Rob Nilsson

Rob Nilsson

Rob Nilsson (born 1939, Rhinelander, Wisconsin, USA)
San Francisco-based director. Nilsson and co-director John Hanson won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for Northern Lights. Nilsson won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance FF, for Heat and Sunlight, being the first American film director to win both awards. He is also the creator of the Direct Action style of digital filmmaking taught in the Tenderloin yGroup Actor’s Ensemble, San Francisco, and appeared in workshops conducted around the world. Nilsson is a pioneer in the techniques of video to film transfer, which led to today’s digital revolution. In 1985 Signal 7 was the first small format video feature to be blown up to film and distributed around the world. Chalk, his first feature with the Tenderloin Action Group (now the Tenderloin yGroup) a San Francisco inner city acting workshop, was featured in the Locarno and Toronto film festivals. It was voted one of the top films of the year by the Village Voice. Seven of Nilsson’s 9 @ Night film series, nine Direct Action digital features cast from the yGroup. In recent years retrospectives of Nilsson’s work have taken place at the Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley, Chicago Institute of Art, Resfest, Seoul, Korea, Digital Talkies Festival, New Dehli, India, MOV Festival and Cinemanila, Manila, Philippines, Hong Kong IFF, and the Kansas City Filmmaker's Jubilee. Recent awards include the Ted M. Larson Award for “outstanding contributions to the film industry” from the Fargo IFF, the Indie Pioneer Award from the Kansas City Filmmaker’s Jubilee, a Filmmaker of the Year award from the Silver Lake FF, Los Angeles.

Northern Lights (1979), Signal 7 (1985), On the Edge (1986), Heat And Sunlight (1988), The Street (1989), Words for the Dying (1990), Choosing Success (1994), Chalk (1996), A Town Has Turned to Dust (1998), Winter Oranges (2000), Singing (2000), Stroke (2000), Scheme C6 (2001), Noise (2003) Attitude (2003), Samt (2004), Frank (2004), Security (2005), Need (2005), Opening (2006), Pan (2006), Used (2007), Go Together (2007), Presque Isle (2007), Imbued (2009), What Happened Here? (2011).




Moscow Cinema
 Hirair and Anna Hovnanian Foundation
Festival Coverage