Susanna Edwards (SE)

Swedish film director. Born in Gothenburg in 1963. Active since 1987. Studies include Cinema studies at Stockholm University, Stockholm Film School and the film direction programme at Stockholm University of the Arts 1989-1991.

Susanna Edwards is a screenwriter and director who has worked primarily within the documentary film format, both in short and long form, since her debut in the late 1980s. She chooses her subjects with care and she portrays exceptional, passionate women with a certain attraction to the dangerous sides of life, as in the Guldbagge-award-winning feature film about matador Cristina Sánchez: Sunshadow (1996).

Susanna Edwards has attended the cinema studies programme at Stockholm University and the Nya Filmskolan/“New Film School” in Stockholm, today known as The Stockholm Film School. She was then accepted into the Stockholm University of the Arts’ film programme 1989-91, together with, among others, Ella Lemhagen. Edwards received a lot of attention for her first short film, Uppvaknandet (“The Awakening”, 1987), and went on to make a number of documentaries that spanned a wide spectre, but where the focus always seemed to be on strong young women and girls.

1996 came the real breakthrough with the feature documentary Sunshadow (1996), where Edwards portrayed a young matador’s everyday life, all the more interesting because the matador was a young woman: Spaniard Cristina Sánchez. Again, the film and not least its subject, attracted much attention, especially the passionate glow with which Edwards depicted the bullfighting scenes. Critic Bo Ludvigsson in Svenska Dagbladet may have looked even deeper into things than that: “Susanna Edwards has made a film that leaves no one indifferent, really a film about something as solemn and breathtaking as the meaning of life.”

The feature film debut Keillers Park (2006) took place in Edwards’ hometown of Gothenburg and was inspired by a hate crime that occurred there ten years earlier. Edwards’ film is depicted as a love story between the murder victim and a reputable family father suspected of the murder. Particularly the love scenes were noted for their tenderness and intimacy and invited several associations and comparisons with Ang Lee’s Brokeback Mountain.

In the book ”Sex unga – visioner i svensk film” (“Six Young Ones – Visions in Swedish Film”, Helena von Zweigbergk 1996), Edwards talks about the search for intensity and about death as a taboo. She mentions role models, such as lecturer and revered film guru Kalle Boman at the university, and important collaborators such as producer Anita Oxburgh, photographer Robert Nordström and sound editor Lasse Summanen. Edwards refrains from describing certain subjects, feelings or methods as specifically gender-specific, but she also talks about the importance of being a parent and the likewise importance of continuing to work professionally with and within film.

After Keillers Park, Edwards was absent for a number of years from the film world, but she contributed as script consultant for Iris (2011), a family film with a strong nine-year-old girl in the title role in this the first feature film from the Åland islands, directed by Ulrika Bengts.

In recent years, Edwards has returned to the documentary format: Golden Girl (2016) is a film about boxer Frida Wallberg and Capturing the Divine (2016) is described as a filmmaker’s attempt to capture the ever-elusive and world-famous singer Natacha Atlas.

Mikaela Kindblom
(translated by Jan Lumholdt)

Basic info

Main profession: Director
Born: 1963
Active: 1987-

Filmography

Regi:
Capturing the Divine – With Natacha Atlas (2020)
Golden Girl (2016)
Bror & syster (2007)
Keillers Park (2006)
Fackklubb 459 (2004)
Från Sverige i tiden (2000)
Mias sommar (2000)
Respect! (2000)
Risk (2000)
Sleeping Beauties (2000)
I skuggan av solen (1996)
Nadja (1995)
Blod & persikor (1993)
Hellre dö stående än leva på knä (1990)
Uppvaknandet (1987)

Manus:
Golden Girl (2016)
Nadja (1995)
Blod & persikor (1993)
Hellre dö stående än leva på knä (1990)
Uppvaknandet (1987)

Idé:
Respect! (2000)
Risk (2000)

Producent:
Sleeping Beauties (2000)
Blod & persikor (1993)
Uppvaknandet (1987)

Foto:
Fackklubb 459 (2004)
Sleeping Beauties (2000)

Klippning:
Blod & persikor (1993)
Judy Pfaff (1987)
Uppvaknandet (1987)

Research:
Fackklubb 459 (2004)

Ljudläggning:
Uppvaknandet (1987)

Synkläggning:
Il Capitano (1991)

Övrig medarbetare:
Iris (2011)
Irmelin (2003)

Read more about the films at Svensk Filmdatabas (SE)

Awards

1996: Nöjesguidens Stockholmspris för I skuggan av solen (regi).

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