Daniel Sawka

Daniel Sawka is a writer/director with international experience, working on projects in both the US and in Sweden.

Sawka graduated with an MFA in film directing at the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles where he received the school’s Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award upon graduating in 2016. Sawka’s thesis short film Icebox went on to become shortlisted (final 10) for the 2018 Academy Awards in the short film category, won the Grand Jury Award at AFI Fest and was shown at prestigious festivals such as Telluride and Clermont-Ferrand.

Sawka then started working with multiple Academy Award winner James L. Brooks (Terms of EndearmentAs Good As It GetsThe Simpsons) and his production company Gracie Films. This collaboration resulted in the adaptation of Iceboxinto a feature film, written and directed by Sawka. The film, distributed by HBO, premiered in December 2018, receiving critical acclaim. Icebox was nominated for a Critic’s Choice Award, won the Cinema Without Borders Award, the NAMIC Vision Award and several categories of the Imagine Awards. The collaboration with James L. Brooks and Gracie Films continued in 2019 with the development of another project.

Currently, Sawka is collaborating with Anagram on his first Swedish feature film, and he is head-writer of the thriller series Jana – Marked For Life on Prime Video. The series is an adaptation of Emelie Schepp’s bestselling novel of the same name.

Awards

Critic's Choice Awards Nominee (Best Movie Made for TV) US – Icebox 2019
NAMIC Vision Awards (Best Original Movie) US – Icebox 2019
Cinema Without Borders (Bridging the Border Award ) US – Icebox 2019
Imagen Foundation Awards  (Best PrimeTime Program - Specials, Movies & Limited Series) US – Icebox 2019
Academy Awards Shortlist (Best Live Action Short Film) US – Icebox 2018
Seattle International Film Festival Nominee (Best Short Film) US – Icebox 2016
AFI Fest (Grand Jury Prize) US – Icebox 2016
AFI Conservatory (Franklin J. Shaffner Award) US 2016
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Filmography

Related news

BBC acquires psychological thrillers ‘End of Summer’ and ‘Jana – Marked for Life’

The BBC just announced that they have acquired two Swedish crime dramas, End of Summer, based on the bestselling work of Anders de la Motte, and the thriller series Jana – Marked for Life, directed by Henrik Björn and Felix Herngren, with Daniel Sawka and Maria Karlsson as head-writers.

End of Summer, based on former police officer Anders de la Motte’s novel of the same name, is a six-part psychological thriller starring Julia Ragnarsson (Midsommar, The Bridge) and Erik Enge (Tigers, The Sandhamn Murders). Viaplay produced End of Summer with Harmonica Films in a co-production with SF Studios and Film i Skåne. The series is directed by Jens Jonsson (Young Wallander) and Henrik Georgsson (The Bridge) with lead writers Stefan Thunberg (Wallander) and Björn Carlström (Hunters), who also produced the series with Per Janérus (Hunters).

Jana – Marked for Life follows the investigation of a murder of a high-ranking official at the Swedish Migration Agency. When the main suspect is also found dead, Jana immediately recognizes something on his scarred body. To understand her own traumatic past, Jana must reach the killer ahead of the police. The six episodes are created and directed by Henrik Björn and Felix Herngren. Daniel Sawka is head-writer together with Maria Karlsson. The series is an adaptation of Emelie Schepp’s bestselling novel of the same name, and in Sweden it will premiere on Prime Video on April 19.

“End of Summer is a complex and absorbing mystery drama in a beautiful setting. Jana – Marked for Life is an intriguing and suspenseful thriller. We are so pleased to be adding these two compelling series to our rich catalogue of Nordic Noir” says Sue Deeks, Head of BBC Programme Acquisition.

Read the full article on BBC by clicking ‘Read more’ below.

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Photo: Prime Video

‘Jana – Marked for Life’ and ‘Furia’ Season 2 to premiere on Prime Video

It is now official that the much-anticipated series Jana – Marked for Life and Fury Season 2 will premiere on Prime Video.

The new thriller series Jana – Marked for Life follows the investigation of a murder of a high-ranking official at the Swedish Migration Agency. When the main suspect is also found dead, Jana immediately recognizes something on his scarred body.

The six episodes are created and directed by Henrik Björn and Felix Herngren. Daniel Sawka is head-writer together with Maria Karlsson.

The second season of the record-breaking Norwegian series Furia takes place two years after the first. Security police agents Ragna and Asgeir continue to battle extremist forces in Norway – but when an undercover mission goes wrong, the two are forced into a new race against time to foil a terrorist plot. Fury Season One will also be available on Prime Video. 

Furia season two is created by Gjermund Stenberg Eriksen with Magnus Martens directing.

Andreas Hjertø, Head of Content at Prime Video Nordics, expressed his enthusiasm, stating: “We’re excited to add these locally produced Original TV series by the best Nordic creators and featuring highly popular Nordic talent to our slate. We are constantly evolving and improving our selection of great series and movies, and we’re looking forward to delighting our customers with these fantastic titles.” 

Photo: Johan Paulin / Viaplay

Cast released for ‘Jana – Marked For Life’

The star-studded cast has been announced for the much-anticipated thriller series Jana – Marked For Life. Madeleine Martin will portray Jana Berzelius, and is joined by castmates Johan Ulveson, Pernilla August, Moa Gammel, Sigrid Johnson and Suzanne Reuter.

The six episodes are created and directed by Henrik Björn and Felix Herngren. Daniel Sawka is head-writer together with Maria Karlsson.

The series is an adaptation of Emelie Schepp’s bestselling novel of the same name, and it will premiere on Viaplay in the autumn 2023.

Kiefer Lee, Matthias Ahlm/SR Photo: Kiefer Lee, Matthias Ahlm/SR

Thriller series ’Jana – Marked For Life’ to premiere on Viaplay 2023

It is now official that the new thriller series Jana – Marked For Life will premiere on Viaplay in autumn 2023. The six episodes are created and will be directed by Henrik Björn (Jordskott) and Felix Herngren, and Daniel Sawka (Icebox) is head writer together with Maria Karlsson.

The story will revolve around the prosecutor Jana who we encounter during an investigation into the murder of a high-ranking official at the Swedish Migration Agency. But when the main suspect is found dead, Jana recognizes something familiar on his scarred body from her own past. In order to understand and deal with her troubled past, Jana must find the killer before the police does.

The series is an adaptation of Emelie Schepp’s bestselling novel Jana – Marked For Life and will be produced by FLX.

Kiefer Lee Photo: Kiefer Lee

Daniel Sawka joins Salomonsson Agency

Daniel Sawka is a writer/director with international experience, working on projects in both the US and in Sweden.

Sawka graduated with an MFA in film directing at the AFI Conservatory in Los Angeles, where he received the school’s Franklin J. Schaffner Fellow Award for Best Film’ upon graduating in 2016. Sawka’s thesis short film, Icebox, went on to become shortlisted (final 10) for the 2018 Academy Awards in the short film category and won the Grand Jury Award at AFI Fest.

Sawka then started working with multiple Academy Award winner James L. Brooks (Terms of Endearment, As Good As It Gets, The Simpsons) and his production company Gracie Films. This collaboration resulted in the adaptation of Icebox into a feature film, written and directed by Sawka. The film, distributed by HBO, premiered in December 2018, receiving critical acclaim. Icebox was nominated for a Critics’ Choice Award, won the Cinema Without Borders Award and the NAMIC Vision Award. The collaboration with James L. Brooks and Gracie Films continued in 2019 with the development of another project, soon to be announced.

Currently, Sawka is collaborating with Anagram on his first Swedish feature film, and writing a TV-series for Blackpills Entertainment, which he is also attached to direct.