ROB NILSSON- A San Francisco based director, Rob Nilsson and co-director John Hanson won the Camera d’Or at Cannes for NORTHERN LIGHTS and Nilsson won the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for HEAT AND SUNLIGHT. He is the first American film director to have won 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 featured 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 and played in theatres around the country in 2000. It was voted one of the top films of the year by the Village Voice and received critical acclaim in theatrical runs in several US cities.
Seven of Nilsson’s 9 @ NIGHT film series, nine Direct Action digital features cast from the yGroup, STROKE (2000), SINGING (2000), SCHEME C6 (2001) and NEED (2004), PAN (2006), USED (2007) and GO TOGETHER (2007 had their World Premieres at the Mill Valley International Film Festival. ATTITUDE had its World Premiere at the Hong Kong International Film Festival in 2003 and NOISE at the Virginia Film Festival in October, also in 2003.
In collaboration with studio malaparte in Japan, Nilsson completed a Direct Action digital feature film shot on Sagi Island off the coast of Hiroshima. WINTER ORANGES had its world premiere in March, 2000 at the Fukuoka Film Archives in Fukuoka and its US Premiere at the Mill Valley International Film Festival in October 2000.
In September 2000, Nilsson shot another Direct Action digital feature (SAMT) in Jordan, working with a cast of young Jordanians assembled by ZENID, a Jordanian institute for social development. SAMT had its world premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2004.
In November 2003 Nilsson, in conjunction with Resfest South Africa, shot FRANK, a Direct Action digital feature shot in Cape Town locations with a cast selected from town and township, squatter camps and arts communities.
On September 11, 2005 the Pacific Film Archive hosted the World Premiere of SECURITY, a Direct Action feature film produced during a Nilsson residency at the U. of California, Berkeley. SECURITY also won the Audience Award at the Green Cine Internet Film Festival.
On April 7, 2006 the Kansas City Filmmaker’s Jubilee presented OPENING, a Direct Action feature sponsored and produced in Kansas City by the festival, as its Opening Night film.
Nilsson has directed A TOWN HAS TURNED TO DUST, a feature film for the USA Channel from a script by Rod Serling. Rob Nilsson’s film criticism has been featured on Ifilm and the Adobe Motion Channel and in a regular editorial column in RES, the world’s leading magazine on digital filmmaking.
Nilsson is working on a book about film and received a Rockefeller Artist’s Grant in 2002. In the 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 International Film Festival, 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 International Film Festival, the Indie Pioneer Award from the Kansas City Filmmaker’s Jubilee, a Filmmaker of the Year award from the Silver Lake Film Festival, Los Angeles and the Milley Award from the city of Mill Valley for achievement in the Arts. His book of poetry, FROM A REFUGEE OF TRISTAN DA CUNHA was released in September 2007 and is available at Authorhouse.com.
Production on the 9 @ Night film series was completed in 2005. PAN premiered in October, 2006 at the Mill Valley Film Festival while USED and GO TOGETHER, the final two feature films will be featured in the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2007. The World Premiere marathon screening of all 9 feature films is scheduled for the Harvard Film Archives in November, 2007.
PRESQUE ISLE, a narrative feature written and directed and shot on locations in the Santa Cruz Mountains and Northern Wisconsin will premiere at the Mill Valley Film Festival in 2007. PRESQUE ISLE is co- produced by the San Francisco School of Digital Filmmaking and Citizen Cinema.