Øystein Karlsen

Øystein Karlsen (b.1971) is Norway’s most sought-after and edgy screenwriter and director. Karlsen is the name behind several highly successful and celebrated Norwegian TV series, including Dag (2010-2015), One Night (2017) and Exit (2019). Karlsen is also the director of several episodes of the popular and awarded Norwegian-American Netflix Original Lilyhammer (2014).

Karlsen is the creator, writer and director of the TV series Dag, which became an instant hit with the audience and received rave reviews from a choir of critics fascinated by Karlsen’s dark, absurd humor and original style. In total, Dag has received a staggering 36 Golden Screen nominations (the Norwegian equivalent of an Emmy) and 11 wins, which is a record to date.

Karlsen’s feature film debut, Fuck Up, premiered in 2012 to great reviews, and following its US festival screenings, the American film magazine Twitch films picked Fuck Up to head its 2012 top ten list with the motivation “It is pretty damn close to being a perfect film.” They also listed Karlsen among the top up and coming directors.

2019 saw the premiere of Karlsen’s latest creation, the scandalous success series Exit, which shook Norway to its core and quickly became the most streamed series in NRK’s history. The dark and twisted drama is lauded around the world, and has generated more publicity than any other Norwegian series. Based on true events, Exit is set in Norway’s high-flying financial world. It revolves around four narcissistic men in their 30s who are looking for an exit from everyday pressures and obligations by using drugs, prostitutes and challenging their own – already low – sets of moral values. Exit was nominated in numerous categories at the Golden Screen Awards, including ‘Best TV Drama’, ‘Best Innovation’, ‘Best Script’ and ‘Best Director’.

Karlsen is currently filming Exit season 2, and writing the British crime drama Whitstable Pearl set to premiere in 2021.

Awards

Shortlisted for LovelyBooks Leserpreis, Shortlisted for the Storytel Awards See full list
Golden Screen Award Nominee (Best Innovation) Norway – Exit 2020
Golden Screen Award Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Exit 2020
Golden Screen Award Nominee (Best Script) Norway – Exit 2020
Golden Screen Award Nominee (Best Director) Norway – Exit 2020
Series Mania (International Panorama) France – Exit 2019
Monte-Carlo TV Festival Nominee (Best Comedy TV Series) Monaco – En natt One Night 2019
Golden Screen Nominee (Best Script) Norway – Dag 2016
Golden Screen Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Dag 2016
Golden Screen (Best Script) Norway – Dag 2013
Golden Screen Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Dag 2013
Seattle International Film Festival Nominee (New Director's Showcase Award) US – Fuck Up 2013
Golden Screen Nominee (Best Direction) Norway – Dag 2012
Golden Screen (Best Script) Norway – Dag 2012
Golden Screen Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Dag 2012
Golden Screen Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Dag 2011
Golden Screen Nominee (Best Script) Norway – Dag 2011
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Filmography

Related news

Øystein Karlsen to adapt ‘The Whitstable Pearl Mystery’ novels

Acorn TV’s Acorn Media Enterprises, an AMC Networks company, has commissioned Buccaneer Media to produce a new British crime drama based on the The Whitstable Pearl Mystery novels by Julie Wassmer.

The six-part series Whitstable Pearl will be adapted by Øystein Karlsen. Kerry Godliman, the star of Ricky Gervais’ Netflix comedy After Life, has signed on to headline the show.

The series follows big-hearted local restaurant owner Pearl Nolan who sets up a local detective agency after undergoing police training in an earlier career. She is soon embroiled in her first case when she discovers the body of close friend, Vinnie. Pearl forms an unlikely partnership with DCI Mike McGuire, a new local police chief who has transferred from London to escape his past. And when a second body shows up, Pearl finds herself pulled into the dark underbelly of the picturesque town she calls home.

Whitstable Pearl will stream across North America, New Zealand, Australia, and the UK in 2021.

‘22 July’, ‘Exit’ and ‘Witch Hunt’ nominated for the Golden Screen Awards

The nominees for the 2020 Golden Screen Awards have been revealed. The Golden Screen (Gullruten) is the annual award for the Norwegian TV industry and their equivalent to the American Emmy Awards.

Pål Sletaune and Sara Johnsen are both nominated for their lauded TV series 22 July, Sletaune for ‘Best Director’ and Johnsen for ‘Best Script’. 22 July is also nominated for ‘Best TV Drama’. Øystein Karlsen, creator of the success series Exit, is nominated for ‘Best Script’ and ‘Best Director’ alongside Exit’s nominations for ‘Best TV Drama’ and ‘Best Innovation’. The much acclaimed TV series Witch Hunt, created and written by Anna Bache-Wiig and Siv Rajendram Eliassen, is also nominated for ‘Best TV Drama’.

The winners will be announced on July 19 and the award show will air on TV 2 Norway and TV 2 Sumo.

Øystein Karlsen joins Salomonsson Agency

Øystein Karlsen is Norway’s most sought-after and edgy screenwriter and director. Karlsen is the name behind several highly successful and celebrated Norwegian TV series, including Dag (2010-2015), One Night (2017) and Exit (2019). Karlsen is also the director of several episodes of the popular and awarded Norwegian-American Netflix Original Lilyhammer (2014).

2019 saw the premiere of Karlsen’s latest creation, the scandalous success series Exit, which shook Norway to its core and quickly became the most streamed series in NRK’s history. The dark and twisted drama is lauded around the world, and has generated more publicity than any other Norwegian series. Based on true events, Exit is set in Norway’s high-flying financial world. It revolves around four narcissistic men in their 30s who are looking for an exit from everyday pressures and obligations by using drugs, prostitutes and challenging their own – already low – sets of moral values.

Karlsen is currently in pre-production on Exit season 2, and in development on three international shows.