The Quest for Young Talent Animationsinstitut Beyond Study
Thursday, May 06, ROOM T brought to you by TRIXTER, 15:00

Prototype, Produce, Pivot – Insights and Approaches from Young XR Innovators

The VR NOW talent development initiative has always prided itself as a creative space where innovative ideas across the XR spectrum can find their space to flourish. Its success can be measured by the number of thriving startups and indie game studios growing out of Baden-Württemberg`s higher education institutions. Several of the innovator teams from VR NOW 2019 and 2020 will give insights into the current status of their projects / studios and reflect on the non-virtual realities of stepping out onto the challenging XR playing field. They will discuss their journey from pitching their idea to having a market-ready minimum viable product.

This collection of innovative approaches stands for the breadth of VR NOW, offered and supported by Animationsinstitut and MFG Baden-Württemberg:

- Cutting-edge applications for cultural institutions (Weltenwandler)

- indie games with a sonic twist (Ultraschall Games) - (join their Discord-Server here:

- a journey: from VR TRIBES to framelocker

- Lumium - nudging for change with VR

This session is aimed at talent scouts, funders, curators or promoters, educators and XR innovators. The pre-recorded presentations will be followed by a live Q&A session with the young XR innovators and veteran XR creator Dan Archer, Animationsinstitut’s VR NOW senior lecturer. Feel free to bring in your questions, feedback and comments. Get in touch with the speakers by using the eventmobi-contact system or send an email to

Dan Archer, XR Director, VR researcher, Graphic Journalist, Empathetic Media

Dan Archer is an XR director, graphic journalist and researcher whose work has focused on using new modes of storytelling to shed light on social justice issues since getting his MFA in cartooning back in 2009. His journalistic interactive comics have been published by Vice, the BBC, CBC, the Nib, and American Public Media. He founded Empathetic Media, an XR production studio, in 2015 and has since produced a wide range of experiences across AR, VR and MR for diverse clients from the Washington Post to the Colombian government and leading biotech firms. He was a 2016 fellow at the Tow Center at Columbia University (New York), a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow (University of Missouri, 2014) and a Knight Journalism Fellow at Stanford University in 2011. He is currently also researching the role of biofeedback in virtual reality behavioural interventions at University College London’s department of Computer Science.

Alpay Artun, Software Developer

Alpay Artun, Software Developer, responsible for the Weltenwandler App, the User Interface and the CMS system. He has been a passionate developer of websites and apps for years, and puts specific emphasis on sustainability.

Andrea Buchholz, Head of Project Team Talent and Research Fostering, Medien- und Filmgesellschaft Baden-Württemberg

Andrea Buchholz studied computer science with a focus on artificial intelligence and did her doctorate in the interdisciplinary field of sociology of technology in London. She has been working for MFG Baden-Württemberg since 2002. Starting as a project manager for a European e-content initiative, followed by a research project on new markets for IT and media, she has headed the team fostering talents and research at MFG. She is particularly interested in innovation methods such as design thinking and new digital trends such as VR.

David Conde, co-founder / 3d artist / developer, framelocker

Art has always been a major part of my life and how I've expressed myself, specifically 3D Modeling and Texturing. I love developing forms to tell stories, whether it is in character, props, or environments.

Florian Denning, co-founder / 3d generalist / developer, framelocker

After working as a 3d freelancer for several years, I'm excited to now be working in VR and enjoying the immersive part of the job

Lukas Karwan, Co-Founder & Head of Content, Lumium GmbH

Lukas Karwan is game designer, storyteller and media educator. He is fascinated by the question, how people interact and cooperate in groups. As head of content he creates experiences, using his background in (educational) psychology, his technical understanding and his experience as moviemaker. His mission is to empower people with the power of VR!

Alexander Kreische, Project Coordination VR NOW, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg

Alexander Kreische received M.A.s in Media Studies and American Studies from Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg, he also spent a year on a Fulbright Scholarship at University of Kansas studying Film Studies and American Studies.

He worked at the Department of Media Studies at Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen-Nuremberg as a research assistant from 2012-2019, obtaining his PhD with a dissertation on Buster Keaton's silent film comedy with magna cum laude in 2020.

Since 2019, Alexander Kreische works at Filmakademie's Animationsinstitut as project coordinator for the VR NOW talent development initiative, as well as coordinating Animationsinstitut's alumni relations, third party productions, and special projects such as the R&D department's research workshop on Virtual Production with large-scale LED walls or Animationsinstitut's ongoing online series "FMX Spotlight".

Smiljana Nikolic, Sound Concept and Production, Ultraschall Games

Smiljana Nikolic was born in Belgrade / Serbia. She graduated Flute at Belgrade Academy of Music and besides performing as chamber and orchestra musician she worked as flute and chamber music teacher before she moved to Germany in 2011 where she started studies of Musik design at State Music Academy in Trossingen. After graduation in Trossingen in 2016, she started working for Atelier for auditive experience Klangerfinder as composer and sounddesigner and since 2019 she is working as a commercial photographer for Mädchenflochmarkt Concern. Beside being a sound affine and music lover Smiljana is a bookworm and passionate photographer.

Albert Oelschlägel, Technical Lead & Programming, Ultraschall Games

I'm Albert Oelschlägel, the Lead Programmer of Ultraschall Games. Through my Arts Studies I discovered my love for Coding. I quickly switched to C# Programming and Unity Development and created some smaller VR Experiences within the last years.

Echosystem: Resonance's scope is way bigger than every Project I did before and I'm really excited for it.

David Ruf, Director/Producer, Rocinante Film GmbH

David Ruf is responsible for content and project lead. As a director he shot several movies for TV (ARD Programmpreis 2018). His production company Rocinante Film was founded in 2016 (Erich Pommer Scholarship 2019).

Kim Selbach, User Experience & Visual Design, Ultraschall Games

Hey, my name is Kim and im the Game / UX-Designer of Ultraschall Games. As a passionate gamer, im excited to combine my hobby and my profession to make Echosystem: Resonance an empathic and fun gameplay experience.