APD Conference: “New Voices – New Stories”

Wedneday, 26th April, 13:45 – 17:15
L-Bank Rotunde

Hosts: Prof Lilian Klages & Christophe Erbès, APD Curators

One of the most challenging tasks currently facing the media industry is how to better reflect the diversity of society in terms of content and, accordingly, to design initiatives to promote young talents in such a way that as diverse a range of voices as possible can contribute their ideas and views. How can this be achieved? What can be done to address the ever-growing shortage of skilled workers? And what are the most promising approaches in relation to the animation industry – ones that are really making a difference? At this year’s APD Conference, speakers from local companies and global industry players are presenting best-practice examples, initiatives and programmes from Europe, Africa and North America which have the common goal of giving new artistic voices greater visibility and supporting young talents on their paths to professionalisation.

The event is open to FMX, ITFS & APD accredited attendees. It will also be recorded and will be available as VoD to all APD accredited participants. The event will be held in English.


13:45 – 14:00 Welcome
14:00 – 15:30 Conference Part 1
15:30 – 16:00 Networking Coffee
16:00 – 17:15 Conference Part 2

13:45 – 14:00


Carl Bergengruen, CEO of Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg (MFG)
Marlene Wagener, Head of Animation Production Days

14:00 – 15:30

Conference Part 1

Introductory Discussion about this year’s conference topic with Julie Ann Crommett, Founder and CEO of Collective Moxie.

Julie Ann Crommett
Founder and CEO of Collective Moxie


Case Study 1
From Film School to Industry with “Ich kenne ein Tier / I know an animal” – A Launchpad for Young Animators

Professor Andreas Hykade, Head of Animation Directing at the Animation Institute of the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg and a renowned animation director, and Benjamin Manns, Chief Commissioning Editor for Children and Family at SWR, will talk about their cooperation on the development and realisation of the animated TV series “Ich kenne ein Tier / I know an animal”. This series was initiated with the aim of giving alumni from the Animation Institute the chance to present their own artistic voices and enable them to create and produce an enduring IP.


Benjamin Manns
Producer and Commissioning Editor
Südwestrundfunk (SWR)

Prof Andreas Hykade
Head of Animation Directing
Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg


Case Study 2
“Team Nuggets” – A Danish Quick Starter

Can new voices come from new collaborations? When DR decided to boost Denmark’s national animation production with a call for new projects, Irene Sparre pitched an original idea with a different look for 6-to-8-year-olds from an innovative creator duo and… won the pitch. To push their global ambition, a first ever co-production between national and local French film funds, the new production company GODO and Canal+ was sealed within a few months for this extraordinary 52 x 7’ show which was delivered within 2 years. What made the difference and who are the TEAM NUGGETS behind this very diverse shooting star of a project?


Irene Sparre
CEO of Sparre Productions

Julie Lind-Holm
Commissioning Editor of DR


Joint Panel

15:30 – 16:00

Networking Coffee Break

16:00 – 17:15

Conference Part 2


Case Study 3
Africa’s Rising Animation Talents

Finding new voices and ideas worldwide has always been Disney’s priority. In this panel, we can join the company in focusing on the many rising young talents in Africa, for example, with the futuristic animation anthology “Kizazi Moto: Generation Fire” which lauches this year on DISNEY+. In South Africa, Triggerfish has already co-produced some world-acclaimed animated gems with the BBC and ZDF and is developing their own academy to further nurture talent. Taking a look at these experiences, the panel discusses the next steps and what is required for further fruitful collaborations between Africa and Europe.


Stuart Forrest
CEO of Triggerfish

Orion Ross
The Walt Disney Company, EMEA

Lesego Vorster
Director of The Hidden Hand Studios


Case Study 4
HBO Max X WBD Access Animated Shorts Program

This recently inaugurated programme provides artists from historically underrepresented communities with a production budget, mentorship and the resources to create original animated short films of 5-7 minutes in length. The participants were paired with executive mentors from across WBD brands including HBO Max, Adult Swim, Warner Animation Group and Rooster Teeth, and all the films were overseen by established producer Amanda Miller (“Christopher at Sea”). The eight films produced in the programme are now streaming exclusively on HBO Max and screening at festivals around the world, providing a launchpad for the careers of these talented filmmakers.


Vanessa Pfeiffer
Director of Access Programs | Equity+Inclusion
Warner Bros. Discovery

Amanda Miller
Producer at Psyop


Joint Panel