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fmx 2009 Announces Programming Slate

The four days of fmx (May 5-8 in Stuttgart, Germany) are packed with events and screenings. Chris Defaria (Exec VP Digital Production, Animation and Visual Effects at Warner Bros.) will talk about his work on WATCHMEN and other projects in dialogue with Eric Roth (Executive Director of the Visual Effects Society).

Defaria was responsible for films such as HARRY POTTER AND THE ORDER OF THE PHOENIX and 300 and has received three Emmy Awards and two NAPTE Iris Awards for his TV work. Further reasons to pen these days into your calendar: Bob Osher (President of the Digital Production Division Sony Pictures Ent.) and Hannah Minghella (President of Production Sony Pictures Animation) will be sharing their wealth of experience.

Also this year, renowned companies will be present and provide for an enthralling display at fmx/forum.

Autodesk is pulling all the stops to make fmx/09 a unique experience for the cg community. Autodesk will not only offer master classes and workshops for 3D Max, Maya, Softimage and Toxic but they will also showcase their latest systems and software at fmx/expo and reach out to cg artists with an education summit. To top it off, industry experts Sebastian Sylwan (Senior Industry Manager Film) and Mary-Beth Haggerty (Senior Industry Manager Games) are taking part in the fmx/conference program.

Keep up with new developments on and fmx/09 updates, including the growing list of partners. Online tickets will be available very soon.

Promising youngsters and curious veterans mingle at fmx/talents. Visitors can get an overview of educational institutions at the first-ever fmx/09 School Campus: schools give potential students a one-on-one glimpse into curriculum, school life and student projects. Selected film and animation schools present student work in the fmx/09 School Offerings.

Want to be a part of the campus? Download education packages from the website and book a desk. Participating campus students qualify for discount tickets.

Stereoscopic 3-D will play a major role this year, presented in state-of the art quality at the Metropol movie theater, located between fmx/09 and the Festival of Animated Film. Don't miss Disney's feature BOLT and short film GLAGO'S GUEST. Director Chris Williams will talk about storytelling and directing, while Robert Neuman will discuss technical aspects. Also, Paul Felix and Adolph Lusinsky will describe how art direction deals with look and lighting in an animated film.

Previs will be another hot topic. Ron Frankel, founder of the premiere previs organization Proof and co-founder of the 5D Conference, will illuminate his working methods in fmx/talks. Ron introduced Steven Spielberg and Darren Aronofsky to the idea of using previsualization as a tool for creating epic shots.

The Visual Effects Society is once again on board and once again has a hand on the wheel. Besides Chris Defaria (Executive Vice President Digital Production, Animation and Visual Effects at Warner), there is a lot more VES to see at fmx/09. Eric Roth (Executive Director, VES) will host a hand-selected series of industry specialists: Harrison Ellenshaw, for example, the very first visual effects supervisor ever credited in a film (TRON) and one of the best matte painters of our time. Harrison is a pioneer of the industry, well known for his work on STAR WARS: EPISODE IV -- THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and many Disney masterpieces.

With Richard Edlund, another STAR WARS veteran will take the stage. Richard hasn't just graced countless Hollywood productions with quality effects, he also developed and manufactured the Pignose (a portable-style guitar amplifier), was governor of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) and chairman of both their Visual Effects Branch and Scientific and Technical Awards Committee. Richard currently sits in the board of the American Society of Cinematographers (ASC) which last year presented him with the President's Award in recognition of his contributions to the art and craft of film-making.

The line-up continues with Jeff Okun, VFX Supervisor on films such as the recently released THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL and older films ranging back to THE LAST STARFIGHTER (1984).

Pixar's WALL-E raised the bar in virtual cinematography and achieving the nuances of the sci-fi genre with flare distortions, lense artifacts and camera emulation. Danielle Feinberg, the film's director of photography for lighting, discusses the nitty gritty of lighting WALL-E and Eve Michal Faust will talk about his work on the Oscar-nominated WALTZ WITH BASHIR.

Christophe Hery, (Lead Research & Development Engineer, Industrial Light & Magic) returns to curate the fourth annual Virtual Humans Forum, bringing the projects that are pushing the envelope on realistic digital performances to front stage. Digital Domain will send Steve Preeg und Jonathan Litt to illuminate newly employed techniques in THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON. The Forum is hosted by Peter Plantec and Christophe Hery.

Kevin Geiger hosts Focus on China, illuminating current trends and coming landmark projects from the most populous country in the world. Wen Feng and Prof. Lijung Sun from the Bejing Film Academy present their project ROAD TO HOME, Lifeng Wang, founder and president of Xing Xing Digital Corp, discusses their animation, VFX and games work, while Vance Yang and Stella Huang, co-founders of SOFA Studio in neighboring Taiwan examine strategies for content development for Asian markets.

These Oscar-nominated films are part of the fmx/09 program:-- BOLT (Animated Feature Film)-- THE CURIOUS CASE OF BENJAMIN BUTTON (Art Direction, Cinematography, Directing, Film Editing, Best Picture, Visual Effects et al.)-- OKTAPODI (Short Film, Animated) -- WALL-E (Animated Feature Film)-- WALTZ WITH BASHIR (Foreign Language Film)

The third annual edition of the Animation Production (APD) day will take place from May 05-07, 2009 with an expanded program. It is organized by fmx/09 and the Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), in cooperation with Michael Schmetz Mediaconsult. Be sure not to miss the business meeting for the digital community where producers, distributors and investors network! This year, in addition to feature films, APD will also open its platform for existing or upcoming brands in formats for TV, games and mobile. More information at

The Festival of Animated Film takes place May 05-10, the perfect opportunity to watch animated films from all over the world in the unique atmosphere of Stuttgart's historical city center. And the city has more to stimulate your senses; explore the Stuttgart Pop Open, May 5-9, where the music industry networks and live music kicks off the nights.

fmx/09 is an event by Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg in cooperation with VES Visual Effects Society, AIAS Academy of Interactive Art and Sciences, ACM Siggraph and 5D Conference. It is funded by the Ministry of State Baden-Wuerttemberg, the Ministry of Economic Affairs Baden-Wuerttemberg, MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg Public Film Fund & Public Innovation Agency for Information Technology and Media, and the FFA German Federal Film Board. It is organized by the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, and NX Publishing.