Esther Hafner (Germany)

Esther Hafner is a director, writer and former actor from Germany who divides her time between New York and Berlin. Esther has always been interested in the intersection between art and science. Esther wants to tell stories that explore big questions about society but told on a personal level. One of Esther’s main creative influences is the graphic novel Maus by Art Spiegelman. Through Maus, Esther started to understand how you can visualize trauma. Esther received a Rosa-Luxemburg Fellowship and a scholarship from the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) to study Theatre at Hunter College in New York City. At Hunter College, Esther fell in love with directing. In New York, Esther works closely with the New Yiddish Rep, a small Yiddish-speaking theatre company. At the New Yiddish Rep, Esther met Malky Goldman, the co-creator of One.

One — Paloma, a 13-year-old girl, lives in constant fear of her undocumented mother being deported. But when she meets Avi, a quiet 85-year-old Holocaust survivor, they form an unlikely bond. Together they set out to create a social app that they believe will disrupt the climate of fear.