Ella Lemhagen (SE)

Director, scriptwriter. Born 1965. Studied at the University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre, 1988-1991. Ella Lemhagen was inspired by punk and film as a collective co-creation, which led to her feature-length film debut Drömprinsen – filmen om Em in 1996. Her third feature, Tsatsiki, morsan och polisen (1999) won her a Guldbagge Award for Best Director, and she has since established herself as one of Sweden’s leading directors of films for children and young people.

Ella Lemhagen grew up in Uppsala and studied at the University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre in 1988–1991. Her first feature, Drömprinsen – filmen om Em (1996) was based on the short 13-årsdagen, which she had made two years previously. In the feature she used the same young theme of amateur actors as in the short film, and together with them Lemhagen explored a collective working method which has since become her cinematic hallmark.

Tsatsiki, morsan och polisen (1999) was a roaring success, both in Sweden and internationally. The film won around 20 awards worldwide including in Moscow, Tokyo and Berlin, four Guldbagge Awards, and the GP and Göteborg Film Festival Nordic Audience Award. The movie also turned out to have a long life as a school cinema film, and is one of the 40 international film classics selected for the Swedish Film Institute’s school cinema programme.

In a presentation of Tsatsiki for school cinema, film historian Malena Janson says the film paved the way “for a second golden age for Swedish children’s film. Not since the late Seventies had so many strong, innovative, successful films for young viewers been released as in the first few years of the 21st century.” Janson adds that Tsatsiki is among “those films that can be seen over and over again, that barely age and therefore have a constant flow of new children to enjoy discovering it.”

Since then Lemhagen has directed a further six films, including Patrik, Age 1.5/Patrik 1,5 (2008) which was about a gay couple who accidentally adopt a teenager, and The Crown Jewels/Kronjuvelerna (2011) with Alicia Vikander. The Boy with the Golden Pants/Pojken med guldbyxorna (2014), with its mild criticism of the madness of the consumer society, was a modern version of Max Lundgren’s popular children’s book, which was made into a TV series by Leif Krantz in 1975.

In 2011 Lemhagen received a Gullspira, the Swedish film award for best achievement in film for children and young people. The panel of judges commented: “With understated laughter and a sharp eye for the great courage of the ordinary person, she highlights everyday drama, and the way closeness and trust can arise against all the odds.”

In 2015 Lemhagen made her first international film with the romantic comedy All Roads Lead to Rome starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Raoul Bova and Claudia Cardinale. The film was shot in Italy.

Mikaela Kindblom
(translated by Matt Bibby)

 

As part of the mentor and leadership programme Moviement, launched by the Swedish Film Institute in 2013, Tove Torbiörnsson interviewed seven of the participating directors. In the interview Helena Bergström, Susanna Edwards, Görel Crona, Lisa Ohlin, Anna Hylander, Karin Fahlén and Ella Lemhagen talk for instance about taking a film idea to finished film, about being ‘women directors’, about having access to the big budgets, about the quota system, and about seeing the world from a woman’s perspective. (Interview in Swedish)

Basic info

Main profession: Director
Born: 1965
Active: 1986-

Filmography

Regi:
Jag kommer hem igen till jul (2019)
All Roads Lead to Rome (2016)
Pojken med guldbyxorna (2014)
Kronjuvelerna (2011)
Patrik 1,5 (2008)
Järnvägshotellet (2003)
Tur & retur (2003)
Om inte (2001)
Tsatsiki, morsan och polisen (1999)
Välkommen till festen (1997)
Drömprinsen – filmen om Em (1996)
13-årsdagen / Killjakten (1995)
13-årsdagen (1994)
Suicide Bridge (1993)
Cock-Tail (1991)
Ingenjör Olssons grabb (1991)
Tack för den tid som var (1986)

Manus:
All Roads Lead to Rome (2016)
Pojken med guldbyxorna (2014)
Kronjuvelerna (2011)
Patrik 1,5 (2008)
Tur & retur (2003)
Om inte (2001)
Välkommen till festen (1997)
Drömprinsen – filmen om Em (1996)
13-årsdagen (1994)
Suicide Bridge (1993)
Cock-Tail (1991)
Ingenjör Olssons grabb (1991)
Tack för den tid som var (1986)

Producent:
Tack för den tid som var (1986)

Foto:
Tack för den tid som var (1986)

Rådgivare:
Dieselråttor & sjömansmöss (2002)

Read more about the films at Svensk Filmdatabas (SE)

Awards

2013: Gullspira
2000: Guldbagge Bästa regi, Tsatsiki, morsan och polisen (1999)
2000: Guldbagge Bästa film, Tsatsiki, morsan och polisen (1999)
1997: Guldbaggenominerad Bästa regi, Drömprinsen – filmen om Em (1996)
1996: Kurt Linder-stipendiet, Drömprinsen – filmen om Em (1996)

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