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April 11-14 2019 Klaipėda
BLON Animation and Games Festival

2019 Guests

Florian Maubach

Director, Germany

Florian Maubach was born in 1989 in Hamburg, Germany. Until October 2018, he studied Visual Communication at the Kunsthochschule Kassel. He is a member of the "Animation collectiv" and "Sticky Frames".

Miki Chojnacka

Chief Creative & Content Officer at Hopster, UK

Miki has 20 years of experience in the media and entertainment industries, having held senior executive roles in content, creative and strategy at MTV Networks, Viacom and Pearson. She has a strong track record of launching channels and brands and building winning teams and products across the globe. Today, as a chief content and creative officer at Hopster, the UK’s leading TV and learning app for pre-school kids, she is responsible for the platform's creative direction and content strategy.

Gediminas Šiaulys

Director, Founder of PetPunk, Lithuania

Gediminas Šiaulys (aka Ged Sia) is an animation director, a visual artist and founder of the PetPunk studio. The artist’s primary areas of interest lie in animation, tactile crafts and various experiments within these fields. This leads to authentic work that is visually and aesthetically challenging, yet peculiarly subtle.
Gediminas's works have gained recognition at some of the world’s leading art and design magazines and have become a synonym for the “New Eastern European Design”. In 2009 Canadian magazine Boards included PetPunk in the top 6 of its “New Wave of Designers”, and in 2010 leading UK's design magazine Computer Arts featured PetPunk as “The New Wave of Animation”. Gediminas Šiaulys, together with PetPunk, are the first Lithuanians to win the “Young Guns” prize from the Art Directors Club of New York and have also been invited to numerous international festivals. These include the European Design Conference (Stockholm), Visuelt (Oslo), Picotplasma (Berlin), Onedotzero (London), Anima (Brussels), Arsenale (Florence), the Holland Animation Film Festival (Utrecht), Anima Mundi (Brazil), Zlin (Czech Republic) and many others.

Agnė Adomėnė

Founder and Producer at Art Shot; Co-founder of the Lithuanian Animation Association, Lithuania

Creative producer Agnė Adomėnė focuses on developing and producing artistic animated films and in 2012 founded the production company ART SHOT. Her first film was awarded by the Lithuanian Film Academy and selected for many international festivals (Ragnarok by Urtė and Johan Oettinger). One of her latest projects was selected at Baltic Pitching Forum, for Euro Connection programme in Clermont Ferrand and currently is co produced with French producers (The Juggler by Skirmanta Jakaitė). Agnė is one of the founders and a board member of the Lithuanian Animation Association, a member of the European Animation Awards, the
Lithuanian Film Academy and the Independent Producers Association of Lithuania. She was also a member of Jury at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival in 2018.

Šarūnas Ledas

CEO, Tag of Joy, Lithuania

Šarūnas has been involved in games development for 15 years and is a co-founder and CEO of the award-winning indie game development studio Tag of Joy. The company constantly looks for new ways to innovate with experiences in games and has already won multiple awards and nominations. Šarūnas is also chairman of the board at the Lithuanian Game Developers Association, which helps local games developers meet, share their knowledge and learn.

Antanas Skučas

Director, Lithuania

In 2008, Antanas received a Master of Arts degree, graduating from Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts – with his diploma work on – Lithuanian mythological beings (mitologija.lt). His filmography includes Copy of Paste (2006), a humorous movie about computer icons living their lives in a computer world and "Nebaigta pasaka" (Unfinished Story, 2007), about the massive die-off of a beehive (CCD). He worked with his professor Ilja Bereznickas, on the movie Cyber Pirate. He is currently working on the movies "Vaikystes dienorastis" (director and animator) and "The Vanishing of the Bees"(artist, animator).
Antanas worked for a number of commercials, including those of national TV channel, Baltijos TV, for the 2005/2006 season. He also made video installations for local pop-group Saulės Kliošas for their participation at the national Eurovision Contest.

Karolina Bielskytė

Director, Lithuania

Karolina Bielskytė is a director, set designer, animator and interdisciplinary art practitioner. She was recognized in 2014 with a Viscom Ian Emes award from Birmingham Repertory Theatre, and her work was displayed in London's Victoria and Albert Museum as part of Designing for Shakespeare weekend. Her hybrid installation “The Contraption” was recognised at festivals across the UK and Lithuania and was one of the 65 projects from 23 countries selected by the international jury to be part of the NEU/NOW.
From 2016 to 2018, Karolina studied for a MA in Animation at the University of the West of England and explored different animation techniques, projection possibilities and digital technologies. She worked with companies such as the BBC, the Royal Academy of Music, Studio McGuire and Tessa Bide Productions.
Specialising in set design and animation, Karolina works across theatrical and multidisciplinary projects, art installations, projection mapping work, music videos, commercials and live shows.

Iñaki Díaz

Co-founder, Appnormals Team, Spain

Iñaki Díaz is co-founder of the indie game studio Appnormals Team. With a double degree in advertisement and digital arts as a background, he has worked for 15+ years in multiple fields of design and multimedia before jumping into video game development. His main role in the studio is Art Direction and Lead Game Design. The latest project released by Appnormals Team has been STAY, a unique narrative adventure for PC, consoles and mobile which has received different accolades such as "Best Original Idea" at Gamelab or "Best Narrative" at Taipei Game Show.
Iñaki is currently a lecturer in different universities in his hometown of Barcelona, with a focus on 2D animation and pixel art. He is very active in the local retrogaming community in Barcelona, managing the city's biggest pixel art meetup and regularly organizing workshops and exhibitions.

Gabija Žygaitė

Director, Lithuania

Gabija Žygaitė - is an animator and designer. She completed her animation studies at Middlesex University and is now working as a static and motion graphics designer for companies such as Twentieth Century Fox, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures.

Mats Grorud

Director, Norway

Mats Grorud is a film director and animator from Norway. He previously directed two short films and has worked as an animator on several feature films, documentaries and music videos. During his childhood, his mother worked as a nurse in refugee camps in Lebanon. In the 1990s, Mats studied at the American University of Beirut in Lebanon while working as an English and animation teacher in the Burajneh refugee camp. Based on the testimonies of refugees and his own experience, he wrote the script for his first-feature film "The Tower".

FILMOGRAPHY:

DIRECTOR AND ANIMATOR:
SANTA KLAUS (2009), short film, co-directed with Robin Jensen MY GRANDMOTHER BEIJING (2008), short film

ANIMATOR:
ASYLUMSEEKERS (2005), short film directed by Kaja Polmar
GRANDPA IS A RAISIN (2008), feature film directed by Pjotr Sapegin

Žilvinas Ledas

CTO, Tag of Joy, Lithuania

Žilvinas Ledas has PhD in informatics and has been developing video games more than 8 years. He is a co-founder and CTO at Tag of Joy, an indie game development company that creates games merging fun and innovation. With its products, the team has won multiple awards at various international competitions. Žilvinas also teaches Game Development at Vilnius University and is active in the local games development community.

Lukáš Kunce

PR & Producer, Amanita Design, Czech Republic

Lukáš grew up not just playing video games, but also writing about them from a very young age. As a student of computer science, but not a happy one, he used his writing skills to pursue a career in PR that brought him all the way to Amanita Design where he is mostly responsible for talking with people.

Skirmanta Jakaitė

Director, Lithuania

Skirmanta Jakaitė (b. 1969) is a director and animator, who graduated with a BA in Animation from Vilnius Academy of Arts and has experience in animation production since 1989. “The Juggler” is the third short animated film she has directed. With her previous films also made using the technique of 2D drawn animation, Skirmanta's graduation film “We May Meet, We May Not” was screened at many acclaimed international film festivals, including the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Hiroshima International Animation Festival, Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film and Melbourne International Animation Festival.
Her debut film “Non-Euclidean Geometry” (co-directed with Solveiga Masteikaitė) was awarded with an Ecumenical Jury Prize at the 60th Short Film Festival Oberhausen and a Special International Jury Prize at the Hiroshima International Animation Festival, as well as the Lithuanian Film Academy award for Best Lithuanian Animation Film of the Year.

Kristian Pedersen

Director, Norway

Film-maker and designer Kristian Pedersen (b.1980) graduated with an MA in Visual Communication from Bergen Academy of Art and Design. He works as an animator and director at Mikrofilm in Oslo, Norway.

Pádraig Noel Fagan

Paper Panther Productions, Co-founder, Director, Ireland

Pádraig Fagan is an award winning animator and director. He has directed short films, advertisements and music videos, including the Annie Award nominated short The Rooster, the Crocodile and the Night Sky. In 2014, with his colleagues Eimhin McNamara and Carol Freeman, he co-founded Paper Panther Productions, a studio that specializes in stop-motion animation and facilitating educational animation workshops. He has tought animation to students of all ages for the past six years. Many of the films produced in these workshops have won awards at film festivals around the world.

Join Paper Panther's Animation workshops for kids 8+:
April 11-13, 11:00 - 16:00 (Registration required at labas@blon.lt)

Renaldas Zioma

ML Research at Unity Labs, Lithuania

A frequent speaker at the SIGGRAPH and GDC conferences, Renaldas Zioma is the mastermind behind the success of the Unity game engine. His mission is to understand the biological brain to build better hardware and software and his main goal is to empower artists, designers, animators and developers with creative tools to make better artwork.

Modesta Žemgulytė

Director, Lithuania

Modesta will turn 24 on the third day of the BLON festival (April 13th, 2019). Modesta currently works as a freelance illustrator and creates music in her free time in Vilnius.

Alfred Nguyen

CEO, ThroughLine Games, Denmark

Alfred Nguyen is CEO of ThroughLine Games and creative director of Forgotton Anne, a 2D cinematic adventure game released on PC and consoles and published by Square Enix Collective in 2018. Based in Copenhagen, Denmark, ThroughLine Games focuses on developing story-driven games with high artistic ambition.
Alfred is an award-winning animated film and gamed director who graduated from the National Film School of Denmark in 2008 and has since worked in a variety of positions in the film, animation and games industries.

Diego Gisbert Llorens

Freelance Artist, Spain

Diego Gisbert Llorens (Alcoy, Alicante, 1980) started drawing when he grabbed a pencil for the first time and is yet to stop. After studying illustration and fine arts, he now works mainly with digital media, in the area of fantasy illustration, as well as for the entertainment industry as a concept artist.
He is particularly well known for his work relating to Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, in addition to speaking at several events in Spain and other countries. His client list includes GamesWorkshop, Behaviour Interactive, Aeria Games, Paizo, Fantasy Flight Games, The Creative Assembly, Sega, Volta, Konami, Alderac, Axis Animation, and CD Projekt Red.

Veronica Solomon

Director, Germany

Veronica was born in a small town in the middle of Transylvania (Romania) and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. After obtaining a degree in fine arts (2003), she began a self-training process to become an animator alongside making comics and illustration. In 2017, she graduated from the Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF with a BA in Animation.

Dominic Stockhausen

Director, Germany

Dominik is a German writer-director with a strong passion for challenging narratives and technology. Combining both in engaging and innovative ways has always been his ambition.
With his current work focusing mainly on animated Virtual Reality content, he is able to bring together his background in traditional movies and theater with his studies of animation at the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg.

His previous project “SONAR” – an animated 360° short – premiered at Sundance Film Festival in 2016. Later that year it was invited to the VR Pavillion at the Cannes Film Festival and participated in an exhibition about new media formats at MoMA in New York.

FILMOGRAPHY:

MindPalace (2018) / animated vr short / dir: Carl Krause, D. Stockhausen
SONAR (2015) / animated 360 short / dir: Phillip Maas, D. Stockhausen
Auster (2015) / animated short / dir: Carl Krause, D. Stockhausen

Giedrė Burokaitė

Producer, Meno avilys, Lithuania

Giedrė Burokaitė holds a BA degree in Cultural History and Anthropology and an MA degree in Arts Management. In 2015, she initiated a film production platform at the NGO “Meno Avilys”, which specialises in the area of film education and preservation. In 2019, Giedrė established her own film production company “Akis bado”, with the aim of working with animated film projects. Giedrė has produced a number of short films and the feature-length documentary “Animus Animalis” (dir. Aistė Žegulytė). She is currently working on two short animated films and a VR project.

Dominykas Kiauleikis

Programmer, Lithuania

Dominykas has been working in Unity Demo Team since creation of The Blacksmith Demo (2015). He has been making tools for his team and used Continuous Integration process for demo creation.

Lizete Upīte

Director, Latvia

Born in 1987, Lizete Upīte is an animation film director from Latvia. She graduated from Latvian Academy of Arts and Film School in La Poudrière, France. During her studies, she made several documentaries and animation films, including her 4 min long animation film “A Night on The Lake”. The main topic in her films is emotional overwhelm – our natural awkwardness while finding ourselves.

Dorte Bengtson

Director, Denmark

Dorte Bengtson is a director, scriptwriter and illustrator, who was born in Denmark, in 1971. She graduated as an animation director from the National Film School of Denmark in 2008 and has worked in animation since 1996. Her graduation short "The Sylpphid" (2009) was selected for competition programmes in Cannes Film Festival, Annecy; Giffoni etc. "Vitello gets a Yucky Girlfriend" (2018) is a short, but is also part of a Vitello TV-series, directed by Dorte that won best TV-series script at the Emile Awards in 2018.

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