Britta Sjogren is an award-winning independent filmmaker living and working in San Francisco. She is currently in pre-production on a new feature film, CLAIRE'S BONES (working title) , a dark love story being produced by Dire Wolf. The story chronicles the fate of two strangers who dream of each other, but have never met, whose lives become fatally entwined through the rippling after-shocks of a young woman's murder.
In the past year, Sjogren was named a Guggenheim Fellow for her filmmaking for the development of a documentary film examining the cultural legacy of slavery (and the spaces associated with it) entitled A CHAIN OF WINDOWS. Her book, INTO THE VORTEX: FEMALE VOICE AND PARADOX IN FILM was also published in 2006 by the University of Illinois Press.
In 2005 Sjogren completed a her most recent feature, IN THIS SHORT LIFE, a documentary/narrative hybrid that chronicles the small and large economic and other struggles of 4 disparate characters: an elderly woman ambivalently embarking on an affair, a mentally unstable man being evicted from his home, a frustrated actor waiting for his breakthrough, and a young woman juggling personal and professional aspirations. IN THIS SHORT LIFE premiered at the Rio de Janeiro FEMINA festival in June 2005, where it received the Best Direction award in the international feature competition. The film later went on to win the Best Feature award at the Bend Independent Film Festival.
Sjogren's short, A SMALL DOMAIN won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Short Film at the 1996 Sundance Festival, and numerous additional awards internationally, including Best Narrative Short at the South By Southwest festival, Special Recognition for Excellence in Filmmaking at the Aspen Shortfest, a Special Jury Award at the USA-Dallas International Festival, a Special Jury Artistic Merit Award at Cinequest festival, and inclusion in the distinguished "Filmmakers of Today" selection at the Locarno Film Festival.
Her first feature, an experimental narrative, JO-JO AT THE GATE OF LIONS, premiered in the dramatic competition at the Sundance Festival in 1992. JO-JO went on to tour the festival circuit, garnering a prize for Best Narrative Film from the Atlanta Festival, and Special Mention at the Créteil festival of films by women.
Sjogren has a number of other projects in development along with CLAIRE'S BONES, including the narrative feature RAGE CAROLINA, which received the 2001 Cynosure Screenwriting Award for Best Screenplay in Minority Protagonist Category. RAGE chronicles the quest for reparation and revenge by a young African American woman whose ancestors were once enslaved in the American South. Other pending projects include LOST OASIS, a narrative exploring the ways in which grief can both destroy and resurrect us, and IN VITRO, a drama that questions the ethical, emotional and spiritual implications of technology in human experience, as it follows the sexual odysseys of four women.
Sjogren is an Associate Professor in the Department of Cinema at San Francisco State University, where she teaches film production and theory. She attended the graduate film program at UCLA and received her BA from UC Berkeley. She was born in Portland, Oregon, and has lived in Germany, Italy and France. She has a 4 year old daughter, Asta.