Born in Wiltshire, England, in 1966, Judy Tossell studied Classics at Balliol College, Oxford University, before moving to Berlin, Germany, in 1989. After working as a freelance journalist, Judy joined the Berlin based film production company Regina Ziegler Filmproduktion, where she served as Associate Producer on productions such as the international film series Erotic Tales (with films by Susan Seidelman, Bob Rafelson and Melvin van Peebles). In 1996, Judy founded her own independent company, Tossell Pictures, as a production platform for a group of talented young Berlin-based filmmakers. Following the successful completion of award-winning shorts and feature films, her production company merged with Jens Meurer’s Egoli Films GMBH in 2001 to form Egoli Tossell Film.
Dani Levy (born 17 November 1957) is a Swiss filmmaker, theatrical director, screenwriter and actor. Dani Levy’s films include RobbyKallePaul, I Was on Mars, Meschugge, Du mich auch and Väter. Väter starred Christiane Paul. Dani Levys 1995 film Stille Nachtwon an Honourable Mention at the 46th Berlin International Film Festival. His film Alles auf Zucker! (2005) won 6 German Film Awards (LOLAS) and was a comedy about a secularised Jew from the former GDR who has to reconcile himself with his Orthodox brother. A comedy about Adolf Hitlerstarring German comedian Helge Schneider titled Mein Führer – Die wirklich wahrste Wahrheit über Adolf Hitlerwas released in January 2007. It was entered into the 29th Moscow International Film Festival. Levy said he was influenced by the theory of Swiss-based psychologist Alice Miller, published in 1980, that something must have gone wrong with Hitler in his childhood. Danni Levy is one of the founders of the German company X Filme Creative Pool in 1994 and worked as screenwriter and director but also as actor for TV and Cinema Movies over the last 20 years.
Stipe Erceg was born on October 30, 1974 in Split, Croatia. He moved from Croatia to Tübingen, Germany with his parents in 1978 and studied acting at Europäisches Theaterinstitut Berlin from 1996 to 2000.
In 1994, Torsten Frehse was the co-founder and manager of Berlin’s Lichtblick Kino as well as co-owner of the city’s Central Kino from 2006 to 2013. In 1997, he founded the distribution company Neue Visionen Filmverleih and serves as its managing director and shareholder. Neue Visionen has since become one of the leading German arthouse distributors and has received the Distributor Award as Best Film Distributor on six occasions since its launching. In 2005, he founded and established Good Movies as a joint project by eight independent film distributors to create a quality DVD label. Torsten Frehse is a board member of the AG Verleih (Association of Independent Film Distributors). In November 2016 Torsten Frehse received the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres (Order of Arts and Letters) of the French Government for his significant contributions to the French Film Industry. Over the last 20 years „Neue Visionen Filmverleih“invested in many greek movies and helped developing awareness for the NewGreek Cinema in Germany..
The Finland-Swedish writer and journalist has been working for media outlets in Germany, the US and Northern Europe for more than twenty years. Sonya (b. 1970) received her MA in European Media Studies from the University of Portsmouth/UK. Her work focuses on children, war and trauma. After periods in Belgium and the US she is now based in Dresden/Germany and her native Finland. Sonya reported on major news events such as the aftermath of the war in Bosnia, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake, Hurricane Katrina and the resettlement of refugees and IDPs to villages across Afghanistan. Sonya is the author of several books on the situation of children in times of war. In the past she collaborated among others with Dutch photographer Claudia Heinermann. Together they published two photo books: “ENDURING Srebrenica” (2012) and “Wolfskinder – A Post-War Story” (2015). Most recently she published “Kollwitz – Die Biografie” (Random House, 2015), the first comprehensive biography of famed German artist Käthe Kollwitz, whose life and timeless work was shaped by WWI and WWII. Sonya’s books have been translated into Spanish, Italian, Dutch, Czech and Turkish. More recently Sonya has started to shift some of her work to documentary filmmaking. In her view there is no longer the print, photo or TV journalist – audiences demand news and narratives that comprise any and all media to get the best coverage possible. She is the screenwriter of „Kollwitz – Artiste et Mère Courage“ that will premier on Arte in July 2017. Current projects include a documentary feature on an untold Auschwitz story she works on with award-winning director/producer Sylvia Nagel.
Creative Director APASSIONATA
Holger Ehlers started his professional career in 1983 when he followed his passion for art and decided to study opera singing at the Hochschule für Musik und Darstellende Kunst Hamburg.
Nowadays Holger Ehlers can look back on around a quarter of a century of work in international opera, musicals and theatre – from Hamburg and Berlin to Moscow and Shanghai. Among other productions, he has featured in the “The Magic Flute”, “The Barber of Seville”, “The Marksman” and “Evita”. He has already received numerous awards for his
performances on stage.
Since APASSIONATA was founded in 2001, Holger Ehlers has played a huge role in the fantastic success of the family show. He has produced the show‘s music from day one, which still enchants audiences across Europe and has clocked 14 gold and platinum disks from the German Phono Association (Deutscher Phonoverband). He has also received other top
awards from the record company Edel Records and the company PRG (2010: “Best German show”).
He also became involved in the conception of the family entertainment show at an early stage and in doing so laid the foundations for his current role: He has been responsible for the overall artistic coordination since his appointment as Creative Director in 2006.
What he says about his own work: “APASSIONATA offers me new challenges every year – presenting the beauty of the horses in a unique way and capturing the imagination of audiences with moments they have never seen, heard or felt before.”
Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel
Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel studied German studies, Romance studies and Media and Communication Science in Mannheim, Germany. After spending several years in the public relations and advertising area and as a freelance journalist for different newspapers, he made cinema and media art the focus of his attention. He is now working for the ZKM ǀ Center for Art- and Media Technologie, in Karlsruhe.
In close cooperation with the Karlsruhe University of art and design and with other institutions, the ZKM wants to provide a forum where sciences, art, politics and economy meet.
This new focus led Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel to the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival, where he started as artistic director in 2006. The ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival has established itself as the biggest international forum of short movies that deal with the content, aesthetics, or form of poems.
Thomas Zandegiacomo Del Bel receives invitations to several Film an Literature festivals worldwide as jury member, expert or guest speaker.
Jaka Bizilj (born December 8, 1971 in Ljubljana), grew up in Slovenia, Libya, Tanzania, Malaysia and Germany. During his school and studies in politics, literature and film at the Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, he devoted himself to journalism. Jaka Bizilj posted articles and reports for print, radio and television, for example for ZDF, Bild and Der Spiegel. Since 1995 he has been working as promoter and producer. With his Berlin-based production company Star Entertainment Jaka Bizilj is the founder and since 2002 the largest financial sponsor of the global Cinema for Peace initiative, which has been reaching billions of people via media coverage and could collect more than 10 million USD for charity, confirmed by external audit. Since its inception in 2008 Jaka Bizilj also volunteers as Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Cinema for Peace Foundation. In 2016 Jaka Bizilj opened „The Wall Museum“ an der East Side Gallery in Berlin.