Before becoming one of Sweden's leading film directors in the mid-'60s, Jan Troell spent nine years as an elementary school educator. In the early '60s, he began making amateur films. One of them, Stad, the story of a boy looking for his lost turtle, was aired on television in 1960. In 1961, Troell began making television documentaries such as Baten/The Ship. He got his start in feature films working as an assistant for Bo Widerberg in 1962. He was first a cameraman for Widerberg and then a co-editor. In 1965, Troell contributed to the portmanteau film 4 x 4. The following year he made his feature-length directorial bow in 1966 with Here's Your Life. He has since become known as one of Sweden's best directors for such internationally acclaimed films as The Emigrants (1971) and The New Land (1972). Troell has also directed a couple of films in the U.S., including Zandy's Bride (1974).