Press Release: Ludwigsburg, July 4, 2022
Throughout his entire career, the acclaimed animation director has perfected the art of seamless, organic transition. Practically from the beginning, his teaching activities ran parallel to his work on his own artistic projects. After eight years in charge of Animationsinstitut, Hykade feels that the right time has come for him to hand over his office: „When I took over as director, I had set goals for Animationsinstitut, laid down in the strategy paper ‚Filmakademie 2030‘ – most notably the financial security of the institute as well as the specialisation ‚Character Animation‘ and the comprehensive integration of the issue ‚intellectual property (IP)‘ into our curriculum. We were able to achieve all of this. In addition, we pushed on with the internal internationalisation of the institute, successfully navigated our conference FMX through turbulent times and expanded our research & development for the benefit of our students. Above all, however, we succeeded in offering our students a fully fledged course of studies during the difficult time of the pandemic. My thanks here go to all those who have actively supported Animationsinstitut in rising to these challenges.“
Success has proved Hykade right: In the rankings of the specialist press, Animationsinstitut is regularly listed among the world's top 10 animation schools. The institute's productions have won the most important international prizes – most recently, the VFX production "The Beauty“ caused a sensation with a Student Academy Award.
Petra Olschowski, state secretary in the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts Baden-Württemberg, comments: „Professor Andreas Hykade has shaped Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie into one of the world’s leading training institutions for animation. His proposals in the strategy paper „Filmakademie 2030“ have proved to be groundbreaking, both in terms of content and structure. We are very happy to support the expansion of the institute he conceived. I would like to express our sincere thanks to Professor Hykade for his great service to the institute. We wish him all the best for his future role as Head of Animation Directing as well as for his artistic work.“
Despite all the successes, there is still the question of unfinished business. Hykade: „I would have liked to see more dynamism regarding our goal of becoming a leading European region for animation, VFX and games. Other countries are pulling ahead of Baden-Württemberg in various fields. But I am convinced: We could make up ground if we focused on the development of intellectual property in all animation crafts. Perhaps a new generation of young artists can support us in taking the necessary steps.“
What would Hykade like to pass on to Animationsinstitut? „Our maxim in the past years has been: ‚The person is more important than the project.‘ It is my hope that our students as well as our team and the lecturers keep up this spirit.“
Prof. Thomas Schadt, Managing Director of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg, comments: „Professor Hykade deserves our deepest thanks for his important work as head of Animationsinstitut! For me personally, he was and continues to be a formative artistic initiator on the Ludwigsburg campus. His position on the sometimes fraught interrelations between people, art and industrial production has also kept me alert to the importance of a sense of care for our students. I was all the more pleased to know that he will keep playing a central role in teaching on campus.“
Andreas Hykade would like to make creative use of the freedom he is to gain. The muse is calling. Several film, book and music projects for adults and children are in the pipeline. What’s more, he also wants to turn to the written word: „My time as head of Animationsinstitut was so exciting and moving that it definitely calls for an artistic treatment. I have two different working titles that I have yet to choose from: "The Beautiful Kingdom" or "The Boss Who Cried".“
Fate must have had a hand in this: Andreas Hykade, born in 1968 in the Bavarian pilgrimage town of Altötting, has witnessed and helped shape the founding and rise of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg from the very beginning. A student in Albrecht Ade's legendary animation class at the Stuttgart State Academy of Art and Design, he moved to Ludwigsburg in 1991 and was one of the first graduates of the new film school in 1995. Represented by Studio Film Bilder in Stuttgart, the exceptional animator with the unmistakable style quickly established himself in the animation scene after his studies and was awarded numerous international prizes for short films such as "We Lived in Grass" or "Ring of Fire". Hykade’s animated video clips "Zehn kleine Jägermeister" and "Walkampf" for the band Die Toten Hosen were equally successful. His animated series "TOM & the Slice of Bread with Strawberry Jam & Honey", co-produced by SWR and a long-running hit on the German children’s channel KiKa & others for 20 years, still enjoys cult status among parents and children alike. Highly acclaimed, award-winning works were to follow, among others "The Runt", "Love & Theft", "Nuggets" as well as, most recently, „Altötting“, inspired by the special devotion to Mary in his Bavarian hometown. In 2019, Andreas Hykade was invited to become a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Hykade began his teaching career in 2001 as a lecturer in „Filmgestaltung 2 Animation“ (Experimental Filmmaking) at Filmakademie. Following stints with the Royal College of Art London, Kassel Art Academy and Harvard University, he returned to Ludwigsburg in 2011 as Professor of Animation. In October 2014, he was first appointed the acting, in April 2015 the official director of Animationsinstitut. He will remain associated with Filmakademie even after his departure from this post. As Head of Animation Directing from October 2022, he will be able to offer comprehensive advice for the graduate students of this specialisation and their final-year films – from the idea to the finished project to a strong start into their professional lives.