Stig Jarnes
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Sara Johnsen

    Sara Johnsen (b. 1970) is one of Scandinavia’s most distinguished directors and writers. In addition to penning and directing awarded TV-series and feature films, Johnsen is the author of two novels: White Man, and He Knows Something She Can Try.

    Johnsen’s acclaimed short film Houdini’s Hound (2003) became an instant international hit, showing at festivals all over the world and winning ‘Best Short Film’ at Berlin International Film Festival and Almería International Short Film Festival among others. Her first feature film, Kissed by Winter (2005), received fantastic reviews and became Norway’s submission to the Academy Awards. It was also the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at AFI Fest and nominated for the prestigious Nordic Council Film Prize.

    The year 2009 saw the release of Johnsen’s second feature, Upperdog, which was received with great acclamation and became a box office success. Upperdog was presented with the Norwegian Film Critics Award and became a huge success at that year’s Amanda Awards, taking home the awards for ‘Best Film’, ‘Best Direction’, ‘Best Actress’, and ‘Best Cinematography’.

    Her film All That Matters Is Past (2012) had its premiere at the Toronto Film Festival and was nominated for ‘Best Nordic Film’ at the Gothenburg Film Festival. Johnsen’s latest feature, Framing Mom (2017) gained great attention for its excellent direction and leading actress, Ruby Dagnall, who was awarded ‘Best Actress’ at the Amanda Awards.

    Johnsen is creator and writer of 22 July, a series about the everyday heroes who took action following the terror attack in Norway on July 22nd, 2011. 22 July premiered in January 2020 and has been lauded in the Norwegian and international press. Johnsen also emerged as the winner of the 2020 Nordic TV Drama Screenplay Award for 22 July.

    Awards

    Golden Screen Award, Golden Screen Award, Fritt Ord Tribute, Nordisk Film & TV Fond, Festival del Cinema Europeo Nominee, Trondheim International Film Festival Nominee, Gothenburg Film Festival Nominee, Arne Skouens Honorary Award, TheWIFTS Foundation International Visionary Awards, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Nominee, Amanda Awards, Amanda Awards Nominee, Trondheim International Film Festival, Rouen Nordic Film Festival, Trondheim International Film Festival, Nordic Council Film Prize Nominee, Norwegian International Film Festival, Warsaw International Film Festival Nominee, Camerimage Nominee, Trondheim International Film Festival, Brussels European Film Festival Nominee, AFI Fest, Nordic Council Film Prize Nominee, Amanda Awards, Amanda Awards Nominee, Bratislava International Film Festival Nominee, Aspen Shortsfest, Buster International Children's Film Festival, Chicago International Children's Film Festival Nominee, Almería International Short Film Festival, Berlin International Film Festival, Amanda Awards Nominee, Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival, Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival See full list
    Golden Screen Award (Best TV Drama) Norway – 22. juli 22 July 2020
    Golden Screen Award (Best Script) Norway – 22. juli 22 July 2020
    Fritt Ord Tribute Norway – 22. juli 22 July 2020
    Nordisk Film & TV Fond (Nordic TV Drama Screenplay Award) – 22. juli 22 July 2020
    Festival del Cinema Europeo Nominee (Best Film) Italia – Rosemari Framing Mom 2017
    Trondheim International Film Festival Nominee (Best Director) Norway – Uskyld All That Matters Is Past 2013
    Gothenburg Film Festival Nominee (Best Nordic Film) Sweden – Uskyld All That Matters Is Past 2013
    Arne Skouens Honorary Award Norway 2012
    TheWIFTS Foundation International Visionary Awards (The Jury Award) – Uskyld All That Matters Is Past 2012
    Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival Nominee (Grand Prize) Estonia – Uskyld All That Matters Is Past 2012
    Amanda Awards (Best Direction) Norway – Upperdog 2010
    Amanda Awards Nominee (Best Screenplay) Norway – Upperdog 2010
    Trondheim International Film Festival (Best Original Screenplay) Norway – Upperdog 2010
    Rouen Nordic Film Festival (Grand Jury Prize) France – Upperdog 2010
    Trondheim International Film Festival (Best Director) Norway – Upperdog 2010
    Nordic Council Film Prize Nominee – Upperdog 2010
    Norwegian International Film Festival (Film Critics Award) Norway – Upperdog 2009
    Warsaw International Film Festival Nominee (Grand Prix) Poland – Upperdog 2009
    Camerimage Nominee (Golden Frog) Poland – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2006
    Trondheim International Film Festival (Best Director) Norway – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2006
    Brussels European Film Festival Nominee (Golden Iris) Belgium – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2005
    AFI Fest (Grand Jury Prize) US – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2005
    Nordic Council Film Prize Nominee – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2005
    Amanda Awards (Best Debut) Norway – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2005
    Amanda Awards Nominee (Best Screenplay) Norway – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2005
    Bratislava International Film Festival Nominee (Grand Prix) Slovakia – Vinterkyss Kissed by Winter 2005
    Aspen Shortsfest (Special Jury Award) US – Houdinis hund Houdini's Hound 2004
    Buster International Children's Film Festival (Buster's Short Film Award) Denmark – Houdinis hund Houdini's Hound 2003
    Chicago International Children's Film Festival Nominee (Adult's Jury Award) US – Houdinis hund Houdini's Hound 2003
    Almería International Short Film Festival (Best Short Film) Spain – Houdinis hund Houdini's Hound 2003
    Berlin International Film Festival (Best Short Film) Germany – Houdinis hund Houdini's Hound 2003
    Amanda Awards Nominee (Best Children's or Youth Film) Norway – Houdinis hund Houdini's Hound 2003
    Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival (Special Prize in Memoriam R.W. Fassbinder) Germany – Folk flest bor i Kina Utopia - Nobody's Perfect in Perfect Country 2002
    Mannheim-Heidelberg International Film Festival (FIPRESCI Prize) Germany – Folk flest bor i Kina Utopia - Nobody's Perfect in Perfect Country 2002
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    Filmography

    Related news

    ‘22 July’ wins Golden Screen Award for Best TV Drama

    Sara Johnsen and Pål Sletaune’s lauded TV series 22 July was awarded the prestigious prize for ‘Best TV Drama’ at this year’s Golden Screen Awards. Johnsen and Sletaune also won in the categories ‘Best Script’ and ‘Best Director’ respectively.

    Earlier this year, Sara Johnsen won the Nordic TV Drama Screenplay Award as the writer of 22 July.

    ‘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.