Top 100 Scandinavian Directorsby minalex | created - 26 May 2012 | updated - 3 months ago | Public
Directors from Denmark (36), Sweden (36), Norway (13), Finland (12) and Iceland (3). This is in chronological order.
Actor | Smultronstället
Victor Sjöström was born on September 20, 1879, and is the undisputed father of Swedish film, ranking as one of the masters of world cinema. His influence lives on in the work of Ingmar Bergman and all those directors, both Swedish and international, influenced by his work and the works of ...
3. Svend Gade
Writer | Balletten danser
A former stage actor and director in his native Denmark, Sven Gade began making films there in 1916. He traveled to Germany a few years later to direct a film version of Hamlet (Hamlet (1921)), then journeyed to Hollywood the next year. He designed sets for other directors' films and directed ...
Director | Hævnens Nat
Benjamin Christensen was born on September 28, 1879 in Viborg, Denmark. He was a director and writer, known for Blind Justice (1916), Seven Footprints to Satan (1929) and The Devil's Circus (1926). He was married to Karen Winther, Sigrid Stahl and Ellen Arctander. He died on April 2, 1959 in ...
Director | Erotikon
Moshe "Mauritz" Stiller, born July 17, 1883, in Helsinki, Finland, was a director, writer and actor. He began his artistic activity in the theatre, as an actor at 16. Mauritz Stiller portrayed 87 roles from 1899-1916 and directed 16 productions 1911-28. Together with Viktor Sjöström ( director, ...
Director | Ordet
The illegitimate son of a Danish farmer and his Swedish housekeeper, Carl Theodor Dreyer was born in Copenhagen on the 3th of February, 1889. He spent his early years in various foster homes before being adopted by the Dreyers at the age of two. Contrary to popular belief (perhaps nourished by the ...
7. Risto Orko
Production_manager | Aktivistit
Risto Orko was born on September 15, 1899 in Rauma, Finland as Risto Eliel William Nylund. He was a producer and production manager, known for Aktivistit (1939), Herrat täysihoidossa (1933) and Ne 45000 (1933). He was married to Liisa Orko. He died on September 29, 2001 in Helsinki, Finland.
Director | En stilla flirt
He attended the Royal Dramatic Theatre's acting school 1907-1909 and went on to become an actor at the same theatre 1913-1926. His first work for the movies was the script to Thomas Graals bästa film (1917) and the follow-up Thomas Graal's Best Child (1918). He made his directing debut with ...
10. Bodil Ipsen
Director | Det sande ansigt
Bodil Ipsen was born on August 30, 1889 in Copenhagen, Denmark as Bodil Louise Jensen Ipsen. She was an actress and director, known for The Face of Truth (1951), Red Meadows (1945) and The Viking Watch of the Danish Seaman (1948). She was married to Ejnar Black, Emanuel Gregers, Helmuth Heinrich ...
11. Lau Lauritzen
Director | Det sande ansigt
Lau Lauritzen was born on June 26, 1910 in Vejle, Denmark. He was a director and actor, known for The Face of Truth (1951), Farlig ungdom (1953) and The Viking Watch of the Danish Seaman (1948). He was married to Lisbeth Movin. He died on May 12, 1977 in Denmark.
13. Gösta Werner
Director | Midvinterblot
Gösta Werner was born on May 15, 1908 in Östra Wemmenhög, Skåne, Sweden. He was a director and writer, known for The Sacrifice (1946), Blood and Lipstick (1995) and Två trappor över gården (1950). He was married to Kaj Björkdahl. He died on July 23, 2009 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Director | Vinterbørn
Astrid Henning-Jensen was born on December 10, 1914 in Copenhagen, Denmark as Astrid Smahl. She was a director and writer, known for Winterborn (1978), The Moment (1980) and Boy of Two Worlds (1959). She was married to Bjarne Henning-Jensen. She died on January 5, 2002 in Copenhagen.
Director | Hvor bjergene sejler
Bjarne Henning-Jensen was born on October 6, 1908 in Copenhagen, Denmark. He was a director and writer, known for Where Mountains Float (1955), Ditte, Child of Man (1946) and Those Damned Kids (1947). He was married to Astrid Henning-Jensen. He died on February 21, 1995 in Copenhagen.
18. Erik Blomberg
Cinematographer | Valkoinen peura
Erik Blomberg was born on September 18, 1913 in Helsinki, Finland. He was a cinematographer and producer, known for The White Reindeer (1952), Kihlaus (1955) and Aila, Pohjolan tytär (1951). He was married to Maria Karpowicz and Mirjami Kuosmanen. He died on October 12, 1996 in Kuusjoki, ...
20. Arne Mattsson
Director | Hon dansade en sommar
Arne Mattsson was born on December 2, 1919 in Uppsala, Uppsala län, Sweden. He was a director and writer, known for One Summer of Happiness (1951), Because of My Hot Youth (1952) and The People of Hemso (1955). He was married to Elsa Prawitz. He died on June 28, 1995 in Sweden.
21. T.J. Särkkä
Producer | 1918
T.J. Särkkä was born on November 20, 1890 in Mikkelin mlk., Finland as Toivo Jalmari Särkkä. He was a producer and director, known for 1918 (1957), Me (1961) and Katupeilin takana (1949). He was married to Margarita Särkkä. He died on February 9, 1975 in Helsinki, Finland.
22. Erik Balling
Director | Adam og Eva
Erik Balling was one of the most beloved Danish filmmaker in the 20th century. Balling was a director, a producer and a writer. Erik Balling was mostly famous for creating such TV epics as "Matador" and "Huset På Christianshavn" and the film-series of "Olsen banden". Erik Balling was born the 19th ...
23. Ingmar Bergman
Writer | Smultronstället
Ernst Ingmar Bergman was born July 14, 1918, the son of a priest. The film and T.V. series, The Best Intentions (1992) is biographical and shows the early marriage of his parents. The film 'Söndagsbarn' depicts a bicycle journey with his father. In the miniseries Private Confessions (1996) is the ...
24. Jørgen Roos
Director | Ellehammer-filmen
Jørgen Roos was born on August 14, 1922 in Gilleleje, Denmark. He was a director and cinematographer, known for Ellehammer-filmen (1957), Knud (1966) and De unge gamle (1984). He was married to Noemi Roos and Edith Toft Madsen. He died on September 13, 1998 in Denmark.
26. Jörn Donner
Producer | Mustaa valkoisella
Jörn Donner grew up in a Swedish-speaking family belonging to the Finnish upper class. Already as a student he had radical leftist ideas displayed in magazines and newspapers. His first novel appeared in 1951 when Donner was only 18 years old. He graduated from the University of Helsinki in 1959. ...
28. Henning Carlsen
Director | Dilemma
Henning Carlsen was born on June 4, 1927 in Aalborg, Denmark. He was a director and writer, known for Dilemma (1962), People Meet and Sweet Music Fills the Heart (1967) and Hunger (1966). He was married to Else Heidary and Hjørdis Wirth Jensen. He died on May 30, 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
29. Mai Zetterling
Actress | The Witches
Mai Zetterling was born in Sweden in 1925, and lived briefly in Australia while still a child. She's known as a director and actor and trained on the Stockholm repertory stage, she began appearing in war-era films starting in her teens. Following her debut in Lasse Maja (1941), she made quite an ...
30. Bo Widerberg
Director | Ådalen 31
Bo Widerberg was born on June 8, 1930 in Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden as Bo Gunnar Widerberg. He was a director and writer, known for Adalen 31 (1969), All Things Fair (1995) and Kärlek 65 (1965). He was married to Vanja Nettelbladt and Ann-Mari Björklund. He died on May 1, 1997 in Ängelholm, ...
31. Vilgot Sjöman
Director | Garaget
Vilgot Sjöman was born on December 2, 1924 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden as David Harald Vilgot Sjöman. He was a director and writer, known for Garaget (1975), My Sister My Love (1966) and Lyckliga skitar (1970). He was married to Lotta Sjöman and Kristina Hasselgren. He died on April 9, ...
32. Alf Kjellin
Actor | Ice Station Zebra
Although trained for the stage in his native Sweden, Alf Kjellin appeared in only a few stage productions before entering films. His work in Torment (1944) resulted in his being noticed by Hollywood, and he made his American film debut in 1949 under the name Christopher Kent. He soon went back to ...
34. Mikko Niskanen
Actor | Ajolähtö
Mikko Niskanen (1929-1990) was a Finnish film director, writer, producer and actor. He started his directing career in 1962 after studying film making in Moscow. His first feature film The Boys (1962) was a proof of his talent and earned him a Jussi Award for directing. During the next 12 months he ...
36. Tage Danielsson
Director | Ronja Rövardotter
Tage Danielsson was born in 1928, in a working class home in Linköping, Sweden. He went to Uppsala University, and graduated as a Master of Arts in English, French and the history of literature. In 1956 he met Hans Alfredson at the Swedish Radio company. They worked together for almost thirty years...
39. Nils Malmros
Director | At kende sandheden
One of the most important Danish directors of the last three decades and one of Danish cinema's few acknowledged auteurs, Malmros took his inspiration from the french new wave and Truffaut in particular. He started as a self taught director and debuted with En mærkelig kærlighed (1968) ...
42. Bille August
Director | The House of the Spirits
Bille August was born on November 9, 1948 in Brede, Denmark. He is a director and writer, known for The House of the Spirits (1993), Pelle the Conqueror (1987) and Honning måne (1978). He is married to Sara-Marie Maltha. He was previously married to Pernilla August, Annie Munksgaard and Masja...
43. Gabriel Axel
Director | Babettes gæstebud
Gabriel Axel was born on April 18, 1918 in Århus, Denmark as Gabriel Axel Mørch. He was a director, known for Babette's Feast (1987), Hagbard and Signe (1967) and Christian (1989). He was married to Lucie Axel Moerch. He died on February 9, 2014 in Copenhagen, Denmark.
45. Max von Sydow
Actor | Flash Gordon
Max von Sydow was born Carl Adolf von Sydow on April 10, 1929 in Lund, Skåne, Sweden, to a middle-class family. He is the son of Baroness Maria Margareta (Rappe), a teacher, and Carl Wilhelm von Sydow, an ethnologist and folklore professor. His surname traces back to his father's partial German ...
47. Aki Kaurismäki
Producer | Le Havre
Aki Kaurismäki did a wide variety of jobs including postman, dish-washer and film critic, before forming a production and distribution company, Villealfa (in homage to Jean-Luc Godard's Alphaville (1965)) with his older brother Mika Kaurismäki, also a film-maker. Both Aki and Mika are prolific ...
48. Lasse Hallström
Director | What's Eating Gilbert Grape
Lasse Hallström was born on June 2, 1946 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden as Lars Hallström. He is a director and writer, known for What's Eating Gilbert Grape (1993), Chocolat (2000) and The Cider House Rules (1999). He has been married to Lena Olin since March 18, 1994. They have one child. ...
49. Renny Harlin
Director | Die Hard 2
Born in 15 March 1959 as Renny Lauri Mauritz Harjola, he is the most successful Finnish film director in the history of Hollywood.
Harlin started his career in film business in the beginning of 1980s when he was directing commercials and company films for companies like Shell. Later he worked as a ...
51. Jonas Odell
Director | Tussilago
Jonas Odell specializes in making films mixing live action and various mixed media animation techniques. He has also scripted, co-scripted and written the music to a number of productions. In some of his more recent short films he has explored a mix of documentary, staged and animated elements.
54. Lars Ohlson
Director | Exit
Lars Ohlson was born in 1962. He is known for his work on Exit (1990), Revolver (1994) and Livet Från den Mörka Sidan: Animerade Filmer För orädda Vuxna (2004).
56. Kjell Sundvall
Director | Jägarna
Kjell Sundvall was born on March 31, 1953 in Älvsbyn, Norrbottens län, Sweden as Kjell Gösta Sundvall. He is a director and writer, known for The Hunters (1996), Sista kontraktet (1998) and The Guy in the Grave Next Door (2002). He was previously married to Ann Sundvall.
60. Roy Andersson
Director | Sånger från andra våningen
Roy Andersson was born on March 31, 1943 in Gothenburg, Västra Götalands län, Sweden as Roy Arne Lennart Andersson. He is a director and writer, known for Songs from the Second Floor (2000), A Swedish Love Story (1970) and A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (2014).
61. Liv Ullmann
Actress | Viskningar och rop
Liv Ullmann's father was a Norwegian engineer who used to work abroad, so as a child she lived in Tokyo, Canada, New York and Oslo. In the mid-'50s she made her stage debut and in 1957 made her film debut. She really became successful, however, when she began to work for Swedish director Ingmar ...
Producer | Mýrin
Baltasar Kormákur is an actor, producer and director whose work spans theater, movies and television. Born in Reykjavik, Iceland, he graduated as an actor from Iceland's National Academy of Fine Arts in 1990. He was immediately signed on by the National Theatre of Iceland, where he worked as one of...
Director | Tänään
Eija-Liisa Ahtila is a contemporary visual artist and filmmaker. She experiments with narrative storytelling in her films and cinematic installations. In her earlier works she has dealt with the unsettling human dramas at the center of personal relationships, dealing e.g. with teenage sexuality, ...
64. Lukas Moodysson
Writer | Fucking Åmål
Lukas Moodysson was born on January 17, 1969 in Malmö, Skåne län, Sweden as Karl Frederik Lukas Moodysson. He is a writer and director, known for Show Me Love (1998), Lilya 4-Ever (2002) and Together (2000). He has been married to Coco Moodysson since 1994. They have three children.
65. Ole Bornedal
Writer | Nattevagten
Ole Bornedal was born 1959 in Noerresundby, Denmark. From the time he was fourteen he knew he wanted to become a filmmaker. However, not being able to get into The Danish Film School, he had to create his own career and after a few years of University Studies in Film, he started working for The ...
66. Lars von Trier
Writer | Dancer in the Dark
Probably the most ambitious and visually distinctive filmmaker to emerge from Denmark since Carl Theodor Dreyer over 60 years earlier, Lars von Trier studied film at the Danish Film School and attracted international attention with his very first feature, The Element of Crime (1984). A highly ...
67. Per Fly
Director | Bænken
Per Fly was accepted to the Danish Film School in 1989. He completed his education in 1993 with the graduation film Room 17. In the following years Per Fly directed, among other films, the short films Sofaholdet (1994), Calling Katherine (1994) and The Little Knight (1997). In 1998, he directed the...
70. Susanne Bier
Director | Hævnen
Though Academy Award®, Golden Globe Award and Emmy Award winning writer and director Susanne Bier's films often play out against a wide-reaching global backdrop, their focus is intimate, carefully exploring the explosive emotions and complexities of familial bonds. This unique combination is part ...
71. Erik Poppe
Director | Utøya 22. juli
Erik Poppe (born 24 June 1960) is a Norwegian film director, screenwriter and former cinematographer.
Poppe is regarded as one of Europe's most experienced and compelling directors recognized for his work with actors and impeccably well crafted multi-pronged narratives. His movies are often built ...
73. Mika Kaurismäki
Producer | Zombie ja Kummitusjuna
Mika Kaurismäki was born on September 21, 1955 in Orimattila, Finland as Mika Juhani Kaurismäki. He is a producer and director, known for Zombie and the Ghost Train (1991), Helsinki-Naples All Night Long (1987) and Three Wise Men (2008). He is married to Cenira Dias Kaurismäki.
Writer | The Neon Demon
Writer, director, and producer Nicolas Winding Refn was born in Copenhagen, Denmark, in 1970, to Anders Refn, a film director and editor, and Vibeke Winding (née Tuxen), a cinematographer. Just before he turned 11, in 1981, he moved to New York with his parents, where he lived out his teen years. ...
76. Daniel Alfredson
Director | Flickan som lekte med elden
Daniel Alfredson was born on May 23, 1959 in Stockholm, Stockholms län, Sweden. He is a producer and director, known for The Girl Who Played with Fire (2009), The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet's Nest (2009) and Tic Tac (1997). He is married to Stina. They have three children.
77. Lone Scherfig
Director | An Education
Writer/director Lone Scherfig graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 1984. Her first feature film, THE BIRTHDAY TRIP (1990), was selected for Panorama in Berlin, the New Directors section at MOMA in New York and won the Grand Jury Prix in Rouen. Her next film, ON OUR OWN (1998), ...
Director | Jagten
With Last Round (1993) (Last Round), his graduation short from The National Film School of Denmark, he got an early taste of critical success. He received the Jury's and Producers' Awards at the International Student Film Fest in Munich and won the 1st Prize at the Tel Aviv Film Fest. Popular ...
81. Janus Metz
Director | Borg McEnroe
With "Armadillo" (2010) Danish director Janus Metz (born 1974) stepped firmly into the international spotlight winning the Grand Prix of the Cannes film festival 's Critic's week. His film about a group of Danish soldiers at the front line in Afghanistan spurred heated debate, not only about the ...
82. Joachim Trier
Director | Louder Than Bombs
Joachim Trier is a Norwegian writer and director. He is known for Reprise (2006), Oslo, August 31st (2011), Louder Than Bombs (2015) and Thelma (2017).
Trier also directed three short films, Pietà (2000), Still (2001) and Procter (2002).
His father, Jacob Trier, was the sound technician of The ...
Director | Searching for Sugar Man
Malik Bendjelloul, born in Sweden, performed in Swedish TV-series "Ebba och Didrik" as a child in the nineties and later in life studied Journalism and media-production at the Linnaeus University of Kalmar. He has produced several musical documentaries for Swedish Television (SVT) where he also ...
88. Joachim Rønning
Growing up in the eighties in Sandefjord, a small town south of Oslo, Norway, Joachim Rønning spent his free time making short films with his dad's 30 pounds home video camera - one of the few burdens for being the first of the video generation.
In 1992 he attended Stockholm Film School in Sweden - ...
91. Felix Herngren
Born in 1967. Herngren is a TV, film and commercials director, writer, producer and actor. His breakthrough came in the hit television-series Smash, and his on screen characters Papi Raul, Dan Bäckman and Tim Hibbins have all become cult icons. Herngren runs his own production company FLX 2.0, ...