Mascha Halberstad

Bringing old school animation back to light


Mascha Halberstad is a director specialized in narrative animation. She made animations for several feature films, including How To Survive… (2008) and Taking Chances (Berlinale Generation 2012). Both of her feature-length films, Oink (2022) and Fox and Hare Save the Forest (2024) were selected for the Berlinale Generation competition. She also made a music video for the song Wild Frontier by Prodigy.

Director Mascha Halberstad (1973) attended the ArtEZ Art Academy in Arnhem. She made animations for several feature films, including Taking Chances (Berlinale Generation 2012) and How To Survive… In 2012 she directed the short animation film Goodbye Mister de Vries. Also in 2012 she made the 13-episode animation series Picknick with Cake adapted from Thé Tjong-Khing’s books, which was broadcast by the VPRO and awarded the Cinekid Kinderkast Fiction – Jury prize 2013.

“I love stopmotion as a technique the most because it is so honest and transparent. In my work I try to be as analogue and old school as possible.”

Her film Munya in Me won the Grand Jury Prize of the BANFF World Media Festival. In 2015, the Prodigy’s Liam Howlett asked her to make a music video for the song Wild Frontier by Prodigy.

“It was a long process, but we did it pretty fast. I started in mid-December and finished it in mid-February, so it all took two months of work. We animated for 25 days. I heard the track first. I really loved the music and I immediately had pictures in my head like Nelson (wolf) on the bike, the kids walking away with white bloody hare, the moose standing on the road…There were like little pieces of puzzle I somehow had to fit together!”

After that she directed several short films, the 26-episode animation series Fox and Hare, which won the Cinekid Audience Award and the hilarious The Great Hummimummi Christmas Special.

“It always upsets me when people underestimate children”

Her first feature-length film, Oink, premiered in the 2022 Berlinale Generation, went on to screen at numerous international festivals and won three Golden Calves at the 2022 Netherlands Film Festival.

“Oink was made in a very analogue way. What you see is what you get. It’s a very honest way of filmmaking. The funny thing about me is that I am very impatient, but a good aspect of this technique is that it’s very hands-on. You see the set, the lighting, and the characters. It’s a lot like live action in that sense, only more charming. And, most importantly, you can change things! I love to improvise and think of other ways to solve problems, and with stop-motion, there are always so many.”

Her new feature-length animation Fox and Hare Save the Forest (2024), the story of pack of friends – Owl, Fox and Hare, was selected to Berlinale Generation competition.

Together with producer Marleen Slot she build Holy Motion, a 600m2 animation studio where they are producing the stopmotion films.

In cooperation with Central and Eastern European Animation and the Slovak Association of Animated Film Producers. The Masterclass was financially supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the entire project is supported by the VŠMU FTF and VŠMU through a KEGA grant.