Who are three contemporaries that you admire, and why?

Recently, I’ve become very fond of Hylnur Pálmason. Watching Godland was like gazing at a piece of art – beautifully composed for each frame. With that, I also want to mention the talented DP of most of Pálmason’s films, Maria von Hausswolff. I was very lucky to work with her on a small project and hope to get the opportunity again on longer formats. To me, both are poets.

And I love Beyonce for her ability to reinvent herself and her music over and over again. I’m not a die-hard fan but it’s fascinating to me how she just keeps on staying relevant which I think is a really hard job these days.

Can I mention a music festival? If so, I’d like to mention Roskilde Festival for always introducing new artists or niche music that I wouldn’t find otherwise. It has become a source of inspiration for me lately to dive into their bookings from current and previous years.

ABOVE: The trailer for Godland by Hylnur Pálmason.

Please share 3-4 pieces of work that exemplify great direction.

Moving on with contemporaries – I recently watched Sting Like a Bee by Leone Balduzzi at CPH DOX that made laugh out loud. It follows a group of teenagers  in Balduzzi’s home town during the summer. The boys love their Piaggio Ape’s  and they don’t know what AIDS is. So one of the guys has to see the doctor after kissing a girl. It’s really fun. Balduzzi mixes genres, which keeps you  wondering whether it’s fiction or documentary. I loved the almost surreal  humour mixed with the more real moments. His comic timing and the amazing  cast is just the cherry on top.

Then there’s Yorgos Lanthimos for his quirky brain. I really enjoyed Poor Things. The world he built, the cast, the story, the cinematography, the styling,  the set-design.There are different views on how much the sex stuff should take  up space. I’m not really sure how I feel about that actually. Would it be the  same without? That’s why I like the film, I think. Keeps your brain working.

And of course, I’m a sucker for emotional Nike ads. The Jogger is one of my  favourites. It’s just simple, well executed and most importantly, human.

ABOVE: The trailer for Sting Like a Bee by Leone Balduzzi.

What do you like most about the work that you do?

Connecting with people. Connecting through ideas and working towards a shared goal.It’s such a beautiful feeling when you feel everyone is on the same team. What we’re creating together and the experience we’re sharing is always the most important thing. It’s probably rare to find – but when it happens, it’s worth all the sleepless nights. Another thing I like is how we communicate through this media. People writing you to tell you they felt seen or heard in your film... Moving something in other people. I mean.. What’s bigger than that?

People writing you to tell you they felt seen or heard in your film... Moving something in other people. I mean.. What’s bigger than that?

I’m also enjoying all the “firsts”. I’m at this stage in my career where I experience a lot of things for the first time. It’s very special to get the opportunity to enter a completely new field in your adulthood and get to feel like a kid again. A little bit of magic has returned to my life since I’ve gone into directing, which I really cherish right now.

What was your journey to becoming a director?

My journey wasn’t planned but it makes sense that it led me here when looking back on my interests and the choices I’ve made throughout my life. A course in scriptwriting in University opened my eyes for visual storytelling. I then moved to Copenhagen to learn more about the film industry where I started as a runner on set. My coffee making skills must have been really good because soon after, I was offered a full-time position in a few advertising production companies.

A course in scriptwriting in University opened my eyes for visual storytelling.

I’m so glad I ended up as an Executive Producer Assistant at new–land though. Here I’ve worked my way around in various positions, ending up as a Director’s Assistant and finally launched my directing career this year.

What is the most valuable skill you’ve learned in your career, and why?

1. Trusting my gut feeling (a work in progress...) For me it's been a real task to accept that what I want to create is as good as anything else out there and learn not to compare. As a new director in a field with so much talent, you can't help to get stressed about the quality of your work. But focusing on trusting my gut feeling and my ideas brings me back when i'm going off track. I always remind myself why I do this – first and foremost, it's for me. Then everything else that follows.

2. Blocking out all the noise. Related to trusting your gut feeling – you have to be able to select between the impressions you take in and what you allow to affect you. 

3. Asking for constructive feedback from people I trust and respect.

Nike – Nike: Find Your Greatness - Jogger

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What is one thing every director needs?

I’m the most indecisive person you’ll meet for questions like these... Hmm. 

Headphones (for all the noise or last-minute meetings on the go) and a notebook and pen!

Who was the greatest director of all time? Why?

That’s an impossible question to answer! I also don’t know how to rate someone as the best in a creative field.

But I have to make some noise for my Iranians. Kiarostami has definitely become a favourite – thanks to my friend Gareth Warland. He's the one to go to if I need to broaden my perspective in film and music. 

Did you have a mentor? Who was it?

I would say my mentors in the commercial industry have to be my new—land people. From the directors to the EPs and producers, they taught me everything from scratch.

My dad is my life mentor. He’s the best motivational speaker.

My dad is my life mentor. He’s the best motivational speaker. After one of his “sessions” I go out and feel like Rocky. Ready to fight!