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Jan Pinkava to Head Animationsinstitut at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg

Oscar-winning British-Czech animator, director, and screenwriter – known for Pixar’s Ratatouille and Gerri’s Game - takes the reigns in June, promising to remain faithful to his predecessor Andreas Hykade’s principal ‘The person is more important than the project.’

Today, during FMX – Film and Media Exchange in Stuttgart, the Animationsinstitut of the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg introduced its new head, Jan Pinkava. The British-Czech animator, director, screenwriter, and Oscar winner will assume his position in June 2023, succeeding Professor. Andreas Hykade.

“I am beyond honored to have been appointed head of the Animationsinstitut,” said Pinkava. “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, elaborated, "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.”

Pinkava is a 30-year animation industry veteran and winner of numerous film awards. While at Pixar in 1988, he won an Oscar for his short film Geri's Game. As creator and co-director, he was instrumental in Ratatouille's 2008 Oscar win for the best animated feature film. In addition, he was co-founder and creative director of Google Spotlight Stories, where he developed new forms of interactive storytelling.

Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg Managing Director, Professor Thomas Schadt, commented on Pinkava’s versatility, "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."

Since Fall 2022, Hykade has been head of Animation Directing at the Animationsinstitut. Before that, he spent eight years as head of the Animationsinstitut, contributing to the institute’s reputation and success.

Hykade said, “The person is more important than the project." He emphasized the principle throughout his tenure, noting that the Animationsinstitut is “built on the cooperation of students, lecturers, and employees.”

Pinkava wants to remain faithful to this philosophy – he shared, "I like people much more than machines. Our job is to give our students the tools to create great art with real values." He will begin his tenure as head of the Animationsinstitut in June 2023. Since Hykade transitioned to full-time teaching last fall, Schadt temporarily took over as head of the Animationsinstitut.

Source: Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg

Debbie Diamond Sarto's picture

Debbie Diamond Sarto is news editor at Animation World Network.