Daniel Sawka

Daniel Sawka (b. 1987) 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 coming thriller series Jana – Marked For Life, set to premiere on Viaplay in autumn 2023. 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

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.