Thomas Hailer is the programme manager of the Berlin International Film Festival.
Born in 1959 in Öhringen (Baden-Württemberg), he studied theatre and German literature in Munich between 1979 and 1981. After working as an assistant director in theatre and musical theatre, Thomas Hailer joined the artistic direction of the independent musical theatre ensemble Bolschoi Berlin in 1983. As a director he joined to Thüringia state theatre in Rudolstadt. In 1993 he assisted in the development of the dance theatre in the Stadttheater Giessen as a dramatic advisor.
Since 1995, Hailer has worked as a film advisor with a focus on children’s film. He was project advisor for the funding division for children’s film at the Kuratorium junger deutscher Film foundation. As a dramatic advisor, he worked on the adaptation of A.S. Neill’s children’s literature classic The Green Cloud as well as Bernd Sahling’s feature Die Blindgänger, which was awarded the German Film Award. He is the director of studies of the Academy for Children’s Media, an educational initiative of the Förderverein deutscher Kinderfilm.
In 2002, Thomas Hailer became director of the Berlinale Kinderfilmfest section. Two years later the programme was expanded to include youths with the introduction of the 14plus competition. In 2007 this led to the new section name Generation. Since May 2008, Thomas Hailer has supported the festival director in all issues related to the programme as programme manager and is also responsible for synchronization of programme-related communication between the sections and departments of the Berlinale..