Mona J. Hoel

Mona J. HoelMona J. Hoel studied photography in New York 1982-85, and film directing at the Dramatic Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, 1986-89. She directed her first featurefilm At Ease, in 1995.

Before this she had directed several nominated short and documentary films; The House, The beauty or the beast, Come with me to the sacred mountain, the best known.Altoghether she has written, directed and produced about twenty shortfilms, pricewinning advertisementfilms, feature films for cinema and television. Many of them pricewinners at known short and A festivals like Karlovy Vary, Clairmont Ferrand, Leipzig , Moscow, Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestivals.

In 1996 she made the short feature Float, a part in the feature film Breath, produced by Norwegian Film Studios. She recived very good critics for her episode, written in collaboration with Arne Berggren. In 2000 she wrote and directed Cabin fever/Når nettene blir lange, Dogma nr. 19, certified. It participated in the main competition in Karlovy Vary, 2000, along with eight other titles, among them Amelie from Montmartre and her film was predicted a box office by Screen International magazine. Cabin fever was also screened at the Toronto International filmfestival 2000, and choosen to be that years Case Study, for it´s different production teqnique. She collaborated with her companion Malte Forrsell in producing it.

Cabin fever/Når nettene blir lange was also choosen as the film of the year by the popular magazine Night and Day in Norway and won two Amanda awards at the Haugesund International Filmfestival. Best male actor to Svein Scharrffenberg, for playing the alcoholic father. The honourable price to Kari Simonsen for her part as the mother.

Her next feature film, Chlorox, ammonia and Coffee, had a national cinema release in Norwegian cinemas august 2004. November 2004, it won the prestigeous, main price at the Mannheim Heidelberg International filmfestival. Aftrer this she has made the low budget film From green to white, 2011, and has been developing her next featurefilm Ironhorse.

She took a timeout after her father´s sudden death in february 2008, and did other things for a period. Worked in a bakery, selling bread and cakes, making a living this way while researching our social structures seen from behind the counter. The financial crizis came and she observed norwegian pensioners not affording more than half a loaf of bread. What also struck her was the low pay and desperate job market. A lot of youth running away from Sweden, lacking work there, taking any job here, making less per hour than us, and beeing taken advantage of for their desperation for work.

This was a very interesting period. She now went back to her intuitive way of storytelling, the camera and the actors her only instruments, shooting, directing, and recording sound, aiming at getting back in touch with her inner visual voice, like in the New York days with the super 8 technique. She made a hybrid called “So you thought I was dead”, a portrait and a kind of testament for Elsa Lystad, a great Norwegian comedienne, 95 years old, not wanting to disappear from the performing arts.

In 2017, the energy returns and Mona J. Hoel made a comeback with the feature film “Are you leaving already?” which had its world premiere at Oslo Pix in 2019. It received great reviews and good publicity and also took part in the Gothenburg Film Festival 2020. It was also released in cinemas but it was during the pandemic.

November 25, 2022, on the UN World Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, the feature film “Night” had its world premiere during the Black Nights Film Festival Tallinn, in the competition program, nominated in all categories. It did not win an award but received a very positive review in Cineuropa.

On 13 January 2023, the film premiered in cinemas across the country and received rave reviews.