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’.

The anticipated season two of Exit premiered in March to great acclaim. It instantly made a streaming-record on NRK and is nominated for seven Norwegian Emmy’s. 
Karlsen is currently writing the British crime drama Whitstable Pearl set to premiere in 2021.

Awards

Golden Screen Award Nominee (Best Director ) Norway – Exit 2021
Golden Screen Award Nominee (Best Drama) Norway – Exit 2021
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 (Best Script) Norway – Dag 2012
Golden Screen Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Dag 2012
Golden Screen Nominee (Best Direction) Norway – Dag 2012
Golden Screen Nominee (Best TV Drama) Norway – Dag 2011
Golden Screen Nominee (Best Script) Norway – Dag 2011
Close award list

Filmography

Related news

Trailer premiere for ‘Whitstable Pearl’

The trailer for Whitstable Pearl, a crime series based on the mystery novels by author Julie Wassmer, is now available for viewing. The show will star After Life’s Kerry Godliman as Pearl Nolan – a restaurant owner who, having trained as a police officer earlier in her career, decides to set up a local detective agency.

Whitstable Pearl has been adapted by Øystein Karlsen, giving the crime drama a “Scandi” edge. The series will be available on the online streaming service Acorn TV in the UK and US later this spring.

Øystein Karlsen’s ‘Exit’ season 2 nominated for seven Norwegian Emmy Awards

It has just been announced that the second season of Exit is nominated in no less than seven categories for this year’s Norwegian Emmy Awards; ‘Best Drama’, ‘Best Director (drama)’, ‘Best Actor/Actress in a leading role’ (Agnes Kittelsen), ‘Best Cinematography’, ‘Best Production Design’, ‘Best Makeup’ and ‘The Audience Award’.

With that, the series that Øystein Karlsen has written and directed have all together received a staggering 43 Norwegian Emmy nominations in 11 years and has won 12 so far.

Streaming-record on NRK when ‘Exit’ premiered

More than 1,4 million unique viewers watched the season 2 premiere of Exit in Norway on Friday night – an all-time high according to NRK.

‘Exit’ season 2 premiere

The second season of Øystein Karlsen’s hit TV series Exit premieres tonight on NRK in Norway, to great critical acclaim. Based on true events, Exit is set in Norway’s high-flying financial world and the hugely successful dark and twisted first season instantly became the most streamed series in NRK’s history and was lauded around the world. The series is created, written and directed by Øystein Karlsen.

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.