress” at the “Dub Web Fest” in Dublin and at the “Sicily Web Fest” in Ustica, Italy, also got various international nominations and played several roles on TV.

Otessa Ghadar

Otessa Ghadar is a digital storyteller who uses writing, filmmaking, and technology to share her narratives and build communities. As an early adopter and creator of the web series format, since 2006, Otessa’s web series "Orange Juice in Bishop’s Garden" is now the longest continually running show online, with an international audience in over 150 countries & 3-time Webby Honoree amongst other awards. From these experiences, Otessa founded the "DC Web Fest" (now in its 6th year) out of the need for digital content creators to showcase their works, inspiring creativity and innovation. As a professor, Otessa uses her passions to guide the next generation of digital storytellers, through all mediums. As an inaugural Google Next Generation Policy leader, Otessa works diligently to increase technology awareness and innovation among minority and marginalized communities.

Franziska Gruber

Franziska Gruber, born in 1986, holds a B.A. in "Media and Communication" and a M.A. in "Children's and Youth Media" and lives as a freelance TV author & producer in Munich. She has been part of the iam.serafina team since season 1, and is responsible for production preparation, casting, unit management and, in season 2, also worked as assistant director.

Prof. Dr. Malte Hagener

Malte Hagener is a professor for media studies with a focus on the history, aesthetics, and theory of film at the Philipps-Universität Marburg. Research focus: film and media history, media archeology, film theory, media education. Publications as author: Introduction into Film Theory (with Thomas Elsaesser), Hamburg 2007 (translations into Italian, English, French, Korean, Lithuanian, Polish, Spanish); Moving Forward, Looking Back. The European Avant-garde and the Invention of Film Culture, 1919-1939, Amsterdam, 2007; as (co-)editor Media Culture and Education. Aesthetic Education in the Age of Digital Networks, Frankfurt 2015 (with Vinzenz Hediger); The State of Post-Cinema, Basingstoke 2016 (with Vinzenz Hediger, Alena Strohmaier); Empathy in Film, Bielefeld 2017 (with Ingrid Vendrell Ferran).

Nina Heinrich

Nina Heinrich grew up in Berlin and Hamburg. She studied „Cultural Science and Aesthetic Practice“ in Hildesheim, „Cultural Management“ in Vilnius, and „Culture, Arts and Media“ in Lüneburg. After working for the International Film Festival Oldenburg and organizing the „Deutschsprachige Filmtage“ (german-language film festival) of Goethe Institute Vilnius, she moved back to Hamburg and joined with creatives as Reclaimed Marshland for concepting, writing and producing web series content. In 2016, she founded the „Wendie Webfest Hamburg“ with Reclaimed Marshland. The project received the award „Kultur- und Kreativpiloten 2016“ by the Federal Government. She is also the founder and chief editor of the online medium „Zaungast Magazin“.

Nora C. Hiller

Nora C. Hiller works as Creative Producer at “funk“ in Mainz, Germany. She is responsible for the areas development, supervision and approval of fictional and non-fictional web-video-content (e.g. Girl Cave, Der Wedding kommt, Auf Klo, janasdiary, Kostas Kind, Dillan White, PopDate).

Marian Kaiser

Marian Kaiser is a cultural scholar, media theorist and author. He studied Cultural Studies, Literature, Film, Philosophy and South East Asian Studies at Humboldt University in Berlin and has, among other topics, published on the history and theory of digital film. He also works as a film author, dramaturg and project manager somewhere in between university, film, culture and art. Together with Emma Simon and Robert Bohrer, he won the Bavarian Documentary Film Competition for the script Horizonte Perdido. In cooperation with Dimitri Kaufman, he runs The Category, a scriptorium for the 21st century.

Young Man Kang

Young Man Kang directed five feature films and three web series. All feature films have been released on DVD in the US, and have sold in 15 countries. He has a total of 11 awards from a number of film festivals and webfests. Young Man Kang collaborated with fellow film "Avatar" alumni, Just Cause 3D, on his "4D Experience" Project. He is founder and executive director of the "Seoul Webfest", the only web series festival in Asia.

Kaye Kittrell

Kaye Kittrell is a Los Angeles-based actress who created “Late Bloomer,” an urban garden web show in 2012, to chronicle her development as an urban food grower. Having previously written and directed short films, Kaye assembled an all-female post-production team of three to help realize her vision, to inspire anyone to grow their own food. In charge of all aspects of production and social media, Kaye just completed her fifth season, with 100 episodes on YouTube. “Late Bloomer” won Best Reality Series at Vancouver Web Fest 2017 and Best Edutainment Series at Miami Web Fest in 2015.

Suzette Laqua

Suzette Laqua, Executive Director and Founder of "Vancouver Web Fest", is an Entrepreneur, Executive Producer, Producer and Writer of TV, Digital Series and Short Films. A graduate of "Simon Fraser University", she has had a number of successful businesses. Suzette has also given back to the community as a Volunteer Mentor with PLEA – KidStart; working with teenage girls at risk in the Vancouver area since 2003. By bringing Vancouver, Canada and the world an international festival & conference that honours international digital content, Suzette has created opportunities that has proven invaluable for content creators, buyers and distributors.

Sara Mauleón

Sara Mauleón (1994), a passionate creator and storyteller, studied Media and Communication at the University of The Basque Country. She found her passion since she was part of the Youth Jury of the San Sebastian's 61st International Film Festival in 2013. A year after, she establishes the company "Shyncrica Producciones" with whom she produces the webseries “About the New”. In 2016, her first documentary “Entre Dos mundos - Bē viśvōnī vaccē” was selected for the International Cine Invisible Film Festival of Bilbao. That same year, “About the New” took part in the "Bilbao Web Fest" in the section of ‘Trailer and Basque’.

Oliver Mend

Oliver Mend is one of the most talented and active directors of his generation and has been the director of "Happylatex Productions" for 9 years. He has directed over 20 productions and collaborated in about 50 different productions including short films, features, advertisements, and new media, winning multiple awards and being nominated worldwide. He is also the co-founder and content director of the "Bilbao Web Fest". His project “Gifted Corporation” has won 20 awards at international festivals and over 50 nominations worldwide. As an actor, he has also been nominated in several competitions, being the perfect villain.

Thomas Meudt

Thomas Meudt was born in 1988 in Frankfurt am Main and already started writing lyrics and composing music at the age of 12. From then on he played the piano and drums in diverse bands. After Abitur he studied Digital Media with focus on sound and his main area became songwriting, lyrics, music production and marketing.

In his Master the focus was on audiovisual productions and the work on set-sound, Sound Design and Film Score. He worked on several projects together with his future series colleagues and affiliates - with whom he realized the series "MEM" in 2012 and the company "Tag & Nacht Media" in 2013.

Atsushi Ogata

Born in Japan and raised partly in the U.S., Atsushi Ogata has worked in the U.S., Holland, Germany and Japan as a screenwriter, film director, web series creator, video artist and an actor/comedian. Graduate of Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Ogata’s art videos have been presented world-wide. His screenplays received funding in Germany and Holland, and he appeared weekly as a comedian on Dutch TV. His comedy feature “Cast Me If You Can” was released theatrically and screened in airlines and on TV. Ogata expanded into web series with “Trick or Treat: I LOVE America!” and “Yukata Cowboy.”

George Reese

George Reese is an entrepreneur, author, and filmmaker. A graduate in Philosophy from "Bates College", his early career began in television before taking a detour in technology. As a technologist, he wrote several books and became an entrepreneur. After leaving "Dell", Mr. Reese returned to television and film as a writer, producer, and director. He currently has two short films — "Reconquista" and "Therapy for the unlawful" — in the film festival circuit. His most recent start-up is "Seeka TV". At "Seeka TV", he is the VP of Programming with the job of bringing the best web series onto this innovative platform.

Anne Santa Maria

Anne Santa Maria begun her career as Commissioning Editor within TF1 French Drama division and as Producer and Editorial Executive of TF1 Productions, she joined "Fremantlemedia Group" in 2006 as Head of Drama France. In 2011 she created her own label: "Taronja Prod" (Newen Group) and founded the young talents incubator: "Telfrance Network". She produced prime time fiction and digital series such as “Osmosis”, a multi awards web series winner with 12 prizes and 42 nominations worldwide. She is now working freelance as a consultant, producer and sales agent. Anne Santa Maria was the Conference Speaker of the Digital short form Pitch Kids and Drama for the MIPTV 2017.

Marc Schießer

Marc Schießer was born in Wuppertal in 1986 and has already made his own short films at the age of 13. After finishing highschool, he worked as a producer and cinematographer of fashion films as well as as a media pedagogical leader in the renowned Media Project Wuppertal. From 2014 to 2016, he collaborated with Marcel Becker-Neu on the fiction YouTube channel "vivi&denny". Since 2016, he is Managing Director of "Outside the Club GmbH" and author, director and producer of the mystery series "Wishlist".

Martha Sigargök-Martin

Martha Sigargök-Martin, filmmaker and blogger, was born in France in 1981 and moved to Germany 16 years ago. She studied History and German Linguistics in Göttingen, Rostock, and Hamburg. In addition to her jobs and internships in several fields like cultural institutions, translation, and media, she followed her passion for storytelling through books, films, and series. She founded “Martha’s Festival Corner“ in October 2016, a blog with features and reviews about films, as well as her own festival documentaries. In future, “Martha’s Festival Corner“ will become a Video on Demand platform for film festivals. She currently writes a science fiction novel.

Christian Stadach

Already during his studies, Christian Stadach worked as Motion Graphics and Compositing Artist for Pixomondo on projects like "Hugo Cabret", "Game of Thrones", "After Earth" and diverse advertising campaigns. Besides his passion for visual post-production, Christian focusses on directing own projects, like the web series "MEM" and also projects in his own company "Tag & Nacht Media", he founded together with Thomas Meudt and Stephan Zimmermann in Darmstadt.

Lucie Tournant

Lucie Tournant is a French director, writer and actress. Born with a passion for creative arts, she first started in a local improv and drama class. Then, she enrolled in the Ecole Périmony drama school in Paris. After taking classes at The Promenade Playhouse Santa Monica, Los Angeles, she decided to take cinema classes with Jérôme Genevray in Paris and starred in different plays and film projects. She then decided to embrace her independent streak and create, direct and star in her own web series “Weakness” that was recently awarded at "LAWEBFEST" 2017.

Carlos Vin Lopes

Carlos Vin Lopes is a film director, writer, graphic designer and one of the founders of the film production company "The Worldrooms" based in Berlin. He finished a master degree in Visual Communication at Kunsthochschule Berlin Weißensee (Germany). He directed and wrote a Short Film Trilogy - “Smile, Mirror” (2015), “Sweet Water of Memory” (2016) and “Strawberry Jam” (2017). And he created the web series “Blind Data”. Carlos with his production company team created music videos, documentaries, animations, shorts and web series. Currently he is in pre and post production with some new projects for this year.

Caris Vujcec

Caris Vujcec is an actress, writer, producer and director based in New York City. She is best known for her role in "P.S. I Love You", and her recurring role of Detective Campesi on "Law & Order". Caris created, wrote, executive produced, co-directed and leads the cast of "The Pepper Project", a "new female-centered sexy badass series.” Awards: Starlet Amets Otsoa, Best Actress, 2016 "Bilbao Web Fest"; Best Suspense/Thriller, 2016 "Miami Web Fest"; and numerous Industry Awards. She received an MFA in Acting and Directing from the University of Missouri-Kansas City, is an active member of New York Women in Film and Television, the ITVFest Creative Network, and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Film at CUNY Hostos in the Bronx.

Ula Zawadzka

Ula Zawadzka is an actress, director, scriptwriter, producer, and creator of the awarded web series “Talking to Grandma”, which premiered at the "New Media Film Festival" in Los Angeles. Ula broadened her skills and expertise during the “Comic toolbox: writing comedy for television & film” masterclass conducted by John Vorhaus and assistant-director workshops at Multi Art Academy in Poland. She also participated at a production seminar organized by TVP National Polish Television. Currently, she continues her studies as a commercial director. Hopes to be granted the rights to adapt a book into a new web series and shoot it around the world.

Stephan Zimmermann

Stephan Zimmermann studied Digital Media, with focus on sound at Hochschule Darmstadt. In master course Media Direction, he focused also on conception and film production. In 2013 he realized the internationally awarded web series "MEM" together with his colleagues Christian and Thomas. Together they founded the Media Production Company "Tag & Nacht Media". Stephan is working as an Author and in the fields of Conception, Film & Music Production and Sound Design.

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