Runar Jarle Wiik started shooting and directing during his enrollment at The London International Film School in the mid-eighties, at the time being the youngest student to be admitted. There he worked on the Fuji Film Award-winning “MacHeath” with John Hurt as 1’st AD, and got Norwegian cinema distribution for his 6’th term short film “The Jingle Knife” with Sverre Anker Ousdal. Graduating with additional distinctions in Cinematography (D.O.P.) led to a host of assignments as D.O.P. for shorts, commercials and documentaries, sometimes in combination with the role as Director. In the early nineties he was given the opportunity to become the youngest Norwegian feature film Director of his time with the film ”The Bikini Season” – a rare poetic-philosophical comedy for Norsk Film AS (The Norwegian Film Corporation Ltd.) about two friends trying to break through to success by selling bikinis in the mountains. Since then, with the exception of Writing and Directing the 40 min. black comedy “Cecilie Zombie” with Petronella Barker, on what happens when patient files are mixed up at a hospital, he has mainly been accepting assignments as D.O.P. on documentaries around the world; Uganda, Sudan, Guatemala, The Middle East (Gaza and West Bank), South Africa, Cambodia, French Polynesia, and places as remote as the north pole. His travels have mainly been with either just the Director, as the Filmmaker in an expedition, or alone. In recent years his interests and focus lie predominantly on documentaries that address the plight of indigenous peoples, and his two latest films as D.O.P.; “White canvas – Black hyena”, about an artist who has to learn to rely on the Massai people to survive on the Savannah, and “Suddenly Sami”, about a middle aged woman finding out her mum’s been hiding the fact that they’re Sami all her life, have won “Best art documentary” in Paris (”White canvas – Black hyena”) and “Best film – indigenous topic” in Nepal and Kautokeino (”Suddenly Sami”), the latter also having received honors at TIFF (Tromsø International Festival). As a Writer of fiction Runar has developed 9 Norwegian feature film scripts, 5 of which have been funded by the Norwegian Script Development Fund at NFI (Norwegian Film Institute), a real eye-of-the-needle achievement each time. One of these, “Voyagers” on the clash between oil companies and an indigenous population in the Pacific Ocean, he co-wrote with Riwia Brown, the New Zealand writer best known for the international success feature film “Once Were Warriors”. All except one of these stories have so far been considered too complex (read: too international or “non-norwegian”) by Norwegian Producers, and are now being read by foreign producers. Runar has also spent the last 4-5 years developing his own documentary on the Moken people of the Mergui Archipelago in the Andaman Sea outside Burma and Thailand: “No word for Worry”.

Comments