Philipp Steffens, graduate of the Film Academy Baden-Württemberg, founded his first production company in 2006, the same year that he completed his studies, with some of his fellow students. With this company, he coproduced the international production “8”, with such notable directors as Gus Vant Sant, Jane Campion, Wim Wenders and many others. The film won the 2009 “Cinema for Peace Award” and was shown at festivals worldwide. This was followed by the successful series “Der letzte Bulle” (The Last Cop), which was nominated for the Bavarian Television Award in 2010. The next year saw nominations for the Grimme Award, the Jupiter Award and the Golden Camera, and the series won the Bavarian Television Award 2011. In 2012, it won the German Television Award in the “Best Series” category.
Since 1 March 2014, Philipp Steffens has been the Head of Fiction at RTL Television GmbH and a member of the grants committee for the film foundation NRW and FFF (FilmFernsehFonds Bayern).
Selim Pekin Güngör is Creative Strategist at VICE Media Germany developing tailor made comms strategies and content solutions for brands who are trying to reach younger audiences. He studied Screenwriting in the UK and has a background in Film & TV and approaches every new project from an audience perspective. VICE is the world’s leading youth media company specializing in creating and distributing original content globally.
Oona-Devi Liebich was born in 1984 in Leipzig and moved to Berlin with her mother when she was only six months old. In 2000 a scout discovered her in school and she got the leading part in the film adaptation of Crazy. Since then she featured in several film and TV productions, amongst others by producers like Hans-Christian Schmid, Tom Tölle, Uwe Janson, Carlo Rola, Rainer Matsutani, and many more. In 2012 Liebich joined MACCHIATO PICTURES as creative producer. Together with Ismail Sahin she made her debut as a screenwriter and director with Oh no, not Rudy again!
Prof. Dr. Markus Kuhn, University of Southern Denmark, Odense
Markus Kuhn is professor in Media Studies at the Department for the Study of Culture, University of Southern Denmark, Odense. His research interests are film and transmedial narratology, web series, genre theory, biopics, transmedia storytelling, narration on the Internet, comic and animation studies, as well as factuality/fictionality.
Markus Kuhn studied German literature, media studies, and art history in Göttingen and Hamburg. He worked as a freelance journalist for various newspapers and online magazines. From 2006 to 2008, he was a visiting lecturer at the University of Hamburg; and a postdoctoral research scholar at the University of Bremen from 2008 to 2009, where he supervised the doctoral research group “Textuality of Film.”
Markus Kuhn was junior professor at the University of Hamburg from 2010 to 2015, where he chaired the interdisciplinary Colloquium for Narrative Studies (Erzähltheoretisches Kolloquium, ETK). As the deputy director of the Department of Graphic Literature he co-initiated the biennial “Roland Faelske-Prize” for research on comic and animation film. In Hamburg, he still supervises a third-party funded research project on “The Aesthetics of Interactive and Pseudo-Authentic Web Series.” He and his research team monitor and document the current development of German-language web series by means of a weblog – the “WebserienBlog” (see: webserie.blogspot.de; edited by Markus Kuhn).
His dissertation “Filmnarratologie: Ein erzähltheoretisches Analysemodell” was awarded the graduate prize by the “Studienstiftung Hamburg” in 2009 and was published in 2011 at de Gruyter—available as Studienbuch (paperback) since 2013. Markus Kuhn is member of several editorial boards, including the board of the “Narratologia” series by de Gruyter.
Recent publications include:
“Filmwissenschaftliche Genreanalyse. Eine Einführung” (ed., together with I. Scheidgen and N. V. Weber).
„Web Series between User-Generated Aesthetics and Self-Reflexive Narration: On the Diversification of Audiovisual Narration on the Internet“, in: J. Alber/P. K. Hansen (eds.): Beyond Classical Narration: Transmedial and Unnatural Challenges, Berlin/Boston: de Gruyter 2014, 137-160.
„(Un)reliability in Fictional and Factual Audiovisual Narratives on YouTube“, in: V. Nünning (ed.): Unreliable Narration and Trustworthiness: Intermedial and Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Berlin/Munich/Boston: de Gruyter 2015, 245-271.
Athena Wickham is a producer and television development executive with nearly 15 years of industry experience. She spent the last 10 years at J.J. Abrams’ Bad Robot serving as producer on Fringe and Person of Interest, as well as on Westworld for HBO. She has recently joined Jonah Nolan and Lisa Joy’s production company, Kilter Films, to run the company’s television development.
Karsten Kastelan is a Berlin-based correspondent for The Hollywood Reporter and a contributor to the German newspaper Die Welt.
Born in 1970, Kastelan got his start in film-journalism in 1991, then moved to Los Angeles to work with legendary producer Roger Corman on several projects. Once bitten by the Hollywood-bug, he decided to stick around – working as a 2nd assistant director, publicist, soundman, photographer, extra and personal manager; but mostly – and more importantly – as a critic and journalist for German print and radio outlets.
When Kastelan returned to Germany in 1999 and settled down in Berlin, he fully concentrated on journalism – this time around writing a column about Hollywood for kino.de and Deutsche Telekom and working, consecutively, as a correspondent for Screen International, The Hollywood Reporter and Moving Pictures.
He has served as a member in critics’ and grand juries at London, Dubai, Munich and Palm Springs film festivals, among others.
Apart from his journalistic work, Kastelan regularly serves as a consultant for corporate entities, law-firms and investors in fields as diverse as media-related investment, digital distribution, and return-based financial analysis.