Program 2015


Women in Visual Arts: Panel discussion

Diana Arellano (Filmakademie), Andrea Block (LUXX), Mk Haley (CMU - ETC), Simone Kraus (Trixter), Katharina Tillmanns (Games 4 Change Europe)

This panel discussion is all about representation. The representation of women as content creators, producers and distributors and so forth on  the one hand, and the representation of women in the content that is being created on the other. Victoria Alonso (Marvel), Diana Arrellano (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg), Andrea Block (LUXX Studios),  Simone Kraus (Trixter) and Katharina Tillmanns (Games for Change Europe) share their experiences of working in the industry and reveal their perspectives on "Women in Visual Arts."   The panel's headline "Women in Visual Arts" brings controversial debates and key words to mind: the scarcity of women in supervising and CEO  positions, repeated cases of harrassment in the gaming industry, as well as claims for equality and quotas - most recently voiced by Patricia Arquette at this year's Academy Awards. Do we need regulations at the state level or is equality in the digital entertainment industry already  a dream come true? Victoria Alonso (Marvel), Diana Arrellano (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg), Andrea Block (LUXX Studios),  Simone  Kraus (Trixter) and Katharina Tillmanns (Games for Change Europe) share their experiences of working in the industry and reveal their perspectives on "Women in Visual Arts."


The panel discussion is hosted by Marie Ketzscher (Institute of Animation, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg).

Diana Arellano

Diana Arellano, Researcher and Software Developer, Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg,

Dr. Diana Arellano works as Researcher and Software Developer at the Research and Development department at the Institute of Animation, Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

Arellano’s Ph.D. thesis (University of the Balearic Islands, Spain, 2012) focused on both the generation of facial expressions in virtual characters as a representation for their moods and personality, as well as on the study of the psychological aspects that allow the characters to feel certain affective traits regarding the context that surrounds them.

At the Institute of Animation, Arellano has worked on more artistic projects, like “The Muses of Poetry” (2013), an interactive installation where animated characters read poetry in an emotional way. Currently she is one of the coordinators of a DFG-funded project focused on the generation of character animations using Non-Photorealistic rendering techniques to help autistic kids to read emotions in other people’s faces (2013-2015). In addition to this, Arellano supports the Technical Director students on their research projects.<

Diana Arellano has also collaborated in the organization and as scientific committee of international conferences (e.g. AMDO, ICAART, Interacción, SIGGRAPH as Student Volunteer). She is also an active member of the ACM SIGGRAPH International Resources Committee (IRC), where she represents the Latin America region.


Andrea Block

Andrea Block, CEO, LUXX Studios,

Andrea Block graduated from AI, Filmakademie Ludwigsburg, is member of the VES and founded two Companies with her Partner Chris.W.Haas,: LUXX Studios (VFX & Animation Studio) in 2006 and LUXX Film (Development & Production Company) in 2012. She works as VFX Supervisor and Producer for LUXX Studios and as Head of Development & Production for LUXX Film for a growing network of happy Customers supplying well designed Visual Effects and Animation with her team for major Film and TV productions like ‘White House Down’ by Roland Emmerich, and ‘Grand Budapest Hotel’ by Wes Anderson, ‘Heroes’ RTL and ‘Cathedrale’ ARTE. Currently she produces at LUXX Film the animated family entertainment feature ‘Manou the Swift’, develops a visual effects driven Sci-Fi Drama ‘Inverted’, and works on Visual Effects for German and International Productions with the team at LUXX Studios.

Mk Haley

Mk Haley , Adjunct Faculty - Carnegie Mellon Univ, Carnegie Mellon University,

Mk Haley has been with the Walt Disney Company, primarily Walt Disney Imagineering, since 1994, starting in Virtual Reality, and moving through a variety of Creative and Technical Roles across teams including Special FX, R&D, New Technology, Digital Media, and Disney Research.   She has also taught design, animation, and similar classes at a variety of University programs, serving as Faculty co-teaching Building Virtual Worlds at Carnegie Mellon University¹s Entertainment Technology Program from 2009 ­ 2012.  She currently serves with the Imagineering Creative team in Orlando Florida, and serves as faculty and the Entrepreneur in Residence for Florida State University. 

The ETC is the premiere professional graduate program for interactive entertainment as it¹s applied across a variety of fields. It's unique, two-year, Master of Entertainment Technology (MET) degree is jointly conferred by Carnegie Mellon University¹s School of Computer Science and the College of Fine Arts.  The MET is currently considered a terminal degree.  The program creates an educational environment in which interdisciplinary students acquire collaboration, creativity and communication expertise while applying their artistic and technical skills through design-based research projects.


Simone Kraus

Simone Kraus, Animation Supervisor, Trixter,

TRIXTER Film is one of Germany’s leading animation and visual effects studios, with offices in Germany in Munich/Berlin, and Los Angeles, CA.


Katharina Tillmanns

Katharina Tillmanns, Co-President, Games 4 Change Europe,

Katharina Tillmanns is a researcher, producer and lecturer for interactive media based in Cologne / Germany. In her studies and work, she is exploring and promoting the expressive qualities of games as a means of art and activism for which she received an IGDA scholarship in 2012. Katharina is co-president of Games for Change Europe and head of research & communication at the Cologne Game Lab and Institute for Game Development and Research at the Cologne University of Applied Sciences.

FMX is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the City of Stuttgart and MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg. FMX is an event by the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, organized by Animationsinstitut,
hosting the Animation Production Days (APD), a joint venture with the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS).

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