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Fred Kogel receives Game Changer Award

Zurich, August 02, 2023

The Zurich Film Festival pays tribute to the media manager Fred Kogel with the Game Changer Award. With LEONINE Studios, the German founded a new company that went on to become a major European player in the motion picture industry in just a few short years, celebrating significant successes with movies like THE SCHOOL OF MAGICAL ANIMALS, KNIVES OUT and the JOHN WICK franchise. This autumn, Kogel is set via LEONINE Studios to release intelligent in-house-produced entertainment movies like WEEKEND REBELS and GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE.   

Fred Kogel, CEO LEONINE Studios © LEONINE Studios / Photo: Thomas Dashuber

Each year, the Zurich Film Festival's Game Changer Award is presented to a leading personality from the film industry whose extraordinary efforts serve to advance the sector. This year's recipient is Fred Kogel. "Fred Kogel has built LEONINE from the ground up, a new entertainment company for the digital age that brings together the most exciting artists and successful producers, allowing them to focus on their core strengths while the studio takes care of services such as HR, marketing and sales," stated Artistic Director Christian Jungen. "He has given fresh impetus with this professional outfit to the German film and TV industry, and co-produced such movie theatre hits as THE SCHOOL OF MAGICAL ANIMALS. Kogel is an inspirational and visionary entrepreneur who ensures that German productions get the international recognition they deserve."

The LEONINE boss will accept the award during the Zurich Summit industry conference on Sunday, October 1.

Next stop Zurich

"I am delighted to be honoured with the prestigious Game Changer Award. To have our achievements recognised by such an illustrious festival is a privilege. I share this award with all the employees at LEONINE who have worked with great fervour and drive to bring our vision to life. The award is not only confirmation of our passion for storytelling and our energy, but is also an incentive for us to continue to push the boundaries and shape the industry." is how Fred Kogel expresses his appreciation of the award. He also looks forward immensely to visiting Zurich: "With its internationality, commitment to talent, distinct film selection and exciting supporting programme, the Zurich Film Festival is a highlight of the festival calendar offering one of the most high-profile and inspiring industry events of the film year, year after year."

Years of experience

Fred Kogel is renowned for his extraordinary knowledge of the media industry. In addition to his outstanding expertise in the cinema sector, he has also enjoyed many years of success as a producer in the field of entertainment, counting shows like " Wetten, dass…?" and the "Harald Schmidt Show" among his list of credits. After serving as Head of Entertainment at ZDF and Managing Director of SAT1, where he was responsible for the station's merger into ProSiebenSat.1 Media AG, he gradually turned his attention to cinema, becoming CEO of Constantin Film AG from 2003 – 2009. While he served on the board, highly acclaimed, Oscar-nominated theatrical hits like DOWNFALL and PERFUME: THE STORY OF A MURDERER were released, which, in addition to countless other accolades, won both the German and European Film Awards and a Bambi, as well as THE BAADER MEINHOF COMPLEX, which also received an Oscar Nomination.

Leonine Studios

Four years ago, Fred Kogel founded LEONINE Studios together with the financial investor KKR as a major player in the German production, distribution and licensing sector. These three business units cover the entire value chain of the moving image market. LEONINE Studios includes successful subsidiaries such as Wiedemann & Berg Film, Odeon Fiction, the award-winning Berlin-based production company hyperbole Medien GMBH and the documentary specialists gebrueder beetz filmproduktion. LEONINE Studios’ production company W&B Television produced the WolfGang Hohlbein adaptation of THE GRYPHON for Amazon Prime Video, the series 4 BLOCKS and GERMAN GENIUS for Warner TV, the Netflix Original Series DARK, and currently the new international Paramount+ bestseller adaption THE BILLION DOLLAR CODE.

"Despite LEONINE's challenging start due to the pandemic, Kogel refused to give up and, together with his partners, proceeded to turn LEONINE in a competitive German market into what he regards his beloved Bayern Munich to be in football: Number 1," says Christian Jungen. This autumn and winter, LEONINE Studios will release several new prestige productions including the children's book adaptation THE FLYING CLASSROOM, the moving family drama WEEKEND REBELS, and GIRL YOU KNOW IT’S TRUE, about the rise of the German pop duo Milli Vanilli, who are masters at uniting ambition and entertainment.   

Previous recipients of the Game Changer Award are Pamela Abdy, Patrick Wachsberger, Michael Barker and Tom Bernard.

Zurich Summit

The Zurich Summit is the Zurich Film Festival's largest industry event. The boutique conference takes place during the first festival weekend at The Dolder Grand. A top-class line-up of national and international film producers, sales executives, film, TV and entertainment creators as well as technology entrepreneurs and financiers meet to debate the latest and most groundbreaking trends sweeping the industry. The Zurich Summit offers a smart mix of knowledge transfer and inspiration as well as ideal networking opportunities.

Zurich Film Festival

The Zurich Film Festival (ZFF) is the second largest festival in the German-speaking world. Over 11 days in autumn, it presents the greatest discoveries and the year’s most anticipated movies. The ZFF promotes exchange between upcoming directors, established filmmakers, the film industry and the general public. Last year's ZFF attracted over 137,000 spectators and thousands of accredited film and media professionals from all over the world.

The 19th edition takes place from September 28 until October 8, 2023

More information | About ZFF Industry

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