Swedish writer-director Suzanne Osten, who recently celebrated her 70th birthday, was yesterday (20 November) named Sweden’s first ambassador for film by the Swedish Film Institute, in order to enhance the position of children’s films in the country. She will start in March 2015.
The inspiration for the new title was partly taken from the Swedish Arts Council’s nomination of an ambassador for reading a couple of years ago, in order to increase children’s love of reading. “With her thorough background as a director of film and theatre, and her long experience with pioneering work in children’s culture, she will now take up this assignment,” wrote the institute.
“Children are increasingly watching films in all their different forms. The Swedish Film Institute works to promote the variety of cinema and, when it comes to kidpics, especially the films that will inspire them, enable them to develop and make them grow up as individuals – as human beings and citizens of the world.”
Osten founded Stockholm’s Unga Klara theatre company in 1975, and she is still its head, as well as being a professor in directing (a qualification she received from Stockholm’s University College of Film, Radio, Television and Theatre). An Honorary Doctor at the University of Lund, she has written numerous books and plays.
Between 1982 and 2006, she directed nine features, including The Mozart Brothers (1986), which won her a Guldbagge – Sweden’s national film prize – for Best Director. “I am both happy and honoured to take on this task, and since I am usually pretty good at seeing new perspectives, I hope this will work here, too,” she said.