The supervisory board complies with this request and thanks Prof. Wegenast for his many years of service as Artistic Managing Director of FMF. Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH organises, among other events, the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) and Raumwelten – Platform for Scenography, Architecture and Media in Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart. In his time as Artistic Managing Director, Wegenast established the ITFS Open Air Cinema on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz (from 2006) together with his colleague as Commercial Managing Director at the time, Dittmar Lumpp. Moreover, together with Vincent Ferri, former manager of MIFA in Annecy, he founded the Animation Production Days in 2006, which have since become the most important event for animation production in German-speaking countries and take place during ITFS. On Wegenast’s initiative, the GameZone has been taking place as part of ITFS since 2013, exploring the intersection of computer games and animated film as well as bringing the subject of games in the classroom to the fore.
During the coronavirus crisis, ITFS was the first animation festival in the world to be held exclusively on the internet, setting new standards in the online presence of film festivals. ITFS is one of the largest animation film festivals worldwide and one of four Oscar-qualifying festivals in Germany. It reaches an audience of up to 100,000 and receives over 2,000 (film and project) submissions per year.
Since 2012, Wegenast has also been developing the conference “Raumwelten – Platform for Scenography, Architecture and Media”, which takes place in Ludwigsburg and Stuttgart and is the leading event for spatial communication in Germany.
Dr. Walter Rogg: “As Chairman of the Supervisory Board, I have accompanied Prof. Ulrich Wegenast in his 17 years as Managing Director and thank him and the entire team on behalf of the supervisory board and the associates for spectacular festivals of international acclaim and the creation of further significant formats. Ulrich Wegenast has made a great contribution to the development of our location for film and media.”
Lord Mayor Dr. Matthias Knecht, Ludwigsburg: “Prof. Ulrich Wegenast has created considerable attention in the Stuttgart region with several series of events. In Ludwigsburg, in particular, he has succeeded in making a magnificent mark with the Lichtwolke at Raumwelten. With his courageous, artistic eye and his sense for exciting development potential, he has opened up new paths in animated film, scenography and architecture. For this, the City of Ludwigsburg is very grateful to him.“
First Mayor Dr Fabian Mayer, Stuttgart: “The ITFS Open Air Cinema on Stuttgart’s Schlossplatz is a highlight in the event calendar for many thousand people in Stuttgart and for international guests, and an important showcase for our city. We are strongly committed to film and media and thank Prof. Wegenast for his important work and support over many years; we wish him all the best in his new role.”
Ulrich Wegenast: “I would like to thank our Supervisory Board Chairman Dr. Walter Rogg and my colleague, Commercial Managing Director Dieter Krauß, who was already given his farewell into retirement (starting in autumn) at ITFS 2022, for the good and trusting cooperation. I owe a lot to the entire FMF team and at this point would like to make special mention of my colleague Andrea Bauer, Head of Programme, who I worked with intensively for many years. My time at FMF was fascinating and successful, but also – especially during the time of the coronavirus – very challenging. The ITFS is a ‘jewel’ in the German festival scene with a high international reputation and charisma, and Raumwelten has developed into the most important event for scenography in the German-speaking regions over the last ten years.“
Ulrich Wegenast will remain with the Film- und Medienfestival gGmbH in an advisory capacity for the next few months.
Press Release, July 13, 2022
Photos: ITFS/Reiner Pfisterer