Knut Erik Jensen


Knut Erik Jensen was born in 1940. He is a film director from North-Norway, Finnmark. Many of his films are tributes to the nature as well as the human residents of Northern Norway. By filming everyday reality, he emphasizes the universality of the human being and its core of dignity and humanity.

Jensen grew up in an evacuee camp in Trondenes, close to Harstad. Jensen later studied Russian, French, and history, but after a while became increasingly fascinated by film. He studied for one year at the London International Film School, where he made his debut film »Andrew« (1973) about a London eccentric. In 1978, he joined the staff of the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (NRK) and, since then, has made documentaries and short films for NRK and independently.

His artistic breakthrough came in the middle of the eighties. His short film »Svalbard in the World« (1983) was the first part of a trilogy portraying Svalbard through an impressionistic collage of images. Jensen’s camera catches details in extreme close-up in such a way that the multitude of images of bone fragments, lichen, woodwork, ice, and water grow into a probing study of texture and structure.

In recent years, Jensen has chiefly worked with feature length documentaries for cinema distribution. The incredible box-office success of »Cool and Crazy« (2001), about a men’s choir coming from the small place of Berlevåg at Barentssee, earned, among others, the Norwegian film award “Amanda” for “best documentary,” as well as “best feature film.” It was followed by »Cool and Crazy on the Road« (2002) and »Arctic Cabaret« (2004). These films demonstrate the range of Jensen’s work, from the grandiloquent and poetic to the recklessly coarse.