Terra Mater Factual Studios
Philip works as Producer in the Digital & Communications Unit of Terra Mater Factual Studios. He develops and produces the video content for the YouTube- and Instagram-channel of the company.
To keep up with changing times is Philip’s tenet: He started his career in the theatrical feature film production and joined Terra Mater Factual Studios in 2012. From there, he found his way from the big screen to online and mobile content: after founding his own production company, he returned to TMFS in 2019 to lead the company’s content production for their social media channels.
With his deep proficiency in several languages, his experience in film and media production and his strong business acumen, Philip is doing his best to serve Terra Mater’s digital unit.
As Assistant Producer in the Digital & Communications Department, Katrin supports Philip and Eva by developing and producing content for Terra Mater Factual Studios’ YouTube and Instagram channels. With a keen grasp of today’s social media needs, Katrin has quickly emerged as the department’s Instagram specialist.
Katrin loves being creative and has a passion for scientific journalism. Already during school, she started writing short-stories about animals and conservation. Katrin holds a university degree in journalism and public relations (FH Joanneum Graz). Before joining TMFS, she worked for the Print and Online departments of German educational monthly magazine GEO in Hamburg.
During leisure time, Katrin loves spending her time with her family, dog and friends. On the weekends, you will definitely find her in the mountains – either wearing a pair of skis, in a climbing harness, or with some hot tea in front of a small hut, enjoying the scenery.
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 Chief Operating Officer (COO) 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 production 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.
Sirna Mara David-Lalic
Curious about what we do? In need of an appointment with CEO Walter Köhler or COO Dinah Czezik-Müller? As Assistant to CEO & COO, Sirna should be your first choice when it comes to getting in touch with Terra Mater Factual Studios’ Management.
Sirna coordinates meetings with national and international partners and takes care of all aspects of office management. Beside that, she is responsible for the company’s festival submissions, making her the bearer of good festival news at TMFS.
Before joining Terra Mater Factual Studios in October 2018, Sirna had a long and very diverse way of education. Her technical profession is cabinetmaker, she studied Landscape Architecture at the BOKU Vienna and worked independently as a fashion agent in the past. In the media- and culture-sector Sirna gained experience at the Wiener Festwochen, Viennale and other cultural festivals in Vienna. So be aware: by getting in touch with Sirna, you’re dealing with a highly creative and immensely adaptable person!
Martina Drienovska (on maternity leave)
While on maternity leave, please get in touch with Maria-Christine Rieder / Arlette Kumor-Beghin.
Martina joined Terra Mater Factual Studios in January 2014 after gaining several years of experience at two Vienna-based law firms, focusing predominantly on corporate and copyright law.
As a member of Terra Mater’s legal team she handles a broad range of legal issues that arise during the production process – from the drafting and negotiating of production contracts, giving legal advice during the production phase, to managing legal aspects of the distribution of Terra Mater’s content.
Martina is very straightforward and solution-oriented, always focusing on the optimal combination of both, the legal and business point of view.
Ivo is Terra Mater Factual Studios’ space cowboy: He is hooked on stars, galaxies and black holes and, to him, the sky is no limit. So, it may come as no surprise that Ivo is a true Science Fiction fan, too.
Not least because of his special interest for topics that are out of this world, Ivo was the Executive Producer for one of Terra Mater Factual Studios’ most successful and prestigious productions to date: the multi-award-winning science TV documentary ‘David Attenborough’s Light on Earth’, which presents the seemingly otherworldly realm of bioluminescent creatures.
However, Ivo has also quite a “down to earth” approach – especially, when it comes to meteorites that are hitting our planet, or to the amazing spectacle of the Aurora, the polar lights: Ivo was the writer and director of the two respective TMFS productions, ‘Aurora – Fire in the Sky’ and ‘Meteor Menace’.
Aside from producing, Ivo is overseeing a lot of blue-chip natural history shows and series. Being a loving “dad” of two Maine Coon cat sisters, he has a very personal connection to big cats; therefore, it’s a real privilege and pleasure for him to be the EP for an amazing and ambitious production: the three-part series ‘Okavango – River of Dreams’ – a special gem in natural history filmmaking, and yet another highlight in TMFS’ extensive catalogue.
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 Terra Mater Factual Studios, the most experienced Production Coordinator ever. She joined TMFS in June 2011 and, as 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.
From manufacturing screws, nuts, bolts and bicycle parts in rural German Sauerland to working in a cabaret and variety theater, Michael finally found a path to his real vocation in the glorious world of film.
During his Berlin-years, he was co-founder, shareholder and General Manager of three German production companies. Michael benefits from 23 years of experience, filming in more than 18 countries around the world, producing and line producing numerous German & international feature films/TV productions.
In 2012, he entered the world of Terra Mater Factual Studios and inhabited that world for 4 years, where he helped in producing the feature films ‘Brothers of the Wind’, ‘MindGamers’ and ‘The Ivory Game’.
For whatever reason, he thought it was better to return to Berlin. Whilst there, he serviced the feature film ‘Suspiria’ and worked on other projects. In the early dawn of 2018, he realized that his heart only beats for TMFS and Michael was allowed back, despite being known for a very dubious sense of German humor.
In 2016, Michael was selected to participate in the well renowned, international industry program, Inside Pictures, where he is now a very happy alumni. Michael is also member of the European Film Academy and the Austrian Film Academy.
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 the field of 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.
As Executive Producer at TMFS, she supervised Award-winning series like ‘White Lions – Born Wild’, ‘Nile – The Ultimate River’ and ‘Amur – Asia’s Amazon’. Furthermore, Andrea followed the paths of very wild cats in ‘Leopard Rocks’, ‘Leap of the Lynx’, ‘Power of the Velvet Paw’ and takes a closer look at what happens when a ‘Panda goes wild’.
As one of our Commercial Assistents, 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.
In 2017 Nina started as Office Assistant at Terra Mater Factual Studios, only half a year later she joined the Features & Special Projects Department to take on some more challenges. There, she is providing support to the production team from Feature Doc to Giant Screen and Special Projects – Nina completes every task very diligently and with a lot of angelic patience for her colleagues. She keeps track of little details and loves to be organized.
Furthermore, she recently took on the responsibility as Sustainability Manager, to start the process of making TMFS a sustainable and green production company.
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 theory with creativity. In her spare time, she loves to get out into nature with her dog and spend time with family.
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.
When the going gets tough, Sabine is in her element. As Head of Specialist Factual 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 nature, 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 nature, 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 Factual Studios’ productions exists that Sigi is unfamiliar with. He is the Master of Ingest 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.
Tina supports the production team of Terra Mater Factual Studios as production coordinator and is responsible for all aspects of Post Production.
She looks back on 8 years of experience as a stage manager and production assistant for the entertainment department of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). After completing her studies in journalism in 2009, however, she moved to the print sector – to coordinate, text and proofread magazines such as a Vienna city magazine, a beauty & fashion magazine or corporate publishing magazines as managing editor. But once television, always television – and so we’re delighted to have Tina at TMFS.
Walter is founder and CEO of the internationally acclaimed Terra Mater Factual Studios, based in Vienna/Austria. He looks back on more than 30 successful years in the film business, nonfiction as well as narrative. In the 1990’s, he created the Natural History Unit of the Austrian public broadcaster ORF and made it one of the leading brands in factual television worldwide. He also helped nature to re-conquer the big screen by being involved in the BBC features ‘Deep Blue’ (2003) and ‘Earth’ (2007). Therefore, a BBC colleague once called Köhler an ‘industry legend.’
In 2011, Köhler launched his production company Terra Mater Factual Studios, and since then, he has gained international recognition with more than 250 international film awards, including several Panda Awards at Wildscreen Festival and Grand Teton Awards at the Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival.
One of Köhler’s last industry coups was for his film, The Ivory Game, to be recognized on the Academy Award® Best Documentary Feature Shortlist in 2016 The thrilling feature documentary about the illegal ivory trade had its premiere in 2016 as a Netflix Original Film. Not only was it a huge success in the film business, but ‘The Ivory Game’ helped to save the elephant population when the Chinese government banned ivory trade two months after the film’s release on Netflix.
Köhler continues to strengthen this integral part of Terra Mater Factual Studios’ vision by producing films that show a unique and very fragile part of Mother Earth. These films help to bring about change – recently with the docu-thriller ‘Sea of Shadows’: In Mexico’s Sea of Cortez, a group of brilliant scientists, high-tech activists, investigative journalists and courageous undercover agents attempt to rescue the Vaquita, the most endangered whale on Earth, while battling the vicious Mexican drug cartels and Chinese traffickers whose destructive poaching methods are threatening the region’s marine life. At Sundance Festival 2019, ‘Sea of Shadows’ had its world-premiere and won the prestigious Audience Award. Within just few months ‘Sea of Shadows’ is already positioned to be one of the most successful impact films to date, catalyzing action on a broad international political scale.
Wolfgang joined Terra Mater Factual Studios in 2013 and since then he played an important part in producing several award-winning natural history documentaries. Among others he produced the Oscar-shortlisted feature documentary “The Ivory Game” and the Sundance Audience Award-winner “Sea of Shadows”.
Before joining TMFS, he was a key member on many projects for international broadcasters like the BBC, National Geographic, Discovery, WNET, ORF-UNIVERSUM, France5, ZDF, NDR etc.
His experience in film making not only covers documentaries: he also produced video clips for Queen, Falco etc. and worked on TV-Series like “Inspector Rex” and feature films like “Funny Games” by Michael Haneke.
Wolfgang brings his flair and creativity to his work. He is able to advise and recommend on every aspect of production: be it complex post production routes, or moving a film crew through some of the remotest and toughest places on Earth.
Giving legal advice in order to enable fair solutions and enriching collaborations is Arlette’s ambition at all legal issues raised at Terra Mater Factual Studios. Therefore, “Yes, we can!“ is her motto at work.
Before joining TMFS as Legal Counsel, 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 Producer at Terra Mater Factual Studios, Petra works in the Specialist Factual Department. Organising and conducting shoots around the globe, covering the most diverse topics of TMFS productions, are some of the tasks a Producer can never grow tired of. Petra loves being in the field and over the last few years has worked on the science production ‘Chasing Quakes’, coordinating and taking care that shoots went smoothly in Italy; together with her colleague, director Markus Mooslechner, she has dug deep into the quickly advancing field of AI, organising, and conducting interviews and shoots in Europe, North America and Asia for the extraordinary multi-awarded TMFS science production ‘SuperSapiens’; and has taken first steps in producing nature documentaries by following the past, present and future of the famous Trakehner horses in rural Austria and Russia in ‘Back from the Brink – Saving the King’s Horses’.
Furthermore, since joining in 2012, she oversees the TMFS website and the in-house coordination of all department-related marketing materials for our co-production team and Head of Department and various TV markets.
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. When not trying hard to create the world’s top documentaries, Petra loves to be on the road: if you’re lucky, you may either get a postcard or sweets from some near or far destination (cold climates preferred!) or will be told amazing stories from Lindy Hop & Jazz festivals from around the world – if within train-reach, the better!
As Production Assistant, Daniela works directly with the Head of Specialist Factual, Sabine Holzer. 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.
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. At Terra Mater Factual Studios, she’s strengthening the Specialist Factual 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 Susanne worked in the team of Doclights / NDR Naturfilm on primetime wildlife productions.
Predators, large or small: there’s no escaping Susanne. As Executive Producer in Vienna she supervises productions like the Romy Award winning series ‘The Lions Rule’, discovers the hidden gems in a world of ‘Dragons & Damsels’ and works closely with the director on the in-house production ‘Cute little Killers – The Predators with Pouches’ about Australia’s tiniest marsupials – with a bite.
Satesh works as a Production Controller in the Features & Special Projects 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.
As the British Guy in the team of TMFS, he still 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 Specialist Factual Department, 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. As writer/director he produced the TMFS 3D-feature “You, Planet – An Exploration in 3D” which broke 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.
Aldo is the production and finance wizard of TMFS. As Head of Production at TMFS, he is responsible for finance and production of TMFS programs, working closely together with the editorial staff and (inter)national partners.
He was born in the Netherlands and has 30 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 the Head of Technical Operations 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, 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.
Toni is one of our Production Managers at Terra Mater Factual Studios, working closely with both the Specialist Factual and the Factual Entertainment & Format Development departments. Combining experience and intuition, Toni always makes sure that content, organisational and financial matters during our productions are streamlined.
His love for facing new challenges never stops, even after 25 years in television. Over the course of his career, he has produced more than 12,000 broadcasting minutes shot all around the globe, making him one of the most experienced production managers in the field of premium nature and science documentaries in Austria. A passionate mountain biker, Toni’s used to never giving up – because forward is the only way to go.
Welcome to our office! Irene is the first face you will see, and, trust us – you’re in good hands. Responsible for Terra Mater Factual Studios’ reception desk, she takes care of our national and international guests and keeps our meeting schedule running like clockwork.
Furthermore, Irene supports TMFS in her role as Office Assistant. Besides all sorts of administrative tasks, her main areas of responsibility centre on travel coordination and assistance in all aspects of office management. Moreover, she manages our address data bank – so if you move, change name or want to receive our newsletter: she’s the one to let know.
Before joining TMFS, Irene worked at the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation’s Promotion Department (ORF) and at the Viennale, Austria’s biggest film festival.
As a producer, Sarah combines ambition, determination and efficiency with her creativity and enthusiasm. She tackles problems with her lateral thinking and enjoys coming up with innovative solutions. Factual or fictional, feature or series, Sarah takes on the task and works closely with the directing department on the realisation of productions.
Before she joined Terra Mater Factual Studios, Sarah worked her way up freelancing and self-taught. Wrapping shoots from Alaska to Namibia as Field Producer, Production Manager and Producer for various documentary films, TV-Drama and feature films. Gaining experience in the direction department as 1st AD, helped her to identify the creative needs of a production more closely. Wanting to realise projects that have an impact – this is what led her to join TMFS’ Features & Special Projects Department in October 2017. Sarah’s professional career also includes lecturing on film production at the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences.
Eva Pellet (on maternity leave)
While on maternity leave, please get in touch with Tina Kierlinger.
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 on 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.
Birgit is a bundle of energy and our resident adventurer. Her shoots and private expeditions have taken her around the world, on land, under water and in the air. An Executive Producer at TMFS, she is responsible for the development and production of high-quality nature documentaries as well as international commissions and co-productions.
Before joining TMFS in 2020, Birgit was Senior Commissioning Editor and Deputy Head of Department at ORF UNIVERSUM, responsible for producing blue-chip wildlife documentaries for Austria’s largest broadcaster.
She studied law in Prague, and Journalism and Slavic studies in Hamburg, where she went on to complete her training in the field of nature documentary and gather experience in a variety of different fields.
Birgit has written and directed nature and wildlife documentaries for ARD, NDR, ORF and Vox, as well as for international co-productions such as the BBC/NDR series ‘Pacific Abyss’, for more than ten years. She has also taken the audience on adventurous journeys as a presenter of the series ‘Adventure Ocean’ (ARD) and ‘Wonders of the Namib’ (NDR), as well as other formats.
Nature and animals have been Birgit’s overriding passion since childhood. She has combined her interest in both travel and horse-riding by undertaking extensive expeditions around the world on horseback. She also enjoys a range of other sports like diving, swimming, volleyball and speaks several languages fluently, including Czech and Hungarian.
Birgit has always pursued her goals with a compelling blend of optimism and perseverance, in accordance with her life motto: “I will. I can. End of story.”
As Editor at TMFS, Andi is every producer’s go-to person when programs need attention or new projects are ready for the cut.
Starting his career as DoP for mainly concerts, followed by Live-Directing and Live-Editing, and having – after a while – covered quite every nuance there is to cover from big venues to small, he figured that his main interest was working on a set. But little did he know that his real passion was waiting for him in the editing room. After discovering the fascinating complexity of film montage in his early twenties, a row of short film productions followed.
With his degree in Film Editing he tried to explore even further and to cover the whole spectrum of montage work. Ranging from short fiction to full documentary features, his journey eventually brought him to Terra Mater Factual Studios, where he explores and enriches the wonders of Nature and Human relations even further. Because if you look deep into nature, you will understand everything better. Or, so they say..
Maria-Christine Rieder (née Gatterer)
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.
Monika works as a producer in Terra Mater Factual Studios’ Factual Entertainment & Formats Development Department. She focuses on the development and creation of new, innovative formats for television. Earlier as a freelancer, she already produced several documentaries for global Red Bull TV and ServusTV on behalf of TMFS.
Even prior to that, Monika worked in various areas: she produced kids programmes for Disney Channel, numerous entertainment shows for German broadcasters like Pro7, ZDF and Sat1 and more TV shows and documentaries for all major Austrian broadcasters such as ATV, ORF, ServusTV and Puls4.
Monika holds a master’s degree in Journalism (University of Vienna). And she is a very sporty one: if you are looking for a passionate kite instructor, fearless mountain-biker or tough ski-mountaineer, call her. If she is not busy filming, you have a good chance to meet her up- and downhill all around the world.
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.
As Head of Digital & Communications, Eva manages Terra Mater Factual Studios’ online and social media business, executes the internal and external communications and oversees all marketing activities for the internationally acclaimed company. Since spring 2019, she and her team run the digital channels of TMFS, transferring the conservation- and environment-conscious commitment of the company to YouTube and Instagram (coming fall 2019). Furthermore, Eva is working together closely with the management team and often deals with strategically significant projects. Before her maternity leave in 2015, she managed TMFS’ department of Factual Entertainment & Format Development, where she and her team developed and produced new, innovative programs for the national and international market.
25 years of experience in the television- and advertisement-industry, as well as a master’s degree in journalism provide the basis for Eva to precisely sense what the audience wants, how the story should be told and where and when a project should be communicated. For almost a decade she created and produced a wide variety of television programs in the Program Development Department of the Austrian Broadcasting Corporation (ORF). In 2007, she moved to ORF’s science department, heading the weekly Science Magazine Program. In 2011, Eva joined Terra Mater Factual Studios and has been a staff member since the very beginning of the company.
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.
As Project Manager, Claudia is able to combine the best of her prowess: planning, arranging, coordinating and making to-do lists about anything. Claudia supports CEO Walter Köhler by keeping his management-projects running. She works hand in hand with the Head of Digital & Communications, managing publisher partnerships, festival collaborations, press releases, etc. And beside that, Claudia is an essential part of the Office Management team.
Claudia joined the TMFS team in 2015 as Office Intern. Quickly she gained insight into the company, became a trustworthy assistant for all departments and one year later got promoted to Assistant to CEO. Since the beginning of 2019, she spreads her organisational skills as Project Manager.
Claudia studied in Vienna and Stockholm and holds a B.A. degree in Scandinavian Studies and an M.A. degree in Theatre, Film and Media Studies. Combine both studies and you’ll get the thing she likes the most: Swedish movies!
Sven loves the international side of business. Working closely with the Head of Specialist Factual 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 familiarise 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.