Jana Burbach

Headwriter of the Writers‘ Room | Lieblingsfilm

Born 1985 in Munich, Jana Burbach grew up in Prague, Bonn, London and Berlin. She now lives and works in Berlin as a freelance script writer. From 2004 to 2007, she completed a BA in Classics and English at the University of Oxford and from 2009 to 2011 an MA in Scenic Arts Practice (now called Expanded Theatre) at the Hochschule der Künste Bern. In theatre, she has worked as an assistant director, director, performer and dramaturg with artists including Thomas Ostermeier, Constanza Macras, Nurkan Erpulat, Quan Bui Ngoc, Lola Arias, Samuel Schwarz and many others. From 2010 to 2013, Jana Burbach worked for 400asa as a dramaturg and writer. One of the projects from this time, “Der Polder”, a sci-fi transmedia project, was developed in a writers room, of which Jana Burbach was the showrunner. This work marked the transition to her work as a script writer. From 2013-14, she participated in the Drehbuchwerkstatt München and subsequently completed Serial Eyes. Since then, Jana Burbach has been working as a freelance script writer in German and English. She was part of the writers room for the ZDF and Arte thriller series “Bad Banks”, with Jan Galli and head-writer Oliver Kienle, co-created the ZDF web series „Just Push Abuba“ together with Nikolaus Schulz-Dornburg and Wiktor Piatkowski and was head-writer for the first season of the prime-time RBB/ARD legal show „Die Heiland“ about a blind lawyer and her assistant. Jana Burbach has also given workshops about working in a writers room in Zurich, Chisinau, Berlin and at Series Mania in Lille.


Kristian Costa-Zahn

Mentor of the Digital Think Tank | Endemol Shine Beyond

In February 2018 Kristian Costa-Zahn started working as Director Creation & Innovation at the EndemolShine digital studio Beyond, after working 11 years at UFA as Head of Creation UFA LAB and Executive Producer.

Kristian Costa-Zahn works since 2001 on digital film projects and was one of the co-founders of UFA LAB. He worked as a leading creative on the following online video and transmedia projects among others: the interactive crime project „Wer rettet Dina Foxx“, the award-winning motion comic “Ewig Mein”, the urban culture YouTube Original Channel „eNtR berlin“, the food channel “Munchies”, a joint venture with VICE, the webseries “Antarktika” and the journalistic Facebook channel “Jäger & Sammler” for funk. On „Dina Foxx – Deadly Contact“ he pioneered in producing fictional 360-videos in 2013. After that he set a focus on VR with projects like the location-based experience “Virtual Testdrive” for smart and K-MB. His latest VR project is the volumetric film experience „Ein ganzes Leben“, a walkable feature film which can be experienced at Filmmuseum am Potsdamer Platz.

His projects won various national and international awards, among others “ New York Festivals Gold World Medal“ (2x), „Best Cross-Platform Fiction“ and „Best Interactive Project“ at Banff World Media Festival, „Best German Series“ at Webfest and two „Telly Awards“. His most renowned success so far was winning an „International Emmy“ for „Dina Foxx – Deadly Contact“.



Philipp Budweg

Producer of the Writers‘ Room | Lieblingsfilm

After receiving an M.A. in German Studies and Art History from LMU Munich, Budweg produced a wealth of feature films, incl. the bestseller adaption of the Gemstone Trilogy (Ruby Red, Sapphire Blue, Emerald Green) and the German Film Prize award-winning children’s films Wintertochter (Winter’s Daughter) and Rico, Oskar und die Tieferschatten (The Pasta Detectives). Amelie rennt (Mountain Miracle – an unexpected Friendship) is a German-Italian co-production and won over 20 awards worldwide. The German-Finnish co-production Matti and Sami has been released in April 2018. Philipp is a member of the German and the European Film Academies since 2012.



Manda Levin

Story Consultant | Writers’Room

Manda started out at BBC Drama, script editing CUTTING IT by Debbie Horsfield and the BAFTA-winning CHARLES II before producing Billy Ivory’s A THING CALLED LOVE. She joined Kudos as Head of Development for Film where she worked on David Cronenberg’s EASTERN PROMISES, Simon Beaufoy’s SALMON FISHING IN THE YEMEN, and Abi Morgan’s drama about the Boxing Day Tsunami.

Returning to the BBC Manda was Creative Director of in-house Drama Production, where she oversaw what was the largest drama slate in the UK, and Executive Produced Debbie Horsfield’s ALL THE SMALL THINGS. Ricocheting back to Kudos she was an Executive Producer on three series of Sky Atlantic’s bilingual drama THE TUNNEL, Abi Morgan’s RIVER For BBC One and Netfix, THE BOY WITH THE TOPKNOT for BBC Two and the recent four part adaptation of literary thriller APPLE TREE YARD starring Emily Watson.


Nicola Lusuardi

Expert | Writers’Room

Since 1990, Nicola Lusuardi has been working as a playwright and screenwriter. He is script consultant and supervisor for original series and worked with several italian and european broadcasters and producers. Since 2013 he consults the original scripted contents produced by Sky Italy. Is head of study for the SeriesLab program created by TorinoFilmLab and SeriesMania. Teaches dramaturgy for tv series at Centro Sperimentale di Cinematografia in Rome and SerialEyes in Berlin and holds masterclass and workshops in different countries (Paris, Bruxelles, Amsterdam, Budapest). In 2010 he wrote “La Rivoluzione Seriale”, Dino Audino Editore, Roma. He founded Nightswim, production company in association with Stefano Sardo and Ines Vasjlievic.


Robert Marciniak

Producer of the Writers‘ Room | Lieblingsfilm

Robert studied Business Management and worked as company secretary and head of the finance department at Constantin Film. He was involved in the company’s successful IPO and the financing of numerous films. He was also CEO of the subsidiaries ENGRAM Pictures and Ratpack Filmproduktion. In 2002, Robert became CEO of die film GmbH and was also active as producer. He has been CEO and producer with Lieblingsfilm since 2010. He is a member of the German and European Film Academies since 2007 and was nominated several times for the German Film Award. In 2015, he won with The Pasta Detectives. Since 2002, he has produced more than 20 feature films.


Wiktor Piątkowski

Mentor of the Digital Think Tank | Bahama Films

Wiktor Piątkowski created and co-wrote HBO’s first original series produced in Poland, Wataha (eng. The Pack or The Border distributed worldwide by ZDF Enterprises); over the last 10 years he has worked as showrunner, head writer, screenwriter and producer on various shows (crime series, soap opera, scripted reality, sitcom – more than 500 hours of TV produced) for companies from Germany, Austria, Norway, Italy, Denmark, Belgium, Ukraine and Poland. A sitcom he co-created and co-wrote (Just Push Abuba) just premiered on ZDF. His filmography for the last 3 years includes producing feature films (Zakopani) and TV series (Wielka Warszawska) as well as short (Reset) and documentary movies (Over the Mountains). Wiktor graduated from the Polish National Film School and is an alumnus of Serial Eyes (organized by the Deutsche Film- and Fernsehakademie Berlin and the London Film School), European TV Drama Series Lab (organized by the Erich Pommer Institut Berlin and MediaXchange), RACCONTI #5  and Berlinale Talents 2016. He is also a member of the Dirty Dozen Collective, the Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP) and the Polish Screenwriters’ Association. Wiktor Piatkowski is represented by Page Magnet, Munich; has a PhD in television marketing and runs Bahama Films, an independent production company based in Warsaw. He has been running screenwriting workshops and masterclasses in Poland and other CEE countries for the last 8 years. So far one of his students was nominated for Oscar.


Julia Rappold

Producer of the Writers‘ Room | Lieblingsfilm

Julia Rappold studied law and political science at the LMU in Munich. During her studies, she worked as a freelance editor first at the TV station RTL, then later at BR. Julia began her professional career with the law firm “RA Lausen” followed by „German Films“. In 2006, Julia started working at the “FFF Bayern”, where she was responsible for the funding and the support of young talents. In her last year she was also responsible for the funding of low budget feature films (budget up to 3 million euros). In 2009 she took part in the European producer workshop EAVE. In addition, Julia teaches at the University of Television and Film (HFF) Munich – including script development of feature and documentary films. She is also part of the Committee for the Selection of New Students for documentary films. And she lectures regularly for the Erich Pommer Institut on the topic of film funding. In 2018 she joined the Munich based production company “Lieblingsfilm” as a producer.


 Mathieu Van de Velde

Mentor of the Digital Think Tank | Black Sheep Films

Mathieu started his career in 2004 with Alphanim (Gaumont Animation) before handling business affairs for Dubbing Brothers. He joined Studiocanal in Paris 2006 in the finance department and successively worked for Studiocanal UK and Studiocanal Australia in various positions. He was the Head of business development for Australia and New Zealand for 4 years before creating Black Sheep Films along with Augustin Bernard in 2016.

Black Sheep Films is a content production company based in Paris, France. We aim at delivering strong production value on original and innovative formats designed for international audiences. Black Sheep works exclusively with an exciting new generation of writers and directors in France and abroad to provide partners and audiences with unique stories and formats leading the changes of the global entertainment landscape. Black Sheep Films latest series “Patricia Moore” premiered at Series Mania 2018 and is currently in official selection in Melbourne Webfest and Denver Series Fest. Release on Blackpills is slated for July 2018.


Nicolò Gallio

Audience development expert | Digital Think Tank

Nicolò Gallio holds a Ph.D. in Film Studies from the University of Bologna. He has a background in PR and media relations and over 10 years of freelance and agency experience producing content for a wide range of cultural and creative industries, offline and online media outlets.

He is an Alumnus of the TorinoFilmLab Audience Design Programme and as a consultant he runs international workshops and masterclasses focused on the creation of audience engagement strategies for independent and art-house films. He also supports film marketing agencies with research and insights.

As a researcher, his main interests are related to the impact of digital media on the audio-visual industry, transmedia storytelling, marketing and fandom, as well as crowdsourcing and crowdfunding, topics on which he has lectured at the University of Brighton (Hastings), Middlesex University (London), Birmingham City University and the University of Bologna.

Co-author of the book Lo spettacolo del cibo. I cooking show nella televisione italiana (CLUEB/Archetipo libri 2014), his articles have been published on books and international journals focused on cinema and media.