Press Release: Ludwigsburg, April 26, 2023
Today, during the FMX – Film and Media Exchange in Stuttgart, the Animationsinstitut of the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg introduced its new head: Jan Pinkava. The British-Czech-American animator, director, screenwriter, and Oscar® winner will take over as head of the institute in June 2023, succeeding Prof. Andreas Hykade.
“I am beyond honored to have been appointed Head of the Animationsinstitut. The school has an extraordinary reputation, dedicated staff, brilliant teachers, outstanding graduates, and highly talented students. What could be more worthwhile than to build on this legacy?”
Arne Braun, State Secretary in the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Wuerttemberg, elaborates: "With Jan Pinkava, a superb industry expert joins the Animationsinstitut. His film RATATOUILLE, which he created in collaboration with Brad Bird, is one for the hall of fame of animated film. I am sure that he will foster the Animationsinstitut’s reputation as regional pioneer for innovation, as well as international educational institution. Jan Pinkava is keen to contribute his international experience to a new and young environment and thus, will shape the future of the institute.”
Jan Pinkava has worked in the animation industry for thirty years and won numerous awards with his films. During his time at the animation studio Pixar, he won an Oscar® for his short film GERI'S GAME in 1998. As creator and co-director, Pinkava was also instrumental in RATATOUILLE's Oscar® win for the best animated feature film in 2008. In addition, Pinkava was involved in the creation of the innovative format Google Spotlight Stories as co-founder and creative director. There, he developed new forms of interactive storytelling.
For Prof. Thomas Schadt (Managing Director Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg), Pinkava’s versatility is particularly remarkable: "His unique career as an artist perfectly complements his many years of experience in leading industry positions. Jan Pinkava will not only be able to guide the students, but inspire them as well."
"The Person Is More Important than the Project."
Since fall 2022, Prof. Andreas Hykade has been working as Head of Animation Directing at the Animationsinstitut. Before dedicating his focus to this position, Prof. Hykade headed the Animationsinstitut for eight years and contributed greatly to the institute’s reputation and success. "The person is more important than the project"—Andreas Hykade made sure to emphasize this principle throughout his tenure. The Animationsinstitut is built on the cooperation of students, lecturers, and employees, he said.
Jan Pinkava wants to remain faithful to this philosophy: "I like people much more than machines. Our job is to give our students the tools to create great art with real values."
Jan Pinkava begins his tenure as Head of the Animationsinstitut in June 2023. Since Prof. Andreas Hykade’s transition to a full-time teaching focus last fall, Prof. Thomas Schadt had temporarily taken over as head of the Animationsinstitut.