Hungry Seagulls and Feathered Dinos

AniFilm/AniPlay at FMX 2021 Online


Once a year, FMX Conference transforms Stuttgart into a meeting place for media professionals and international industry leaders from the fields of animation, effects, games and immersive media. After the renowned conference had to be cancelled last year, it was launched this year for the first time as an online-only event. From May 4-6, more than 2,000 participants from all over the world gathered in a total of five virtual rooms to exchange ideas about the latest productions, tools, technologies and industry trends.
Part of the top-class program, as at every FMX, are also the students of Animationsinstitut. In the track "The Quest for Young Talents" they were able to present their student projects from the fields of Animation, VFX, Technical Directing, Animation/Effects Producing as well as Interactive Media to the professional audience. Also, the third-year projects, AniFilm/AniPlay, were presented.

Read on, watch the AniFilm/AniPlay presentation and learn more about the creative minds behind the projects.


Anna Katharina Brinkschulte, Senior Lecturer Interactive Media

“The third year at Animationsinstitut is all about juggling different ideas and formats and trying things out creatively - stepping outside one's comfort zone. AniFilm/AniPlay presents our students with a very special challenge. During the idea-finding week, which is sometimes held in a hut or, due to the pandemic, sometimes as "Wanderlectures" in the open air, students from the fields of Animation, Interactive Media, Technical Directing and Animation/Effects Producing majors come together in interdisciplinary project teams. Over the next four months, each team then creates an animated short film AND a play (an interactive experience). The goal is not to program the next groundbreaking VR app or present the most realistic 3D animation, but to develop a working idea, a good concept. In which world do which characters find their home? And what story do they tell? The project work follows the credo "FAIL equals First Attempt In Learning" and setbacks are not bad, but an important part of the process."

Check out the project presentations!

Read on, learn more about the projects and get to know the individual teams.



Face Your Deer!


The trailer revolves around the fear of being judged by others for trivial mishaps. The protagonist finds himself in a series of such situations, be it at the supermarket counter or while riding the subway. His fear from the judgement of the outside world manifests in form of a stag in a turtleneck sweater, who immediately appears after each incident and punishes the protagonist with disparaging glances. Eventually our protagonist has to make a decision: Will he run from his inner insecurities forever or will he finally face his social anxieties?


In the installation, the user is being challenged to overcome their social anxieties. A cluster of anxiously whispering voices set the atmosphere and lead the user through a red curtain onto a stage with a single podium and a microphone on it. The audience consists of a group of stags, clones of the IP's antagonist, that are in idle mode at first but react to the user as soon as he steps into the spotlight. The installation then challenges the user to scare the judgmental deer away with their voice and to turn them into copies of the lovely protagonist instead, overcoming their inner insecurities.

The Team

Team AniTrailer
Idea and Concept: Gülce B.Dilek, Hazel Jankowski, Luzie Kehle, Justus Schmidt, Saskia Stirn, Franziska Trast, Paul Vollet
Directed by Gülce B. Dilek
Produced by Saskia Stirn
Compositing: Hazel Jankowski, Paul Vollet
Art Direction: Hazel Jankowski, Paul Vollet
Character Design: Franziska Trast, Hazel Jankowski
Advertising Design: Luzie Kehle, Hazel Jankowski
Animation: Franziska Trast
Original Score: Hannes Britz
Sound Design & Re-Recording: Sirius Kestel
Voice Acting: Gülce B. Dilek, David Smith
Technical Direction: Justus Schmidt


Team AniPlay
Idea and Concept: Gülce B. Dilek, Hazel Jankowski, Luzie Kehle, Justus Schmidt, Saskia Stirn, Franziska Trast, Paul Vollet

Directed by Luzie Kehle

Produced by Saskia Stirn

Art Direction: Hazel Jankowski, Paul Vollet

Technical Direction: Justus Schmidt

Character Design: Hazel Jankowski, Franziska Trast

Animation: Franziska Trast

Sound Recording & Editing: Luzie Kehle

Voice Acting: Sarah Kelly-Husain, David Smith, Ruby Rawson
Advertising Design: Hazel Jankowski, Luzie Kehle, Franziska Trast

Luzie Kehle (Director AniPlay)

Luzie Kehle was born 1993 in Tübingen. In 2013 she completed an appcenticeship in graphic design at the Kolping Akademie Stuttgart and studied graphic design at the AdbK Nürnberg from 2014 to 2017, before beginning her studies in Interactive Media at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Here she has been developing games, short films and installations since. She shapes all of her projects with her memorable visual style.

Halbe Sache (2017) – short film
Wobbly (2019) – interactive story
Face Your Deer (2019/20) – interactive installation

Besen Dilek (Director AniTrailer)

Gülce Besen Dilek was born 1996 in Istanbul. She went to school in Austria and graduated in 2016. Only one year later, she began to study animation at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. Here she has directed multiple animated short films. Apart from animation, she occasionally works as an illustrator, for example for a childern's book.

The forbidden t-shirt (2018) – short film stop motion
Make up your mind (2019) – short film 2d animation
Face Your Deer! (2020) – short film 2d animation

Saskia Stirn (Animation/Effects Producing)

Saskia Stirn was born 1986 in Leimen. After an apprenticeship in media design picture and sound she studied communication design and graduated in 2019 with a double master from the University of Applied Sciences Mannheim and the University of Leeds. She then went on to study animation/effects producing at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. She is also getting involved in the representation of women in front of- and behind the camera.

Out There (2016) – short film live action with VFX
Camera (2017) – short film live action with VFX
Face Your Deer! (2020) – short film 2d animation + interactive installation


Eenie Meenie World


Life can be pretty overwhelming when you realize you have so many decisions to make. Isn’t it just easier to put those questions aside? That’s what the universe thought. But as soon as it leaves a situation pending, it will enter a never-ending audiovisual loop! And all those questions pile up, creating a stressful and ongoing rhythm until the universe makes a decision.


The universe, only a child, is overwhelmed with all of the decisions of its little cosmos. A low set multitouch table invites you to engage with a snippet of its playful and jam-packed world. The universe needs your help and you decide how 15 different interactive stories, set in a hidden picture type city scape, play out. You step in at the turning points of every day life: Plucking off flower petals, does he love her? Scratching a scratch card, does she win? Decisions not made stay stuck in an ever turning loop and only making up your mind lets the world go on. The low set table, playable from all sides, invites to kneel down, crawl around and lean into your inner child, while playfully exploring concepts of fate and decision making.

The Team

Team AniTrailer

Voices: Mathilda Larson, Paulina Larson
Director: Bianca Scali
Co-Director: Johannes Lübke
Art Director: Mike Razniewski, Bianca Scali
Technical Director: Johannes Lübke
Producer: Paulina Larson
Animation: Biana Scali, Johannes Lübke, Paulina Larson, Yerkezhan Sabitbekova
Backgrounds: Mike Razniewski
Compositing: Johannes Lübke
Editor: Revan Sarikaya
Voice Recording: Michael Dmoch
Sounddesign: Michael Bötticher, Marc Lehnert
Sound Mixing: Fabian Klein
Technical Research: Kenneth Dumnodi Erhabor


Team AniPlay
Voices: Mathilda Larson, Paulina Larson
Director: Clara Deitmar
Art Director: Mike Razniewski
Technical Director: Johannes Lübke
Producer: Paulina Larson
Concept Art: Sarah Berra
Modeling, Rigging, Animation: Sarah Berra
Assets: Clara Deitmar, Mike Razniewski, Johannes Lübke, Yerkezhan Sabitbekova
Technical Research: Kenneth Dumnodi Erhabor
Table Build: Frederik Rehm
Cinematography XP Trailer: Verena Mühling
Edit XP Trailer: Revan Sarikaya
Sounddesign: Michael Bötticher, Marc Lehnert, Marieke Czogalla

Bianca Scali (Director AniTrailer)

Bianca Scali, born in France in 1998, studies animation at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg since 2017.



Eenie Meenie World, 2020, director trailer

Tick, 2019, character design & animation

Ma Gêole, 2019, director

Tightrope Act, 2018, co-director

Clara Deitmar (Director AniPlay)

Clara Deitmar born 1997 in Heidelberg graduated in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in media and information at the University of Applied Sciences Offenburg. She is studying interactive media at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg since 2019.



Eenie Meenie World, 2020, directed Interactive Experience

Im Enddefekt Josephine Frey, Unsichtbar Verlag, 2018, illustration

Anhaltspunkte, Unsichtbar Verlag, 2018, postcard book

Paulina Larson (Animation/Effects Producing)

Paulina Larson has been studying Producing at Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg since September 2017, majoring in Animation/Effects Producing.



Eenie Meenie World, 2020, Producer Trailer & Play

Equals, 2019, Producer

DOGS, 2019, Producer

Meadow, 2018, Co-Producer

Daisies, 2018, Director & Producer


Old Rules, New Forest


After centuries of banishment the forest guardians return to our world, but face completely unknown problem - the modern infrastructure of humanity.


According to old family tradition you are responsible to take care of the old guardian stone to keep the evil spirits trapped inside. However, you must first find a way through the huge, mystical forest without getting lost. And be careful... your battery level affects the game!

The Team

Team AniFilm/AniPlay

Film direction & 2D Animation: Elisabeth Weinberger
Production: Ferdinand Ehrhardt
Art Direction & Illustration: Alexander Kuhn
3D Animation & Concept Art: Oscar Jacobson
Game Direction: Jannik Jochim
Technichal Direction: Kenneth Dumnodi Erhabor
Head of 3D & Rigging: Tom Tolle
Editing & Animatic: Andreas Bothe
Voice Actor „Salesman“: Tom Zahner
Voice Actress „The Riddler“: Marty Sander
Music: Philipp Lust
Sound Design: Manik Möllers

Animation/Effecty Producer Ferdinand Erhardt on the interdisciplinary teamwork:

"This semester was quiet a challenge for our team, not only because of the lockdown but also because of the fact, that we had an unusual combination of skills in our group. For many of us their role in the team was not in the comfort zone and we had a bunch of different little struggles in those months, both professional and personal. But we learned a lot about a group forming process and are proud of us getting along with each other and finding somehow a way of working together on a project remotely. And all in all it wasn't that bad, mostly because we are such a lovely and empathic team, which tried to avoid unhealthy pressure and learned communicating more efficiently (even if there is still room for improvement ofc ourse). But we hope, the next AniFilm/AniPlay semester will not happen in homeoffice, because... yeah, I think this is obvious. (insert little praying gif here)"



Fluffy Dinos


In a world that exists in the imagination of humans dinosaurs are living their normal lives. But when scientists discover that dinosaurs actually had feathers, the inhabitants of this world change too: Two small parasauralophoses meet on a clearing. A T-Rex sneaks up on them but before he can get the prey that is frozen with fear, he turns into a majestically  feathery animal. Before he can cope with his newfound looks the parasaurolophuses flee.


A small dinosaur is making its way through a swamp where it collects feathers in order to get points. The more feathers it collects the more points it gets. But the feathers also make the dino jump less high and glide longer. Players try to reach a highscore without dying to the different hazards.

The Team

Team AniFilm/AniPlay

Producer: Julius Dorsel

Director Film: Harald Dieterichs  

Director Play: Erica Esserman

Technical Director: Lukas Kapp

Art Director: Jiro Magracia

Environment Artist: Mat Schaudig

Programming/Game Art: Danilo Cedeño


Harald Dieterichs (Director AniFilm)

After his training as communications designer Harald Dieterichs started working in a small studio as a 3D Artist for product animations until he started studying Animation at the Filmakademie. There he gathered enough experience as a supervisor, artist, animator and on set to create his own films in his last two years of study.

Erica Esserman (Director AniPlay)

Erica Esserman studied Interdisciplinary Computing and the Arts at the University of California in San Diego. During her studies she completed several projects, from interactive installations to projection-mapping performances. She started studying Interactive Media at the Filmakademie in 2020. Fluffy Dinos was her first game.

Julius Dorsel (Transmedia/Games Producing)

Julius Dorsel studied Media Economics at the TU Ilmenau in Germany. He later worked on creating AR, VR and 3D-web applications for trade-shows, online job-fairs and as standalone mobile-apps. He started studying Transmedia and Games Producing at the Filmakademie in 2020. Fluffy Dinos was his first production of an animated movie.


Fish or Chips


After the humans' sudden disappearance, the chips-addicted seagulls of Deep Fryton Beach try to survive on their own. Sully, one of the seagulls tells his story right here on Instagram.


Can you save all of the baby seagulls? Fish Or Chips is a frantic co-op party game for 2 players. At Deep Fryton Beach, a hungry flock of chips-addicted seagulls suffer because the humans are in lockdown. You and your friend play two seagulls who need to save their babies from starvation. Play it!

The Team

Team AniFilm/AniPlay

Film Director: Julia Skala
Game Director: Nina Weilbächer
Producer: Adrian Steuer
DOP: Niklas Wolff
Animation Lead: Vanessa Schneider
Game TD & Tech Art: Justus Henne
Pipeline TD: Paul Golter
Editing: Jan Wollenschläger
Art Direction: Niklas Wolff, Julia Skala
Matte Painting: Alexia Mokry
Sounddesign: Julian Berg, Bjarne Taurnier
Composer: Kilian Oser
Additional Modeling & Animation: Benjamin Gätzschmann
UI-Design: Nina Weilbächer, Anna Moessnang

The interdisciplinary team of Fish or Chips consists of 7 students from Animationsinstitut. In the early stages of finding a team, they fell in love with the idea of showing seagulls in lockdown.

Due to the pandemic, releases in movie theaters are no longer possible, so they decided on an Instagram solution. Over the course of a month, the seagulls themselves posted stories and photos to show how badly they were coping with the Lockdown and the resulting fry shortage. Co-directors Julia Skala and Nina Weilbächer oversaw the Instagram film/account as well as the game and the entire IP. With two Technical Directors on the team, the work could be split wonderfully between Pipeline Development (Paul Golter) and Game Development (Justus Henne). Niklas Wolff was mainly responsible for the image design and lighting and Vanessa Schneider implemented the blocky animation style in the movies and the game. Adrian Steuer kept the team together as producer despite being in home office.



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