Steffen studied graphic design and media design in Germany. In 2005, he was awarded Student of the Year by the Art Directors Club Germany for his documentary Schönes Endliches Leben – Die Dokumentation. . The film is about his personal examination of the topic of life and death. He graduated with distinction with his animated film illustrating Oscar Wilde’s fairy tale The Selfish Giant and tutored fundamental design at the University of Applied Sciences Münster in Germany .
After his studies he designed as a freelancer and made homepages and stage designs before doing an internship at the Berlin based advertising company Scholz and Friends. Amongst many other projects, he worked on the campaign Jobsintown.de – Life’s too short for the wrong job, which won various international awards.
Steffen has been in New Zealand since the beginning of 2007 and finished his Masters in Design at Massey University, Wellington in March 2009. For his thesis Metamorphosis, he focussed on surrealistic films and the German literature genre Bildungsroman and produced the documentary film Pupa and the mixed-media film Lepidoptera.
Lepidoptera is “a personal, oneiric illustration of the artist’s struggle for self-discovery. The social, sexual and linguistic anxieties imposed on the protagonist manifest themselves corporally through a wide array of animation styles and increasingly fanciful film techniques. Freedom – as any good surrealist alchemist or Taoist butterfly will tell you – demands the letting out of all that lies within. A strange and beautiful autopsy.” Michael Tencer
Saatchi & Saatchi Auckland selected Lepidoptera, as the only film from New Zealand, to be sent to the New Directors Showcase in Cannes, France. The film did not make it to the final selection in Cannes.
Steffen Kreft is a tutor for computer graphics, stop motion animation, marionette making and shadow puppet animation at the Learning Connexion – an art school in Wellington, New Zealand.
Steffen has recently finished his second stop motion animation film for the French TV channel Arte. Together with his business partner Paul Neason, Steffen has also just set up an animation and illustration studio called National Park: vimeo.com/nationalpark