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German Currents San Diego – Festival of German Film Presented by German American San Diego Foundation

Festival Team 2017

Festival Director

Laila SchneiderGossens

After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and German, and a Master’s in International Business, Laila settled in San Diego where she has been working for German-American organizations and companies. She conducted a year long empirical research study working with participants of cultural integration programs around Germany. Recognized for the significance of her research, Laila was awarded the German Studies Research grant from the Deutscher Akademischer Austausch Dienst (DAAD) to complete her dissertation.


Sponsorship Coordinators

Janet Miriam Norton

Jon Norton

Alexander Ehrath

Alexander was born and raised in Germany. He became passionate about software engineering at a very young age. This led him to immigrate to California in 1989 to pursue his career as a software engineer. He likes to stay connected in the German community local and abroad.


Angelika Villagrana

Angelika Villagrana worked in the Public Policy Department of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce for 23 years and recently retired as Executive Director, Public Policy. She grew up in Northern Germany and studied and worked in Denmark and France before coming to the United States in 1970. She is also an artist and has exhibited original prints in the San Diego area for the past 30 years.


Program Coordinator

Tobias Queck

Tobias Queck is a graduate of the Lette Verein Art College in Berlin, Germany. He is responsible for the visual communication and promotional efforts of the festival.


Festival Coordinator

Ulrike Lobbia

Ulrike was born and grew up in Düsseldorf, Germany. She graduated in Business Administration (VWA) and has years of sales experience in industrial electronics. After living for ten years in Berlin she moved with her family to San Diego in 2001. She loves anything cultural and is very excited to be part of this German event in San Diego!


Social Media

Patrick Schultheis

Patrick is a Public Relations and Communications professional with more than 15 years of experience in consulting with corporations, non-profits, candidates for public office and government agencies. Born in Basel, Switzerland, Patrick lived and worked in Berlin for almost 13 years before moving to San Diego in 2012. He’s serving the German American community as a board member at the German American San Diego Foundation.


Community Outreach

Patrick Schultheis

Ulrike Lobbia


Festival Photographer

Pia Thrasher

Pia Thrasher immigrated to the U.S. from Germany and has made San Diego her home for the past 18 years. She is an actress, artist and freelance translator. Her passion has always been film and she is excited to again be involved with German Currents' Film Festival.


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