Ellen Ugelstad is a Norwegian filmmaker living in Oslo. She studied philosophy and anthropology at the University of Oslo before she moved to California and received a BFA in film. Her work often explores the thin line between sanity and insanity, the hierarchy of power, and explores different forms of reality.
Her debut, Indian Summer, is an example of this investigation. This film tells the story of her younger brother living with schizophrenia - a poetic portrait of a young man’s struggle for his own dignity and pursuit of freedom. Indian Summer was nominated for the International Young Talent Award at DOK Leipzig and the Nordic:Dox Award at CPH:DOX and received two nominations at the Norwegian “Emmy Award” (Gullruten.) The short film “The Meeting Room” shows a kafkaesque meeting where a mother and her son fight a clogged bureaucracy. The film won Best Screenplay at the Norwegian Shortfilmfestival in 2017.
Her recent work includes the film essay Making Sense Together which investigates the relationship between power and powerlessness in psychiatry. The award-winning short film The Green Valley was longlisted for the Oscars. Ugelstad is also a recipient of a five-year work grant from the Norwegian Art Council.