IBC awards
July 26, 2019

IBC Celebrates Young Talent in the Industry


The media, entertainment and technology industry is changing.

Attitudes are shifting, the next generation is consuming content differently to any before them and diverse and exciting content is being created to meet that demand in innovative formats.

Driving this change is a new wave of industry talent, honoured at IBC with the first IBC Young Pioneer Award.

Recognising the brightest, newest talent in the industry, this award will go to someone who has made a real impact with their passion, ambition and commitment and is making an outstanding contribution to our industry.

“What we were looking for in the shortlist was, most importantly, real talent, a stand-out individual making a real difference in the industry,” said David Levine, VP, Programming – Kids, Europe & Africa/UK & Ireland, The Walt Disney Co. Ltd and Chair of the Judging Panel. “But we were also looking for a lasting legacy, for the Young Pioneer to be a leader today and a media guru of the future.”

The call for entries sought people under 30 who have demonstrably gone above and beyond their remit to produce positive results, through their own efforts or by motivating a team. Whether creative or technical, a strategist or an engineer, the Young Pioneer will be a leader, demonstrating a strong strategic vision and the personal skills to influence others.

This year’s entrants were narrowed down to seven finalists, each bringing their own brand of pioneering spirit. Some are technical innovators while others are creative artists; some have added business acumen to lead teams or start businesses while others are inspiring those around them.

The shortlist for the IBC2019 Young Pioneer Award is:

  • Vera Bichler, graduate of the HBS Broadcast Academy and the first woman football director for ORF in Austria
  • Oliver Janesh Christiansen, inventor and developer of Cinefade, a camera add-on which allows cinematographers to vary depth of field
  • Ahmed Al-Ghandour, host and producer of Al-Daheeh (“The Nerd”), an online science show which tackles complex concepts through comedy
  • David Harnett, formerly Head of outside broadcast engineering for sound and now Head of operations at Timeline Television
  • Samantha Kingston, CEO of Virtual Umbrella, developers of immersive content, and a mentor for the Prince’s Trust, helping young people start businesses
  • Matej Michalko, blockchain pioneer and founder and CEO of Decent, a software platform company in Slovakia
  • Dominik Wrona, Global OU Manager at BT Media & Broadcast, where he is also responsible for the business’s graduate and apprenticeship programme

“The Young Pioneer Award is looking for talent – those taking a chance and being bold with their ideas,” said Muki Kulhan, Executive Producer & Managing Director, Muki-International. “I was also looking for a young pioneer that is looking for better ways of using tech, someone who is showing really good promise in the industry. Really, I’m looking for someone I would hire for my own team!”

The finalists will have to wait to find out who takes home the first Young Pioneer Award trophy until the IBC2019 Awards Ceremony.

Open to all IBC visitors, the Awards Ceremony takes place at 18:30 on Sunday 15 September, in the RAI Auditorium.

Register for your free exhibition pass now: show.ibc.org/register


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