Jörn Donner

Active - 1963 - Present  |   Born - Feb 5, 1933 in Helsinki, Suomi  |   Genres - Drama, Travel, Comedy, Crime

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Director/writer Jörn Donner is a prominent figure in Finnish cinema best known for his film A Sunday in September (1963). He is a versatile director who has made films in almost every major genre including documentaries. Most of his dramas where made in Sweden, while his comedies were made at home in Finland. The son of Swedish-speaking parents, the Helsinki-born Donner began his writing career in his teens and by age 18 had published a collection of short stories. He then went on to Helsinki University to major in political science and Swedish literature. While in school he began writing film criticism for local newspapers. Though he had directed several short films during the '50s he was most renowned for his essays on film, his poetry, journalism, and fiction. He served as a civilian hospital orderly in 1959 (instead of military service as he was a conscientious objector). After publishing reports on Germany and central Europe, he moved to Stockholm to become a critic for a major newspaper. In 1963, he directed his first feature film, A Sunday in September. The film won a special prize at the Venice Film Festival for "Best Work by a First Time Director." He later married his leading actress Harriet Andersson. In addition to a fruitful career as a director and writer, Donner has also served as a member of the Finnish parliament.

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  • Hänen isänsä, tutkimusmatkailija Kai Donner, kuoli hänen ollessaan viisivuotias; teki myöhemmin isänsä jalanjäljissä kahdeksan matkaa Siperiaan ja kirjoitti aiheesta vuonna 2006 julkaistun kirjan Isänsä jalanjäljillä.
  • Suoritti siviilipalveluksen 1959-1961, jolloin se ei vielä ollut Suomessa yleisesti hyväksyttyä.
  • Oli 1960-luvun lopulla suomalaisen elokuvan kärkinimiä; oli kiinnostunut naisten vapautumisesta ja käsitteli aihetta erotiikan kautta, jonka takia hänen elokuviensa seksikohtauksista kohuttiin enemmän kuin niiden taiteellisesta merkityksestä.
  • Toiminut kansanedustajana, Euroopan parlamentin jäsenenä ja Suomen pääkonsulina Los Angelesissa.
  • Palkintoja mm. vuoden 1985 Finlandia-palkinto kirjasta Far och son, Venetsian elokuvajuhlien parhaan esikoisohjaajan palkinto vuonna 1963 ja Taiteen valtionpalkinto vuonna 2008.
  • Tasavallan presidentti Tarja Halonen myönsi hänelle professorin arvonimen vuonna 2003.