We are,of course, constantly adding people to the team, whilst others move on, but you can find out more below about some the amazing people who joined forces in 2023 to bring a novel kind of festival to one of the more unsual places, just a stone's throw away from Berlin.
What makes our team so unique is the fact that everyone is here on a volunteer basis, from festival director to jury, and that the festival, just like all the other special events at Culture Shocks, is a not for profit project aimed at bringing communities closer together.
We were very excited about the 2023 jury, as it was our goal to bring local and national talent together and seat them at the same table as the policy makers who shape this region's cultural landscape.
The 2024 jury will be directly involved in the film selection process, which is why we have added quite a few names to our list of jurors.
We are grateful for the support we have received for our 2023 edition. The Film- und Medienbüro Niedersachsen was kind enough to spread the word. And the local business EP Wolfsburg provided us with technical equipment as well as technical support. And since we didn't want our guests to sit on the floor, we are extremely grateful to Ostfalia University of Applied Sciences for having kindly provided us with chairs for our audience.
- Oliver Fiedler - Festival Director
Olli’s foundation was laid in the alternative scenery of urban spaces during the 1980s and 90s, before returning to Wolfsburg roughly 30 years ago, making his contribution to the establishment of the craft of tattooing as a more mainstream phenomenon. His appreciation of aesthetic expression as well as holistic understanding of cultural events as a medium that transcends class, would ensure to bring people together who are not naturally inclined to cross paths. From traditional tattoo happenings and art exhibitions to literary event highlights: developing new platforms for creative expression and exchange are a passion project for the man who chose Wolfsburg as his permanent home. So film was a logical choice to expand an already impressive cultural portfolio.
- Cedar D. Wolf - Director of Programming
Cedar was educated at The Lee Strasberg Studio as well as the American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Pasadena, CA. In addition to writing and directing, Cedar ran the 'Shakespeare for Dummies' TIE programme and worked in fringe theatre before turning her attention to film in 2009. Her works include numerous stage and screenplays. She directed several shorts as well as the feature film 'Razzmatazz' which was shortlisted for various international festivals, winning a number of awards. Since directing the feature documentary ‘Run the World', Cedar has shifted her attention towards non-fiction and is curently working on another dcumentary project as well as writing the book "Here's to the Losers". She is a member of WIFT Germany, the Film & Medienbüro Niedersachsen and the Actors Society, as well as the Filmbüro Bremen e.V., for which she served as board member until relocating to Wolfsburg in 2021.
- Julia Brandt - Industry Liaison
One of our motivated volunteers is also a professional in the audiovisual sector, however, with a focus on corporate media. Julia has worked for a Hanover-based company, specializing in viral marketing for larger corporate clients, before switching to a senior role for the on-board programming for a major cruise line. Julia coordinates production as well as post production and makes sure that operations run smoothly. As a thorough cinephile she has, of course, also lent a helping hand on a number of independent film sets, most recently as production manager for the US shoot of the feature documentary "Run the World". Julia serves as a liaison for filmmakers.
- Rita H. Wolf - Industry Liaison
Another motivated volunteer taking care of our industry professionals is Rita, who may be pursuing a MSc right now, but has actually financed her Biology BSc working in the film industry, albeit mostly acting. Rita effectively grew up on international film sets and had the privilege of meeting people from all walks of life, making her the perfect person to lend an ear to those who might need assistence when visiting our festival.
- Bianca Schiefelbein - Guest Services
If you have any queries regarding ticketing and schedules, Bianca is going to be your go-to person. She is to the guests what Cedar is to the filmmmakers, the person in the know. And as a true Wolfsburg native she will be able to point non-local visitors in the direction of the more exciting places to visit when not attending screenings. And to true locals she is, of course, a familar face, since she has been the heart and soul of Culture Shocks from the very beginning and aside from managing the Wolfsburg branch, she is also the resident piercer.
Sponsors and Supporters
Shout Out to
Film- und Medienbüro Niedersachsen for getting the word out to the filmmaking community since day one!
To Mr Zerbe and EP Wolfsburg we would like to extend our thanks for not only providing us with screening equipment, but also helping out during the festival to keep the show rolling.
And the Faculty of Automotive Engineering at the Ostfalia Hochschule was a true life saver when it came to get some last minute seating arrangements organised.
... and also:
- Michelle, Elisa, Markus, Daniel, Patrice and Felix
Dennis Weilmann is Wolfsburg's city mayor and also an active volunteer in a a number of non-profit organisations. Before taking over the reigns as mayor he was city councillor for economy, digital affairs and culture.
Schaukje Könning is a German actor and dubbing actor. Her career spanning three decades, she is best-known for voicing Charisma Carpenter in "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and Michelle Williams in "Dawson's Creek" and the "Venom" Franchise.
Christian Bourne is a British production soundmixer and sound recordist, known for film - and TV productions like "The Time of Their Lives" and "Make Me Famous" as well as the 2nd series of "Fleabag" for which he won a CAS Award.
Julia Köttrisch is an Austrian film director and costumes designer, whose student short "Safe Space" was awarded the audience award "Best Picture" at the 2023 Underdog Film Festival.
Ingo Bednarek is a Hanover-based film composer and sound designer. He wrote and produced the music for the 2021 feature film "Razzmatazz" and the 2023 feature documentary "Run the World".
Photo: Simona Bednarek
Felix Eichstädt holds an MA in Space Sciences and currently works at the DLR in Bremen. Whilst still enrolled at Bremen University he founded the highly popular Campus Kino, for which he still volunteers as managing director.
Tanja is a very important voice, representing Wolfsburg's movie-goers. With the festival since its inception, she is not just a valued member of the Culture Shocks teams, but also a representative for the audience that filmmakers want to reach.
Nico Rein is a Wolfsburg-based content creator and musician. He brings the right set of eyes to the table when it comes to doing innovative ways of visual storytelling justice.
David Mellino has worked as a resident tattoo artist for over ten years and has also been with the festival crew since its inception. As a member of the Culture Shocks family he represents the home base.