Avant-garde German filmmaker Hans Richter started out as a painter in the Dadaist movement around 1916 following a crippling injury during WWI. Before going to war, the Berlin-born Richter was a carpenter's apprentice and had studied art. During the early '20s, he, Walter Ruttmann, and Viking Eggeling pioneered experimental animation films by painting images directly onto the film stock. On his own, Richter was known for further developing the technique to create scenes in which abstract images moved hypnotically in rhythm to music. Such surreal ventures made him Germany's best-known surrealist. During the late '20s, he was actively involved with the International Congress of Independent Film and worked closely with such major filmmakers as Eisenstein. When the Nazis came to power in the early '30s, Richter fled the country. After spending a few rootless years in Europe, he moved to the United States. Arriving in 1941, he soon became the director of the Institute of Film Techniques at City College in New York. Richter also began directing American films such as Dreams That Money Can Buy, which won an award at the 1947 Venice Film Festival. Richter moved to Switzerland in 1952 and went on to become an important film theorist.