Rolf Giesen

Book Presentation 2: 'Chinamation': Local Production or Global Power?

Introduction by Mr. Sascha Kienzle
Head of Science and Technology Department
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany


Hundreds and thousands of Chinese companies contribute to what they call a “strong nation of animation”. Not many people in foreign countries seem to be overly enthusiastic about the mostly simple and cheap flash animation but now, with Americans, who, like Jeffrey Katzenberg years ago, looked upon Chinese animation as local production, competing with each other to enter co-production deals with a nod to the huge Chinese market and sensational box-office receipts the attitude towards Chinese media has changed. Now, in China too, it’s not quantity over quality but vice versa. Chinese product, including animation and interactive games, is destined to spread the message of Chinese culture worldwide on the threshold to virtuality. And China and Asia are very likely to have a determining influence on the way this future will wind and meander.


Born on July 4, 1953 in Moers, Germany. Studied at Free University of Berlin. PhD. (Dr. phil.) in 1979. Was 20 years curator at Deutsche Kinemathek (German Cinematheque) in charge of collections "Ray Harryhausen" (Stop Motion) and "Special Effects/Animation" (Rolf Giesen Collection).
Wrote numerous articles and approximately 50 books on all topics of film and media, particularly Visual Effects and Animation, including Special Effects Artists: A Worldwide Biographical Dictionary of the Pre-Digital Era with a Filmography. (2008). Animation Under the Swastika: A History of Trickfilm in Nazi Germany, 1933-1945 (2012) and Chinese Animation: A History and Filmography, 1922-2012 (2014).
In the early 1980s Giesen was chairman of German Trickfilm Association. As a consultant, scenarist, co-writer was involved in the production of several animated features ["Asterix and the Big Fight" with Gaumont in France, "Laura's Star", "Little Polar Bear 2", "Little Dodo", "Laura's Star 2", "Laura's Star and the Dream Monsters" with Warner Bros. in Germany and "Little Big Panda"] as well as series and specials ["The Neverending Story" TV series, "Laura's Christmas Star"].
For more than 30 years Dr. Giesen lectured at various film academies and universities.He was Honorary Professor at the German Film School for digital production.
In 2007 and 2009 was appointed Visiting Professor at the Animation School (CUC Anima) of Communication University of China in Beijing, in 2009 Guest Professor at Jilin Animation Institute in Changchun, China. In 2010-12 was President of International Animation, Comics & Games Museum at Jilin Animation Institute.
In 2013 Guest Professor at Tainan University of the Arts.