My Story:

Annika Hylmö, Ph.D.


I am an artist at heart. My own journey has brought me to the heart of storytelling and entertainment. I bring a clear understanding of what makes a story work and how that story relates to an audience. I write and produce, so I understand the world of visual narratives as one of both art and business.


While storytelling has always been at my core, my experiences in academia, consulting, and the American Film Institute’s Conservatory are particularly significant. In academia, I researched movies with a teen girl protagonist, giving me an in-depth understanding of the relationship between story and audience at the time of release and on.


I grew up as a “Third Culture Kid” because my family lived in Sweden (my home country), Switzerland (briefly – I barely remember it!), the Bahamas, and the United States, plus a stint at school in England. That taught me a lot about the human side of diversity and international relations and how connected we are. I hold three degrees in Communication from three different universities: Lund University, The American University, and Purdue University.


After academia, I spent time consulting in a range of worlds, working primarily with strategic planning efforts, until I had the opportunity to join the staff at AFI’s Conservatory where my network of filmmakers grew exponentially. I also grew my personal network of mentors who continue to support me and my own filmmaking!


I also grew in my love for story with heart and texture, the kinds of stories that we all want to come back to. I like stories with layers of themes and emotions, stories that take the viewer on an emotional, visual and visceral journey. My own stories tend to focus on mythology and the supernatural, with a sprinkling of empowerment. They all come out of my own experience and the people whom I’ve met along the way.


As a producer, I basically work with good stories that have a voice, regardless of genre. What they have in common is that the filmmaker has a spark and a story that reflects it. I work with Women in Media and produce the CAMERAderie films that go on to win awards, with individual filmmakers that develop features and documentaries and do the same, and with writers developing for television and streaming. It all starts with that unique spark!


Photo: Ashly Covington