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Biography

Jan Troell was born in Limhamn, Sweden. He is one of Sweden's most internationally established and well-known directors and has among other things received Oscar nominations for best director and best screenplay for his film The Emigrants (1971).-Jan Troell made his name in the 1960s, when Swedish cinema had become for the most part politicised. Troell, however, ploughed his own furrow, with an eye for romantic subject matter even when he was depicting harsh living conditions.Troell has been the cameraman for most of his own films, and his...

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Biography

Jan Troell was born in Limhamn, Sweden. He is one of Sweden's most internationally established and well-known directors and has among other things received Oscar nominations for best director and best screenplay for his film The Emigrants (1971).

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Jan Troell made his name in the 1960s, when Swedish cinema had become for the most part politicised. Troell, however, ploughed his own furrow, with an eye for romantic subject matter even when he was depicting harsh living conditions.

Troell has been the cameraman for most of his own films, and his interest in photography and film began back in his early teenage years. He trained as a teacher but made short films in his spare time, many of which were broadcast on television. Having made the short film Pojken och draken ('The Boy and the Kite,' 1962) together with Bo Widerberg, Troell got his first professional feature film job as the cinematographer for Widerberg's Barnvagnen ('The Pram,' 1963). In 1966 he made his own debut as a feature film director with an adaptation of a novel by Eyvind Johnson Here’s Your Life (Här har du ditt liv). Almost three hours in length, the film is one of the most competent and assured debuts in all of Swedish cinema. Some years later his epics The Emigrants (Utvandrarna, 1971) and The New Land (Nybyggarna, 1972), based on the series of novels by Vilhelm Moberg, enjoyed a level of success rare among Swedish films, not least because they were serialised for television.

Critical reception of these two films was rather cool, however, partly because Troell appeared out of synch with the times. As a filmmaker he was an observer rather than a campaigner. His films always have the feel of the teenager bitten by the photography bug who, now advanced in years, is still fascinated by the camera's possibilities.

The Emigrants gained Troell five Oscar nominations, after which the director made two films in the US, Zandy's Bride (1974) and Hurricane (1979).

In two of his films, Who Saw Him Die? (Ole dole doff, 1968) and Bang! (1977), Troell has taken as his subjects contemporary men of his own age, but in general he seems more at home when recreating history. The Flight of the Eagle (Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd, 1982), Hamsun (1996) and Everlasting Moments (Maria Larssons eviga ögonblick, 2008) all tell real life stories from the past. Yet since the end of the 1980s Troell has also concerned himself with contemporary issues. His documentary film Land of Dreams (Sagolandet, 1988), an attack on the technocratic view of society, enjoyed a long run in cinemas and was the subject of much discussion. Troell himself has said that the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster, coupled with the fact that he became a father in 1983, made him more inclined to comment on current affairs. In 1991 he made Il Capitano, a film about a particularly brutal 1988 triple murder committed in the Swedish province of Västerbotten. One of the most controversial Swedish film projects of the 1990s, it provoked considerable public indignation.

In purely physical terms Troell has continued to shut himself away in his home in a small village on the south coast of Sweden where he edits his own films. He likes to take spontaneously captured images from his own garden or immediate environment and use them in a feature, a documentary or one of the short films he is so fond of making. Troell often involves his own family in his filmmaking: Everlasting Moments is based on a piece of history from the family of his wife, the writer Agneta Ulfsäter-Troell. His daughter Yohanna can be seen in several of his films, and she has also documented her father's work in her own film Troell bakom kameran ('Troell Behind the Camera', 2009).

Mårten Blomkvist (2011)

(translated by Derek Jones)

Awards

Festival Award Vlissingen 2014 Lifetime Achievment Award, Film By the Sea, Nederländerna
Nominated for the Guldbagge Award Stockholm 2013 Best Cinematography The Last Sentence
Stockholm 2013 Best Director The Last Sentence
Festival Award Stockholm 2012 Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award
Montreal 2012 The Last Sentence (bästa regi / Best Director, The World Film Festival, Montreal, Kanada)
Stockholm 2012 Stockholm Lifetime Achievement Award
Prize Stockholm 2010 (Svenska Akademiens Kungliga pris; 40.000 kr ur kung Carl Gustafs egna medel)
Festival Award Minsk 2009 Everlasting Moments (pris för bästa regi/best director vid Listapad filmfestival, Minsk, Vitryssland)
Göteborg 2009 Everlasting Moments (Göteborgs stora filmpris. Priset är 50 000 kr och delas ut av Göteborg Film Festival i samarbetet med Göteborg & Co, näringslivsenheten)
SFF's Glas Statuette (Sweden) Stockholm 2009
Nominated for the Guldbagge Award Stockholm 2009 Best Cinematography Everlasting Moments
Stockholm 2009 Best Director Everlasting Moments
Festival Award Minsk 2009 Everlasting Moments (specialpris för bästa foto/special award for best cinematography vid Listapad filmfestival, Minsk, Vitryssland)
Nominated for the Guldbagge Award Stockholm 2009 Best Screenplay Everlasting Moments
Festival Award Valladolid 2008 Everlasting Moments (bästa foto/best cinematography)
Nominated for the Guldbagge Award Göteborg 2002 Best Screenplay As White as in Snow
The Guldbagge Award Göteborg 2002 Best Cinematography As White as in Snow
Göteborg 2002 Best Director As White as in Snow
Festival Award Sevilla 2001 As White as in Snow (bästa regi)
Prize Landskrona 2001 (Region Skånes kulturpris)
Stockholm 1998 En frusen dröm (TV4:s och Nils Petter Sundgrens pris Guldsolen; filmen "förnyar den poetiska dokumentärfilmen")
Malmö 1998 (Malmö stads kulturpris; 80.000 kr)
Festival Award Montreal 1996 (Special Grand Prix of Americas)
Best Cinematography Göteborg 1995 (sällskapet Manetens pris till Årets filmfotograf)
Festival Award Brügge 1993 Il Capitano (bästa regi)
Nominated for the Guldbagge Award Stockholm 1992 Best Cinematography Il Capitano
Silberner Bär Berlin 1992 Il Capitano (bästa regi)
The Guldbagge Award Stockholm 1989 Creative Achievement
Chaplin Magazine Award Stockholm 1982 Ingenjör Andrées luftfärd (tog inte emot)
Prize Malmö 1973 (SDS:s kulturpris)
Academy Award Nomination Los Angeles 1973 The Emigrants (bästa regi 1972/Best Director 1972)
Los Angeles 1973 The Emigrants (bästa manus 1972/Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium 1972)
Chaplin Magazine Award Stockholm 1972 The New Land
International Writers' Guild Berlin 1968 Ole dole doff (bästa manus, t.m. L'homme qui ment)
Silver Hugo Chicago 1967 Here Is Your Life (bästa regi)
The Guldbagge Award Stockholm 1967 Best Director Here Is Your Life
Prize Stockholm 1967 (SF-stipendium)
Stockholm 1967 (LO-stipendium)
Stockholm 1967 (Edvin Adolphsons stipendium)
Chaplin Magazine Award Stockholm 1966 Here Is Your Life
Stockholm 1966 Interlude in the Marshland

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