Carolina Hellsgård is a writer-director, born in Sweden and based in Berlin. She studied experimental media design at the Berlin University of Arts and film directing and screenwriting at Cal Arts in Los Angeles. Her award winning films have screened in numerous international film festivals including Berlinale, TIFF, Montreal WFF, Mostra Sao Paulo, Gothenburg IFF, Clermont-Ferrand, Filmes de Femmes, Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis and the Oberhausen Short Film Festival.

Her critically acclaimed debut feature film WANJA premiered at the Berlinale 2015 and was nominated for Berlinale Best First Feature Award. It won Best Screenplay (Valletta FF) and Best Feature Film Debut at the Biberacher Filmfestspiele. It was theatrically released in Germany in the summer of 2016.

Her second feature was the feminist horror film ENDZEIT – EVER AFTER (Kleines Fernsehspiel / ARTE, produced by GrownUp Films), premiered in the Discovery section at TIFF 2018. It was picked up by NY based Juno Films for theatrical release in the US 2019, and screened as a part of the Mariette Rissenbeek Carte Blanche Series @ MoMA, NY It was theatrically released in Germany in the fall of 2019 to critical acclaim, FAZ called it "a course in romantic viewing" and EPD "something you rarely see in German cinemas"

Carolina Hellsgard
  • © Iris Janke

Hellsgård's third feature film project SUNBURNED (produced by Niko Film) premiered at the Rome Film Fest / Alice Nelle Citta in October 2019. It screened at Max Ophüls Preis and Gothenburg IFF and was theatrically released in July 2020.

She recently directed two episodes of the Barcelona Krimi for the ARD/ Erstes Deutsches Fernsehen and the production company Sommerhaus Filmproduktion. The episodes aired in May 2022

In the summer of 2022 she directed the remake of the Kästner classic DAS FLIEGENDE KLASSENZIMMER (UFA Fiction & Leonine Studios). The film will come to the German cinemas in October 2023.

She is being represented by the Felix Bloch Erben Agentur in Berlin


Director's Statement

I make films about people who are isolated and don't belong. My characters desperately seek inclusion in the society, in a group or as a couple; it's all about their daily fights and dreams. It's about showing their lives and ongoing struggles, and ultimately to create understanding and love for them.



2013-2014, Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm
Mejan Residents, artistic research year

2008–2009 Cal Arts, Film Directing Program
DAAD-Artist Grant

2003–2007 Universität der Künste, Berlin
Master of Fine Arts;
Experimental Film and Media Department
Mentor: Hartmut Bitomsky

1998–2002 University of Stockholm,
Master of Arts with a major in Film Theory and History;
Department of Cinema Studies
& Nordic Languages

Master thesis work "Människa och rum" a phenomenlogical approach to
interpreting Roy Andersson's film image.


Filmfundings, Grants, Awards & Nominations

2013 – 2019
Nipkow / Medienboard Artist-in-Residence Fellow in Rome
Villa Aurora Fellowship, Los Angeles
Dorothea Erxleben Grant, Braunschweig University of Art (HBK)
Best Feature Film Debut, Biberacher Filmfestspiele
Best Screenplay, Valletta Film Festival, Malta
Visual Artist Work Fellowship Berlin (Arbeitsstipendium für Bildende Kunst, Senatskanzlei Kulturelle Angelegenheiten)
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, development funding
Nominated for Berlinale Best First Feature Award, 2015
Script & Pitch POWR Baltic Stories Exchange Workshop, Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, Estonia
1st. Prize for Best Pitch, Wendland Shorts, Germany
Hounorable Mention, Fano International Film Festival, Italy
Nominated for Best Swedish Short "Startsladden" @ Gothenburg Film Festival

Nominated for the German Film Critics Prize 2013
Best short film "Youth Days", exground Filmfest, Wiesbaden
nordmedia Fonds, production grant
BKM, production grant
Kuratorium junger deutscher Film, development and production grant
1st. Prize, Passatges Film Festival, Mostra de Cinema, Portbou

2010 – 2012
Travel Grant for Crane Arts (Philadelphia) by the Swedish Arts Grants Committee
Angers Script Workshop, Les Ateliers Premier Plans D'Anger, directed by Jeanne Moreau
"A Sunday in the Country", India, European Film Academy, Workshop
Cast & Cut Stipend / Stiftung Kulturregion Hannover und die nordmedia Fonds
nordmedia Fonds, production grant
Goldrausch Künstlerinnenprojekt
Swedish Film Institute, production grant
Swedish Arts Grant Committee, production grant
Jury Special Prize, Festival Internacional de cine Cinema Jove, Spain
Best Shortfilm, Belo Horizonte International Film Festival, Brazil
1st. Prize, Short film category, Konstanzer Filmfestival, Germany

2009 – 2007
Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, production grant
BKM, production grant
Sweden-America Foundation, Fellowship grant
Honorable Mention, Rio de Janeiro International Short film Festival, Brazil
1st. Prize, Short film category, Konstanzer Filmfestival
DAAD Artist Grant Los Angeles
GWFF Production Award, Regensburger Kurzfilmwoche
Short Subject Prize, FIAAP Festival, Portugal
Berlin Women's Artist Grant, (Künstlerinnenförderung, Berliner Senat)
Berlinale Talent Campus 2008, shortlisted for the BTA-award
1-year working stipend (NaFög) UdK, Berlin

Young Professional Program, Robert Bosch Stiftung

CESTA, Artist residency, Czech Republic
Erasmus Stipend


Filmfestivals & Exhibitions

2015– ongoing
Zürich Film Festival
Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival (PÖFF)
Rome Film Festival/Alice Nelle Citta
TIFF, Canada
MoMA, Carte Blanche: Mariette Rissenbeek on
German Women Cinematographers
Montreal WFF, Canada
Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis
Goethe Institut, Toronto
Filmfestival Max Ophüls Preis
Göteborg International Film Festival
Festival international du film fantastique de Gérardmer
Kosmorama FF Trondheim
Roze Filmdagen Amsterdam LGBTQ Film Festival
German Film Days Copenhagen
Internationales Frauenfilmfestival Dortmund | Köln
Achtung Berlin – the new film award
Genrenale, Berlin
Bilbao Fantasy Film Festival
Sydney Film Festival
Oslo Pix Film Festival
Festival of German Films (Madrid)
Galacticat Fantastic and Terror FF (Tarrega, Spanien)
Oltre le Spechio International Film Festival
Shanghai FF
Edinburgh International Film Festival
Bucheon International Fantastic Film Festival (Südkorea)
Galway Film Fleadh
Goethe Institut, Stockholm
Neuer Berliner Kunstverein, Berlin
EMAF, Osnabrück
Internationales Filmwochenende Würzburg
Filmmoor Women’s Film Festival on Wheels, Istanbul
São Paulo International Film Festival, Brazil
Berlinale, Germany
Women Make Waves Film Festival, Taipei, Taiwan
Tbilisi International Film Festival, Georgia
Cork Film Fest, Ireland
Austin Film Festival, US
Dresden Filmfest, Germany
Cairo Video Festival, Egypt
Cambridge Film Festival, UK
Montreal World Film Festival, Canada
Valletta Film Festival, Malta
Valencia International Film Festival Cinema Jove, Spain

Gothenburg Film Festival, Sweden
Bangladesh International Short & Independent Film Festival, Bangladesh
Cairo Video Festival, Egypt
Filmfest Osnabrück "Nord Shorts – Award winning short films"
Nordisk Panorama, "Young Nordics", Malmö, Sweden
Inntravel Short Film Awards Competition, Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival, UK
National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Korea
Wendland Shorts, Germany
BUFF Filmfestival, Malmö, Sweden
Landshuter Kurzfilmfestival, Germany
Vera Film Festival Åland, Finland

11th Kalpanirjhar International Short Fiction Film Festival, India
18th Berlin & Beyond Film Festival in San Francisco, US
exground filmfest, Wiesbaden
Geneva International Film Festival, Festival Tous Ecrans, Switzerland
Girona Filmfestival, Spain
Klappe Auf! Kurzfilmfestival, Hamburg
Rencontres Cinématographiques Cerbère, France
Passatges Film Festival, Mostra de Cinema de frontera, Spain
Festival Silhouette, Paris
Kurzfilmrolle Berlin, Freiluftkino Friedrichshain
achtung berlin - new berlin film award
Seen & Heard Film Festival, Sydney, Australia
Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival, France
Germany Shorts, Shortfilmcorner Cannes International Film Festival, France
International Film Festival of CineMigrante in Santiago de Chile
Gothenburg International Film Festival, Sweden
Berlinale, Germany
International Women's Film Festival, Dortmund, Germany
Filmes de Femmes, France
The 29th BUFF FILMFESTIVAL, Malmö, Sweden
Olympia International Film Festival for Children & Young People, Greece
ZUBROFFKA - International Short Film Festival, Poland
Cinekids Screening Club, Amsterdam, Holland
Film Capalbio Cinema, Italy
Pentedattilo Film Festival, Italy
Swedish Shorts @ Cool connections / Strelka Institute, Russia
International Documentary and Short Film Festival of Kerala, India
Swedish Shortfilm c/o Folkets Bio
"Inside the Moment" New Short Films @ Crane Arts, Philadelphia, USA
The Laughlin International Film Festival, Nevada, USA
secondhome projects Berlin - Wedding, Germany
The Standard Print, USA
EUShorts, Budapest, Hungary
Pier TV 111, Germany

Female Filmmaker Month, Mindpirates, Berlin
Cinemigrante, Argentina
LOCALIZE Das Heimatfestival, Berlin
Kikimikeoderduke, Dresden
Aguilar de Campoo, Spanien
Corto Tokyo, Japan
Kuala Lumpur International Film Festival, Malasyia
Les Laboratoires d'Aubervilliers, Paris
Firemuseum, Philadelphia
Zagreb Film Festival, Croatia
Konstanzer Kurzfilmspiele
Belo Horizonte International Short Film Festival, Brazil
Festival Silhouette, Paris
Festival Internacional de cine Cinema Jove, Spain
Alpinale Film Festival, Austria
Manchester European Short Film Festival, UK
Ambulart 2010, Guadalajara/Mexico
MIT European Short Film Festival, USA
Stuttgarter Filmwinter, Germany
Glasgow Film Festival, UK
Psarokokalo International Short Film Festival of Athens, Greece
Volksbühne Filmbühne im Prater, Berlin

Kino Arsenal, Künstlerinnenprogramm
Rio de Janeiro International Short film Festival, Brazil
Courts Devant, Paris, France
Braunschweig International Film Festival, Germany
Cinemagic International Film Festival, Northern Ireland
Leeds International Film Festival, UK
Molodist Kyiv International Film Festival, Ukraine
Thai Short Film and Video Festival, Thailand
Shnit Kurzfilmfestival, Switzerland
Goethe Institute, Montevideo, Uruguay
Filmfest Weiterstadt, Germany
Huesca Film Festival, Spain
REDCAT, Los Angeles, US
Hong Kong Art Center, "Trace and Chase", China
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany
Glasgow Film Festival, UK

Regensburger Kurzfilmwoche, Germany
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Germany
German Shortfilm Corner Cannes, France
Brooklyn International Filmfestival, US
MIT European Short Film Festival, US
Circuito Off Venice International Short Film Festival, Italy
FIAAP, Portugal
Raindance Film Festival, UK
L'Alternativa, Barcelona Independent Film Festival, Spain
FILMZ - Festival des deutschen Kinos, Germany
Konstanzer, Germany

GoEast Filmfestival, Wiesbaden
Emergeandsee Berlin
"Neue Berliner Filme" Kino Babylon Mitte
Lucania Film Festival, Italy
Hull International Short Film Festival, UK
Leeds International Film Festival, UK
Zinebi Short Filmfestival, Spain
Shortescape Barcelona, Spain
Badgoodgirl Filmfestival, Berlin

DiaProjekt Café EUROPA - Berlin
Augenblick – Raum für Gegenwartskunst, Berlin
ZoomOut Film and Video Festival, Berlin
Knoth&Krüger, Berlin
Vodoo Gallery, Berlin
Flyvsk Galleri, Copenhagen
Bad Vibrations, Berlin - »Shortfilm block.05«
C.E.S.T.A, Tabor – »Total Recall«, »Peripheral Vision«
DR 2 [Danish TV]
Mudd Club, Berlin