Terra Mater Factual Studios
Verena Berger-Al Elwan
As Sales Accountant, Verena supports the Head of Business Affairs across the full range of commercial activity.
Before joining Terra Mater Factual Studios, Verena worked as a passenger service agent at Austrian Airlines, which was great training for how to deal with stress and different people from all over the world. It also showed her how much she loves to communicate with people. Verena is very interested in foreign languages and cultures. She holds a Master’s degree in Theater, Film and Media Studies with a focus on Arab cinema.
Traude Botha (on maternity leave)
While on maternity leave, for any production-related issues and questions please get in touch with Judith Hamberger or Aldo Metzelaar.
Traude will take on any challenge – under any conditions and in any country, but preferably in sunny ones! As Production Manager, she is responsible for the financial and logistical aspects of our projects from the first draft to the final delivery. Traude oversees and organizes national and international productions.
While studying Journalism & Mass Communication, Traude was already working on various television projects until she discovered her love for wildlife television. In 2008, she went to South Africa to join the Wildlife Film Academy. After that, she started as a production manager for Aquavision TV Productions and worked on films such as Safari Live, Predator Battleground, Leopard Queen, Catching Giants and Animal Mega Moves for National Geographic, Inside Nature’s Giants for Windfall Films and on a 3D wildlife film series for 3net/Discovery Channel. In November 2011, Traude left South Africa to join the production team of Terra Mater Factual Studios in Vienna.
Dinah can be summed up in two words: accurate and creative. And she backs up her ideas with dedication and commitment. As Head of Business Affairs and Production at Terra Mater Factual Studios, Dinah is responsible for all corporate finance issues, working closely with CEO Walter Köhler. In addition she is in charge of the production staff and supervises the economic performance of all TMFS programs.
Dinah graduated from the Vienna University of Economics and Business. During her work as a production manager and line producer, which spanned a period of 15 years, she gained a wealth of experience in the production of outstanding natural history, science and history documentaries for the national and international market. She has been responsible for numerous award-winning productions, such as “Mount St. Helens”, “Death at Dawn” and “Wild Mongolia”, most of which were produced in cooperation with the former ORF UNIVERSUM team headed by Walter Köhler. Over the last few years her work has focused on program development and legal and financial affairs.
Victoria attended “Die Graphische“, the Austrian Federal Education and Research Institute for Graphics in Vienna, with a main focus on Multimedia Art. After a two-month internship in 2013 at Terra Mater Factual Studios, Victoria completed her school with a diploma focused on Video, Cut and Animation.
Since January 2014, she has been working at Terra Mater Factual Studios in the technical department as a technical assistant.
Ivo is Terra Mater Factual Studios’ space cowboy: He is hooked on stars and black holes and, to him, the sky is no limit. As Executive Producer, his focus is the production of high quality documentaries in the fields of natural history, science and history for the international market. He acts as an Executive Producer as well as writing and directing his own ideas. Ivo also works with the Terra Mater-branded TV strand on ServusTV, the German language free TV channel from the Red Bull Media House.
Before joining Terra Mater Factual Studios, Ivo worked as an editor, writer and director for the science department of the ORF, Austria’s public service broadcaster, for almost two decades. He produced many stories for several science TV magazines and was involved in the development of new programs. He joined the ORF Natural History Unit as an Executive Producer, before leaving to share the TMFS team’s vision.
Lore is the Wise Lady of TMFS, the most experienced Production Coordinator ever. She joined Terra Mater Factual Studios in June 2011 and, as a Production Coordinator, works closely with TMFS Legal and the legal department of Red Bull Media House. Lore coordinates full commission and co-production agreements with German-language producers.
Lore has 15 years experience working as Unit Manager for the Natural History Unit of ORF, Austria’s public service broadcaster.
Michael is the tech-genius at TMFS. There is no mis-functioning machine that can resist his technical skills for long. As Head of Technical Operations he is responsible for the electronic data processing, the day to day technical workflow and all technical requirements of Terra Mater Factual Studios. He is also in charge of the post-production at TMFS.
Michael has 21 years experience of working at the technical department of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and belongs to the very rare breed of creative techies. As video engineer he worked on giant live productions as well as having been ORF’s chief editor for more than ten years.
There are few situations which could make Andrea lose her calm. As Executive Producer Andrea focuses on the development and production of premium natural history, science and history programs for the national and international market. In her role as deputy to Sabine Holzer she acts as a producer, director, writer and Executive Producer. She is also responsible for the acquisition of natural history and science programs for the Terra Mater TV strand on ServusTV, the German-language free TV channel from the Red Bull Media House.
Andrea is a graduate of the Vienna University Faculty of Earth Sciences and supervised as a scientific researcher projects in sediment petrology and archaeometry. Before joining Terra Mater Factual Studios she worked as producer and Executive Producer for the science department of ORF, the Austrian public service broadcaster, for almost two decades and has been a member of the editorial staff of ORF UNIVERSUM, where she supervised international award-winning productions such as “Great Rift”, “Mount St Helens – Life From Zero” and “Radioactive Wolves”.
As one of our Commercial Assistent, Antonius is responsible for a variety of financial matters at Terra Mater Factual Studios. Together with his colleagues in the Accounting department he takes care of all incoming invoices, business trips and payment transactions.
Before joining TMFS, Antonius gained experience in the Accounting department of a large machine manufacterer. In his leisure time, Tony enjoys meeting his friends and plays/watches football.
Paying attention to details as well as looking at the bigger picture – as a passionate painter, Christian brings both qualities to the table as our Head of Legal at TMFS.
Christian started his career in media early on in the marketing and distribution department of Sony Pictures (formerly Columbia TriStar). After several years working for the Austrian Ministry of Justice on EU-Twinning Projects on the Eastern Balkans and Jordan, Christian was drawn back to film. He took over the position as Head of Legal at the Austrian Television Fund, being responsible for numerous international TV projects as well as the adaptation of the Fund’s regulations according to the actual needs of the industry. Deepening his knowledge on all legal aspects of filmmaking, he wrote his doctoral thesis on “Aspects of Copyright and Competition Law in Film Production and Distribution“, making Christian an even more valuable legal counsel for Terra Mater Factual Studios.
In November 2017, when his colleague Maria Rieder began her maternity leave, he took over the lead of Terra Mater Factual Studios’ Legal Department.
At Terra Mater Factual Studios Judith is a bundle of energy. As Production Manager she deploys her dynamic approach and skills to organise shoots, while also addressing accounting and team building matters.
Judith gained her first experience in the TV industry when she started working as a Stage Manager for the Austrian Broadcast Corporation in 1999. As her bookings increased in frequency she decided to sacrifice her studies of applied psychology in favour of a full-time position as a Production Assistant in the Entertainment Department. In 2007 Judith switched to the ORF’s Education & Contemporary History Department, where she worked as Production Coordinator. She was in charge of the production of the weekly science magazine program and planned and organised documentaries of the contemporary history unit from shoot to postproduction. Additionally she worked closely with the UNIVERSUM editorial staff – a collaboration that she prolonged by joining Terra Mater Factual Studios in January 2011.
Welcome to our office! Nina’s is the first face you will see, and, trust us – you’re in good hands. Responsible for TMFS’ reception desk, she takes care of our national and international guests.
Furthermore, Nina supports TMFS’ office in her role as Office Assistant. Besides all sorts of administrative tasks, her main areas of responsibility centre on festival submissions and assistance in all aspects of office management.
Before joining TMFS, Nina finished her M.A. Degree in Theatre-, Film- and Media Studies in Vienna, Helsinki and Amsterdam and also attended „Die Graphische“, the Austrian Federal Education and Research Institute for Graphics, so she can easily combine theories with creativity.
When the going gets tough, Sabine is in her element. As Head of TV at Terra Mater Factual Studios she oversees the television documentary output of the company. Sabine works with co-production partners all over the world, focussing on the production of premium natural history, science and history programs for the national and international market. In addition to her international activities, she acts regularly as an Executive Producer for Terra Mater productions and also runs the Terra Mater TV strand on ServusTV, the German-language free TV channel of the Red Bull Media House which broadcasts world’s very best natural history, science and history programs. She is also responsible for pre-buys and acquisitions for this TV slot.
Before joining Terra Mater Factual Studios Sabine worked for two decades for the science department of ORF, Austria’s public service broadcaster. Together with Walter Köhler she led the development of UNIVERSUM from being a domestic TV success to a global brand. At ORF UNIVERSUM she was responsible for acquisitions and scheduling of natural history and science programs, as a producer she directed her own films, as Executive Producer she supervised a great number of the ORF Natural History Unit’s documentary output.
Not a single frame of Terra Mater production film exists that Sigi is unfamiliar with. He is the Master of Ingest at TMFS and handles hours and hours of raw material on a daily basis. In 2002 Sigi graduated from a multimedia art school, having focussed on animation, layout and web design. While studying philosophy at Salzburg University he designed and created Flash animations, set up his own website and worked for Sony DADC in the field of DVD authoring and quality control, as well as video encoding, capture, playout and post production workflows.
In August 2010 he took the chance to join the Red Bull Media House team in Salzburg as an ingest and playout technician. Following his interest in documentaries, video editing and 3D workflows, he subsequently began working at Terra Mater Factual Studios as a technical assistant.
A BBC colleague called Walter last year an ‘industry legend’. For Terra Mater Factual Studios he is the heart and the head – incomparably experienced, highly dedicated and round-the-clock on duty.
For Walter a long dreamed adventure became true when after 30 years at Austria’s pubcaster ORF, he launched Terra Mater Factual Studios, a subsidiary company of Red Bull. Since January 1, 2011 TMFS is the new home of the former ORF UNIVERSUM team. As leader of the pack Walter heads the strategic development of the production house and together with his cherry-picked management team he steers the company in all creative, technological, financial and commercial matters.
Walter always felt a strong magnetic pull to approach the media industry. After completing his master degree in journalism at Vienna University he joined ORF as a freelance producer/writer/director and was lucky to be at the right time at the right place. As versioning producer he premiered a new slot called UNIVERSUM in 1987, as writer/director he worked on the first origination and the first major series of the soon very successful strand. In 1994 he took over the UNIVERSUM team and created the ORF Natural History Unit destined to become one of the leading brands in factual television worldwide. When ORF made him Head of Specialist Factual in 2010, Walter soon knew that he and the whole ORF UNIVERSUM team had to move on to new and brighter horizons which led to the formation of TMFS.
As writer and executive producer Walter won numerous awards in his career, including an EMMY, several Pandas at Wildscreen and Teton awards at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
Wolfgang joined Terra Mater Factual Studios in 2013 as Line Producer.
For the past 20plus years he has been a key member on many productions for international broadcasters like the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, WNET, ORF-UNIVERSUM, France5, ZDF, NDR to name a few. For these projects he has traveled to and worked in 50+ countries from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe.
Wolfgang brings his flair and creativity to his work, finding new and better ways of working: be it complex post production routes, or moving a film crew through some of the remotest and toughest places on earth. He is able to advise and recommend on every aspect of production.
Giving legal advice in order to enable fair solutions and enriching collaborations is Arlette’s ambition at all legal issues raised at TMFS. Therefore, “Yes, we can!“ is her motto at work.
Before joining TMFS as Legal Manager, Arlette worked at the rights management department of ORF, Austria’s public service broadcaster, as well as at SWR, member of Germany’s public service broadcaster ARD, and its subsidary SWR Media Services GmbH. For nearly a decade she was busy drafting all kinds of radio and film production contracts as well as SWR’s content sales agreements.
In November 2017, Arlette took the chance to join TMFS’ legal department as she loves working on an international level and always aspired to work for a film production company.
Arlette graduated in law in Heidelberg, Germany, and completed her legal internship in Heilbronn, Stuttgart and Baden-Baden.
As Junior Producer at Terra Mater Factual Studios, Petra works in the editorial department. Helping in organising and conducting shoots around the globe, covering the most diverse topics of TMFS-productions, are some of the tasks a Junior Producer can never grow tired of. Furthermore, the TMFS-website and production cycle of various printed marketing goods – amongst them the sparkling, annual Buyer’s Book – are in Petra’s hands.
Volunteer work at film festivals in Austria and Sweden, internships at Austria’s public service broadcaster ORF (Sales Department and Natural History Unit UNIVERSUM), and two finished diploma studies with distinction have led Petra to join TMFS in early 2012. And a love for languages (particularly Scandinavian), music, juggling clubs and travelling the world provide never-ending leisure time entertainment.
As Production Assistant, Daniela works directly with the editorial office. The main focus of her day-to-day work is the exchange of information with ServusTV, the German-language free TV channel of the Red Bull Media House, and with TMFS production partners worldwide. She monitors incoming and outgoing materials, ensuring content is delivered on time.
Before she started with TMFS she worked within TV production environment for seven years, having worked at ORF, Austria’s public service broadcaster.
Marie started working at Terra Mater Factual Studios in 2015 while finishing her university degree in Business Administration at Vienna University of Economics and Business. After supporting the Accounting department, she now assists the office working closely with Claudia Wagner, Assistant to CEO. Together, they not only support TMFS’ management, but have an open ear for all departments when it comes to a variety of organisational matters – from event preparation to coordination of business trips and meetings.
With Marie’s love for foreign languages and her experience in administration and organisation which she acquired during previous internships, she is an invaluable asset to making the TMFS-office run smoothly.
A lovable animal needs soft fur, four paws and two big eyes? Not so for Susanne: She’s the Executive Producer with a soft spot for creepy-crawly creatures – may they have at least six to eight legs and the same number of eyes! Susanne’s passion for wildlife of any size combined with her experience and expertise in natural history productions characterise her work. Now based at Terra Mater Factual Studios, she’s strengthening the TV Producer team – and her cycling skills within and around the urban jungle of Vienna.
Susanne graduated her studies of biology in Berlin with a diploma thesis about electron-microscopical research of unicellular organisms. Returning to the world of multicellular animals she added a university degree in science journalism. Based in Munich she wrote for renowned German newspapers and science magazines. Germany’s public broadcaster NDR attracted her to Hamburg where she met Jörn Röver at Doclights / NDR Naturfilm. For almost nine years Susanne worked in his team as producer and executive producer for ARD primetime wildlife productions, including award-winning series like “Wild Scandinavia“, “Congo“ and “Wild Australia“.
Satesh joined TMFS as Financial Controller for the Cinema department. He is officially a veteran with 25 years hands on film and television production, financing and distribution knowledge and practical experience.
Having worked on well over 100 film productions, such as “Wild at Heart”, “Reservoir Dogs”, “The Piano”, “What Women Want”, “The Edge of Love”, “Easy Virtue” and also working with industry stalwarts such as Pedro Almodovar, Mike Leigh, Bernardo Bertolucci, Wim Wenders, Emir Kusturica and Mel Gibson. His wealth of experience learnt from the likes of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment, CiBy Sales, MGM/United Artists and Icon Entertainment International will certainly complement those already at Terra Mater.
It was written in the stars, Satesh was hired due to his birthday falling in September and we definitely needed another virgoan to join the team. However, he needs to be taught that drinking coffee is the Viennese way, as opposed to drinking too many cups of tea.
Martin is the creative magician of the TMFS editorial office, using his sharp mind to conjure up brilliant writing. As Executive Producer he works on a variety of TMFS productions and future projects at any one time, with emphasis on new technologies, such as 3D. As writer/director he produced the TMFS 3D-feature “You, Planet – An Exploration in 3D” which breaks new ground in stereoscopic imaging and the use of stereo-microscopy.
Prior to joining Terra Mater Factual Studios, Martin had 20 years of production experience in a broad range of non-fiction TV, both as a writer/producer for independent companies and as an Executive Producer at the Natural History Unit of ORF, Austria’s state broadcaster. At ORF he oversaw landmark productions like the Emmy Award winning series “Nature Tech”, mystery docudramas like “Vampire Princess” and “The Voynich Code” and premium nature programs such as the multi-award winning “Ants – Nature’s Secret Power”.
Aldo is the production and finance wizard of TMFS, nothing is impossible for the Red Bull Air Race trained Viennese. As Line Producer TV and Program Development at TMFS he is responsible for the finances and the production of TMFS programs, working closely together with the Head of Business Affairs, the editorial staff and (inter)national partners. He was born in the Netherlands and has 20 years of experience in international television, having worked for various Dutch broadcasters and both Dutch and Austrian film production companies. He has worked on major live events and pre-recorded productions as Production Manager and Line Producer, has a wide range of international experience and multilingual skills.
Solving problems that are hard to solve and finding the different approach to it is one big hobby of Roland. As Technical Operator at TMFS he’s the right hand to Michael Fröch and keeps the Post Production Systems running.
At the age of 14 he volunteered for the first time for a documentary film in Vienna and started to gain interest in the matter and after a couple of years of trying different other things he came back to what he was drawn to. He graduated from Media Technologies at the University for Applied Sciences in St. Pölten. Right away he started to work in a small Film Production company in Vienna and worked in several different Video and IT related areas. He also achieved experience in highspeed-, aerial- and ENG camera-operator as well as a production coordinator all over the world for almost 10 years.
Markus works as an Executive Producer at Terra Mater Factual Studios where he focuses on the development of new television formats.
Before joining TMFS, Markus worked as a chief editor and presenter of the television science program “Newton”, at the Austrian Public Broadcaster ORF. Prior to that, Markus worked as live reporter and editor for several editorial offices such as the daily news program at the ORF among others. Markus started his career as a journalist as a radio editor and news presenter in Salzburg.
He has a university degree (University Graz (A) / Williams College (USA)) and a deep interest and fascination in all things science. Markus considers his live attendance at the 2008 CERN LHC particle collider activation as one of his all time favorite and moving experiences. When Markus is not being moved by particle physics and not working on the development of new television formats, he passes his time with his family (married, 2 daughters), exercises for the Großglockner mountain run, produces digital works of scientific art and ponders on possibilities on how he could sometime squash the Dive Master qualification in between.
Eva is a real all-round talent. She supports the Production Team as Production Coordinator initiating film shootings and handling all aspects of Post Production.
Prior to that, Eva worked in the cinema department taking care of a variety of feature films with responsibilities in festival management, reporting, film premieres and educational screenings. TMFS benefits from Eva’s many areas of expertise in film distribution & marketing as well as project & event management. Eva holds an M.A. degree in Theatre, Film and Media and is pleased to combine her interests with this placement at TMFS.
After four years as Assistant to CEO Walter Köhler, Monika was looking for a new challenge and is now working in the production team as Production Assistant for both the TV and cinema department.
Monika has over ten years experience of working as an assistant in different head offices at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF) and after that she worked four years for the ORF Natural History Unit. She lived six months in Costa Rica, three months in Rome and has a certificate in Higher Latin American Studies, Vienna, and in Higher Education in Administration and Management, ESA, Vienna, as well as language certificates from the Chamber of Commerce in London and from Madrid. She loves to travel round the world and is highly interested in photography, foreign cultures and art.
Maria-Christine Rieder (née Gatterer) (on maternity leave)
While on maternity leave, please get in touch with Christian Haider.
Creativity and accuracy: for Maria the two are not mutually exclusive. As Head of Legal at Terra Mater Factual Studios she is dealing with all kind of legal issues raised during development, production and distribution of all formats, TV documentaries and feature films.
Before joining TMFS, Maria headed the legal and business affairs division of Content Sales International at ORF-Enterprise, a subsidiary of ORF, the Austrian public service broadcaster. Managing the exploitation ORF content as well as third-party content she handled all kinds of agreements. Prior to that she worked in a copyright law office in Munich, while a variety of projects have taken her from New York to Moscow.
Julia, one of our Commercial Assistants in the Accounting department, is responsible for a variety of financial matters at Terra Mater Factual Studios. Thanks to her, we are able to process at high speed a great number of invoices with all the details in place. And should we miss some information, never worry: Julia won’t let it pass unnoticed and will be in touch with you.
Previous employment at a Viennese architecture firm as well as in the Accounting and Controlling department of a family-held hotel chain have seen Julia putting her skills and know-how into practice. As she rather takes to working with numbers, Julia finds herself in the very lucky position to consider her job in Accounting to be an opportunity to pursue one of her favourite occupations.
While not surrounded by bills and numbers, Julia prefers the outdoors – cycling and Nordic walking cover a great part of her leisure time.
Fast and focused – Eva is TMFS’ analytical backbone.
As Head of Marketing & Communications she is in charge of managing and directing TMFS’ internal and external communications and oversees all marketing activities.
Before her maternity leave she built up and managed TMFS’ department of Factual Entertainment & Format Development, where she and her team developed and produced new, innovative programmes for the national and international market.
As far as money or numbers are concerned – you are well to ask Wolfgang about it. As Production Account Manager, Wolfgang takes care about all kind of financial matters as accounting, payment transactions, bills, currencies and any other way to handle or transfer money between TMFS and their partners.
Before joining the TMFS production team, Wolfgang worked in the banking sector as financial advisor. Besides interpretation of stock developments, credit approvements and money transfers he gained experience in billing and cost accounting – for which he is now responsible for at TMFS. In his leisure time Wolfgang likes gardening or supports students to improve their maths or accounting skills. During his holidays you can find Wolfgang visiting cities all around the world.
As Head of Factual Entertainment & Format Development, Nina is responsible for the selection and creation of new, innovative programme ideas for the national and international market. She has a wide range of knowledge and experience in television production, from inception through completion.
For more than a decade, she has been responsible for various programmes, ranging from infotainment and documentary series to factual entertainment and entertainment shows – most of the time simultaneously. Nina has a keen sense of what the audience wants and what is technically and financially feasible.
Before joining Terra Mater Factual Studios, she successfully created, developed, produced and executive produced programmes for Austria’s public service broadcaster as well as for private television broadcasters.
Nina is highly focused and a strong and dedicated team player with a solid work ethic and the ability to multi-task and prioritise accordingly.
Curious about what we do? In need of an appointment with CEO Walter Köhler? As Assistant to CEO, Claudia should be your first choice when it comes to getting in touch with Terra Mater Factual Studios. Besides coordinating meetings with national and international partners, she also runs the office administration of TMFS.
Claudia holds a Bachelor’s degree in Scandinavian Studies and a Master’s degree in Theater, Film and Media Studies – both from the University of Vienna. She likes Swedish movies, music and meals… AND making to-do lists about anything. A feature which helps her a lot as assistant.
Sven loves the international side of business. Working closely with the Head of TV, he manages the co-productions between TMFS and the growing number of co-producing partners. In his role, Sven often is the binding link between all parties and departments, striving for the completion of a programme. His persistence and diplomatic sense, combined with his wit and charm, have many times helped to solve challenging situations.
Though his colleagues at TMFS try really hard to familiarize him with the Viennese way of life, Sven does not get tired defending his home town Cologne being a worthy-to-live metropolis – though being located in Germany.
Before joining TMFS in July 2013, Sven worked at Red Bull Media House’ Commercial Distribution Team as Sales Manager. Prior to this, he held positions as Sales Manager and Sales Executive at Autentic and BBC Worldwide. At ZDF Enterprises Sven managed intl. co-productions.
During his 2 years in London, he gained valuabale knowledge working for e.g. Discovery Networks and a film funding company.
Having completed his Master at filmschool, a scholarship enabled Sven to work for Universal International Television and Universal Pictures in L.A.