Biographies Archive - Fredrikstad Animation Festival

Hisko Hulsing

Hisko Hulsing’s(1971) films Seventeen and Junkyard were invited to numerous festivals and won many awards, including the Grand Prize at the OIAF. Besides writing, directing, painting, and animating for his animated films, Hulsing composed the orchestral soundtracks for his own films.

In 2014, Hulsing made large animated sequences for Cobain: Montage of Heck, the acclaimed documentary about Kurt Cobain. The film premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was theatrically released worldwide by Universal Pictures.

Hulsing directed both seasons of Undone, an animated series for adults for Amazon Prime. Undone appeared in Top Ten lists of the New York Times, Vanity Fair, and Time Magazine and won the jury award in Annecy.

In 2022, Hulsing directed the bonus episode of The Sandman for DC Comics, Warner Bros, and Netflix called A Dream of a Thousand Cats. It was released in 2022 and was viewed over 30 million times in the first 6 weeks.

Stefan Riekeles

Foto: Manuela Clemens, 2020

Stefan Riekeles, born in Leonberg, Germany in 1976, is an animation historian and exhibition curator. He is the founder of Riekeles Gallery. He completed his M.A. in culture studies and audio communication science from Humboldt University and the Technical University Berlin. He has curated several internationally touring exhibitions featuring original anime background art, including “Proto Anime Cut” (Berlin, Dortmund, Barcelona, Madrid, Tallinn, Basel, 2011~2013), “Anime Architecture” (Berlin, London, Sydney, Delray Beach, 2016~2019), “AKIRA – The Architecture of Neo Tokyo” (Berlin, 2022), and currently “Cityscapes in Anime Background Art” (Kanazawa, 2023). He established Riekeles Gallery in 2021. His most recent publication is “Anime Architecture – Imagined Worlds and Endless Megacities” (Thames & Hudson, 2020).

Charlotte de la Gournerie

Charlotte de la Gournerie is a producer and co-owner at Sun Creature Studio. She is currently producing several major animated projects (both feature films and series) and shares her experience in production and crowdfunding in talks and lectures around Europe.

Following the triple nomination in 2022 of Flee in the categories of Best Animated Film, Best Documentary Film, and Best International Film, she became a member of the Academy of Oscars®.

Her recent production is the original Cartoon Network series The Heroic Quest of the Valiant Prince Ivandoe (40 x 11), which will soon air on HBO Max.

Peter Smith

Peter Smith holds a B.A. in character animation from The Animation Workshop in Viborg. In 2011 he founded Tumblehead along with Magnus Møller. Today he functions as both director and producer in the company. He works within all types of animation production and has directed over 30 productions over the past 12 years.

Konrad Hjemli

Konrad Hjemli (b. 1998) is an emerging filmmaker and animator from Sarpsborg/Fredrikstad. Having recently completed his studies in Volda, he has co-directed two well-received graduation films, with the most recent one being Havnesjefen (co-dir. Mia L. Henriksen), which won the jury award in Annecy for best student film and was nominated for an Amanda for best short film. As a lifelong attendee and four-time selection at FAF, including Havnesjefen, which took home the Audience Award in 2022, he was invited to create the festival trailer that can be seen at every screening in the 2023 edition of the festival.

Sara Koppel

Sara Koppel is an Animation Artist working in the field of 2D Hand-drawn Paper Animation. Over the years, she has created numerous independent, hyper-personal, and award-winning animated short films, with themes including sexuality and environmental issues. She also frequently experiments by combining her handcrafted paper animation with augmented reality (AR) and has held several exhibitions featuring AR-paperworks and AR-wallpainting in different places around the world. Currently, she is working on her next animated short film in conjunction with an associated AR exhibition titled 2nd Day & the End of the World, which is set to premiere in the spring of 2024.

Magnus Igland Møller

Magnus Møller is co-founder of Tumblehead Animation Studio, based in Viborg, Denmark. He loves cartoony design and animation in 3D, with a 2D approach to design, models and rigs. In the past 15 years he has worked on multiple films, games, commercials and TV projects, as director, designer, lookdev artist, modeller and rigger. He has worked with clients such as Disney, Lego, Sony and Google.

Jesper Andkjær

Jesper Andkjær (b. 1995) is a danish animator and generalist based in Viborg. Since graduating from The Animation Workshop he has been working at Tumblehead.

Ida Melum

Ida Melum is a BAFTA-nominated and Annie Award-winning animation director, based in both England and Sweden. After training as an actor in Norway, she pursued studies in animation at the University of Middlesex in London. She has worked as a stop-motion animator on films such as the BAFTA-winning Poles Apart and Facin It, before deciding to pursue a M.A. in animation direction at the National Film and Television School in London. During her time at NFTS, she created the films Shopped and OvaryActing, and she subsequently completed her graduation film, Night of the Living Dread, in 2021. Recently, she worked on Attenborough’s Wonder of Song, a nature documentary for BBC. Currently, she freelances and is in the process of developing a new short film.

James Martin

James Martin works under the name Studio Cartoons Deluxe specialising in character driven, frame by frame animation and illustration for TV, SoMe, children’s books, branding and apparel. He has director representation in Norway at Animasjonsdepartementet and also in the US at Totally Reps NYC. Works a lot. Huge nerd.

Vladimir Kokh

Vladimir Kokh founded the cinema distribution company KMBO in 2007. A distribution company characterized by tailor-made work adapted to each film release, with a diversified editorial line and a specific focus on animation films for the young and family audience. KMBO did around 2,000,000 admissions in 2022 and is part of the top 15 distributors in France. KMBO won the award of Best distributor of the year at Cartoon Movie 2023.

In July 2021, Kokh took over the audiovisual production company Les Films de l’Arlequin to develop and produce animated programs for young audience on television. In 2022, he founded the production company Fantabulous with Fabrique d’Images company partners, dedicated to feature films animation production for family audiences.

Jérôme Combe

Jérôme Combe studied industrial design and graduated in 1991, he decided to buy a computer and learn 3D by himself. As a fan of the game Another World and Eric Chahi’s work, he asked Chahi to collaborate on his future project, Heart of Darkness (Amazing Studio, 1998).

Thereafter, Combe multiplied his professional experiences as cinematic director and character designer on various video game projects. At the beginning of 2000, he started to develop a 2D/3D mix (cell shading) with the idea of creating an aesthetic, a unique “look development”. His ambition is to make a difference with traditional animation for children and to target a more adult audience. Combe therefore alternated between musical video with his own style that won numerous awards (Respire for Mickey 3D and Thomas Fersen: awarded at the Victoires de la musique 2004). In parallel, he directed commercials and did some advertising campaigns with Nexus London. As he was commissioned to co-direct commercials with Pascal Charrue and Arnaud Delord, the three of them decided to create their own studio, Fortiche Production.

This internationally renowned animation studio, located in Paris, is also known for its collaborations with big names of the video games’ industry such as: Ubisoft, Carbine Studios and Riot Games. They have an eclectic culture that reflects their vision and way of working. They have developed a unique graphic style mixing 2D and 3D media, combined with an ambitious staging inspired by cinema. The combination of this visual style and their narrative ambitions make Fortiche’s signature instantly recognizable in the industry. In 2012, the studio produced and directed a music video for the French band Limousine, called La Gaviota, which was noticed by Riot Games. Then, Riot came to them in 2013 to direct and produce the Get jinxed video. This started a long partnership between the two companies and with Christian Linke, showrunner of Arcane.

The studio has produced projects such as League of Legends – Rise, League of Legends – K/DA – POP/STARS, League of Legends – Warriors, Coldplay and Gorillaz music videos and the Rocket & Groot series for Marvel Studios. In 2021, the Arcane series was released, marking another milestone for the studio and the team. The show, acclaimed by the critics and the audience, received several Emmys.

John M. Jacobsen

John M. Jacobsen started his career in the film industry at the age of 15 as a bouncer and program manager for a local cinema on the outskirts of Oslo. At the age of 17, he left school to work at the warehouse of Universal Pictures’ office in Oslo.

Throughout his extensive career, which involved film distribution and the development of the emerging video industry, Jacobsen is primarily known as a significant producer. Since his debut with Prima Veras saga om Olav den Hellige (“Prima Vera’s Saga about Olav the Holy”) in 1983, followed by Hard Asfalt (“Hard Asphalt”) (1986) and Veiviseren (“Pathfinder”) (1987), Jacobsen has produced over 40 titles spanning over four decades. In 1988, he established the Norwegian subsidiary of Svensk Filmindustri, SF Norge AS, which quickly became the country’s largest distribution company. In 1996, he shifted his focus entirely to film production. In 1997, Jacobsen created Norway’s first full-length animated film, Solan, Ludvig og Gurin med Reverompa (“Gurin with the Foxtail”) and has produced a total of four full-length animated films and over 50 animated TV episodes featuring Elias, den lille redningsskøyta (“Elias, the little rescue boat”), and Blekkulf, the former of which was nominated for an Emmy. He has also been a driving force in implementing CGI technology in Norwegian films, including the legendary Jakten på Nyresteinen (“The Hunt For The Kidney Stone”) (1986), and notably, last year’s Vikingulven (“Viking Wolf”) which made it to Netflix’s international top 10 list of most-watched non-English language films.

Jacobsen’s films have been nominated for both the Oscars and International Emmy Awards, and have won the Amanda, Kanonprisen, and Gullruten awards. He himself has been awarded the Honorary Amanda, the Cinema Directors’ Guild’s Gullstrimmelen, the Film & Kino’s Future Cinema Prize, and the Municipal Cinemas’ Honorary Aamot Statue. His production Max Manus (2008), is the biggest Norwegian box office success in modern times with 1.2 million tickets sold and the TV-series Kampen om Tungtvannet (“The Heavy Water War”) (2015) is the most-watched drama production in Norwegian TV history, averaging 1.8 million viewers per episode.

John M. Jacobsen has been appointed Commander of the Order of St. Olav for his contributions to Norwegian cinema.

Nancy Denney-Phelps

Nancy Denney-Phelps is a journalist who writes about European animation and festivals. She is also a producer of music for animation. Alongside her composer/musician husband, Nik Phelps, she co-founded the Sprocket Ensemble, which is dedicated to presenting live performances of original music with screenings of contemporary animation from around the world. Nancy’s writings have appeared in publications such as Cartoon and Animatoon, as well as on her regular blog for AWN (Animation World Network). She is a regular correspondent for ASIFA/San Francisco and a member of the ASIFA International Board of Directors. Nancy is also an Ambassador-at-Large for the Emile Awards. She works as an advisor to several animation festivals and, in 2019, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Animakom FEST Animation Festival in Bilbao, Spain.

Nina Bergström

Nina Bergström, born 1962 in Karlstad, is a director, screenwriter, actor and animator for film and theatre. Bergström has a background as an actor and director in theater and made her debut as a film director in 1996 with the award-winning feature film Väninnor – berättelser från garderoben. Later studied film, animation and art, and from 2000 worked with animation as an animator, supervisor and director of feature films and TV series; Free Jimmy, Redningsskøyta Elias, Knerten, Trolljegeren, Blekkulf and others who were rewarded with prizes and nominations, among others. Emmy, Amanda and Annecy Crystal.

Since 2018, she has been working as a university lecturer at Høgskolen i Innlandet, BA digital art and animation. Bergström’s personal film, Pappa (2016) received Nordic Doc’s honorable mention and has been purchased by the National Library. Is developing new original projects.

Jens Jonathan Gulliksen

Over 15 years of experience as an Animator and Animation Director has earned Jens a solid reputation within the international stop-motion feature film industry. He has worked on several high-profile productions for names like Wes Anderson, Tim Burton and Laika Studios. He is a co-founder of the animation and theatre company Rainy Day Productions.

Torgeir Holm

Torgeir is a partner and Creative Director of 3D & VFX in Netron AS. He studied graphic design at SFGD in Oslo, and has worked with design, 3D animation and motion graphics since 1996 in companies like Union Design, Kjeks, Simian – and now Netron – while working with clients such as TV2, TVNorge, Monster, Tiden, Oslo International Film Festival, Digdir, Petroleumstilsynet, Tank, Mack, Telenor, Statoil, WWF, DNV, Assa Abloy, Kygo, TONO and Universal Music. Torgeir is also one of the organizers of the annual computer graphics conference End User Event in Utrecht, The Netherlands.

Luce Grosjean

In 2014 Luce Grosjean founded Sève Films, a distribution company destined to promote student films in animation festivals, as well as young talented directors. In 2017, she associated with Miyu Productions to create Miyu Distribution, which specialised in distribution at festivals and international sales for animation. Four of the films that she distributed have been nominated at the Oscars, one at the César, and her films are known international successes.  Her company received the award of the best short film distribution company in 2020 by UniFrance and La Fête du Court Métrage.

Mark Burton

Mark Burton is a British television writer, screenwriter, television producer, film producer, and film director, that currently is working on Paddington 3. He co-wrote and co-directed Shaun the Sheep Movie, which received Oscar and BAFTA nominations for Best Animated Feature in 2015. Later he was involved as a writer and executive producer for the sequel film Shaun the Sheep: Farmageddon which was released in 2019. Other film credits include Gnomeo & Juliet, Aliens in the Attic, and Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, which won an Oscar in 2006 for Best Animated Feature. Mark Burton also has a script credit for Madagascar, which was based on an original idea by him and Billy Frolick.

Andreas Paleologos

The music artist True Cuckoo is the animator Andreas Paleologos, a multi-artist who for the first time will create an animated concert experience exclusively for the audience in Fredrikstad. In this year’s edition of Animated Live, True Cuckoo offers positive, playful, and small-scale electronica, a delightful mix of new and old sound, and equally exciting animation on the screen. “I play synth on Youtube” is Cuckoo’s own words about himself – with his diverse background in animation, visual arts, and music, striving for simplicity is an important factor for Cuckoo.

Cuckoo is best known for his presence on Youtube, where the melodies and music are conjured up from thin air during recording while sharing all his ill-concealed secrets to his great entourage.