APD Conference

4th May 2022, 13:45 – 17:30 (CEST)
L-Bank Rotunde & Online Livestream


13:45 – 14:00 Welcome
14:00 – 15:30 ENABLE
15:30 – 16:00 Networking Coffee
16:00 – 17:30 Content Briefing Session

All registered APD participants (onsite or online) can attend the APD Conference.
In addition, the event will be accessible via live stream to all ITFS industry accredited participants (with ONLINE PRO, HYBRID or FMX-Comi-Ticket).

The event will be held in English.

13:45 – 14:00
Welcome with greetings from

Carl Bergengruen
CEO, MFG Film Funding

Marlene Wagener
Head of Animation
Production Days

14:00 – 15:30
ENABLE! Case Studies and Market Trends


The first part of the conference will encompass three key topics facing the industry: from the new financing and distribution strategies for European animated films, through the potential of new technologies for animation production, to improving the social and environmental sustainability of the industry.

Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull
Director & producer, HaZimation

Hasraf ‘HaZ’ Dulull, who is also FMX Program Chair this year, will talk about the profound impact that new technologies such as real-time engines are having on the creation of animated feature films and series and what this means for the future of the industry. He will also take us behind the scenes on his current animated feature film – RIFT as a case study showing how real-time technology has enabled him and his team at HaZimation to pull off this high concept project.

HaZ started his career in video games before moving into visual effects, and then later transitioning over to directing and producing with his breakout feature film THE BEYOND. The indie Sci-Fi film was released in 2018 and was number 2 in the iTunes Charts before being licensed on Netflix and turning into a profitable movie. His second feature film 2036 ORIGIN UNKNOWN starring Katee Sackhoff (Battlestar Galactica, The Mandalorian) earned a limited theatrical release before landing on Netflix. He was then hired by Disney to helm the pilot for action comedy series FAST LAYNE, where he also served as EP/Creative Consultant on the entire series. HaZ is the co-founder of production company HaZ-Film, producing feature films, TV and video games based on their proprietary pipeline utilizing Unreal Engine.

Emely Christians
CEO, Ulysses Filmproduktion

Emely Christians has specialized on the production of international animated feature films. Her latest film, The Amazing Maurice, based on the book by Terry Pratchett, is directed by Toby Genkel and Florian Westermann and will be released by Sky Cinema and Telepool. Emely Christians will talk about the planning, financing and realisation of the German-British co-production and will give us her view on what to look out for when developing an international IP into an animated feature film and how a shared vision benefits international co-productions from the start to final distribution.

Producer Emely Christians has been Managing Director of Ulysses Filmproduktion, one of the most active European producers of high-quality and commercially successful animated feature films, since 2006. In 2016, Emely Christians was named “European Producer of the Year“ for Ooops! Noah is gone… by the Cartoon Media Association. Most recently she received the Bavarian Film Prize 2018 in the category “Best Youth Film“ for Richard, the Stork. In 2015, Emely Christians and her team released the internationally successful co-production Ooops! Noah is gone… (“Two by Two”). Part two of this turbulent adventure, Ooops!2 (“Two by Two – Overboard”) was shown in cinemas worldwide in 2020. Emely Christians is currently producing her twelfth feature film, the Terry Pratchett adaptation The Amazing Maurice, written by Terry Rossio (Shrek). Also in production is Butterfly Tale, a co-production with Canada.

Tom Box
Co-founder & joint managing director, Blue Zoo Animation Studio

Blue Zoo Animation Studio is a multi Emmy and BAFTA-winning production company that has grown to become one of the UK’s leading & largest animation studios. Co-Founder Tom Box will explain what motivated him to enter his company into the meticulous B Corp certification process and why he thinks that this is the best way to bring a company into the future of ethical filmmaking, stressing the power of animation to contribute to a more diverse, balanced, ecological industry. Blue Zoo is striving to pave the way for a new way of doing things and believes that for-profit business can be a force for good.

Tom Box is co-founder and joint managing director of Blue Zoo Animation Studio which gained B-Corp certification in 2021. He has been the driving force behind continuing to push the studio forwards, both technically and culturally. Tom is also very active with skills and future talent development, acting as Chair of the ScreenSkills Animation Skills Council, NextGen Skills Academy, Manchester Animation Festival and is a founding director of ACCESS:VFX.

16:00 – 17:30
Content Briefing Session


In the APD Content Briefing Session, four representatives of major broadcasters and SVoD platforms will present their current programming needs and future programming strategies. Four individual interviews followed by a joint panel will focus on what animation content is currently being sought after, whether and how the pandemic has changed programming strategies and what this means for the animation industry.


Stefan Pfäffle
Head of Fiction at KiKA

Studies of German Literature and Drama at Freie Universität Berlin. Lector, drama adviser and script editor for different TV channels and Production Companies (Sat.1, RTL, BojeBuck, Road Movies, ndF, et al.) TV Editor at KiKA since 2003. Deputy Head of Fiction from 2008 until March 2022. Head of Fiction since April 2022. Editorial responsibility on shows like Yakari (animation series), Mascha und der Bär (animation series), Animanimals (animation series) and Feature Films of the TV series KRIMI.DE (TV movies) as well as Feature Films out of the initiative Der besondere Kinderfilm (Theatrical movies). Teaching at Master School Drehbuch (Berlin) and Akademie für Kindermedien, lectures at Universität Erfurt (Seminar für Medien- und Kommunikationswissenschaft) and Technischen Universität Ilmenau (Medienmanagement II).

Zia Bales
Lead Acquisitions, Partnerships and Coproductions Kids & Family, WarnerMedia EMEA

Zia Bales is Lead Acquisitions, Partnerships & Coproductions WarnerMedia Kids & Family EMEA, working across Cartoon Network, Boomerang, Boing, Cartoonito, Toonami, Toonix and HBO Max Kids & Family.

In this role, Zia oversees and negotiates shared acquisitions for the EMEA kids’ business, working closely with the local heads of programming and acquisitions of each of the channels and the content heads within EMEA. In addition, Zia works closely with production and coproduction partners to provide creative consultation throughout the development and production of select series, including Taffy, an original series for Boomerang with Cyber Group, Mush Mush and the Mushables from La Cabane, Thuristar and CAKE and Ninja Express with Eone.
Zia joined Turner in 2013. Prior to this she held an Acquisitions role at Disney. Zia has a background in Television Production having held various positions in Production Management.


Kerstin Viehbach
Head of Commissioning & Development (Fiction), SUPER RTL

Kerstin Viehbach studied Theater-, Film- and TV-Sciences at Ruhr-Universität Bochum. Before she joined SUPER RTL in 1999, she worked in various theatre-, film- and television productions.
For over 20 years now Kerstin has been working at SUPER RTL and still finds it anything but boring. As head of the commissioning & development department, she and her team search for the greatest fictional series for children between 3 and 13.
In this role, Kerstin is also responsible for the co-development of formats, such as the Toggolino series – around the character of SUPER RTL‘s preschool umbrella brand. Previously, as a producer, she developed and realized non-fictional shows and magazine programs for children such as “Jetzt redet ihr!”, TOGGO TV, TOGGO Total, Super Toy Club. Kerstin maintains a good relationship with her inner child and believes it is important to never forget who your audience is.


Morten Skov Hansen
Head of Children at DR (Danish Broadcasting Corporation)

Morten Skov is head of DR’s kids offer incl. DR’s newly announced animation strategy. DR has three public service kids brands Minisjang, Ramasjang and Ultra covering the age of 1 to 14 years old kids. Morten came to DR in 2017 from a position as Nordic Director of Kids Programming for Cartoon Network and Boomerang.