Ellen Ugelstad (b. 1973) is an artist and 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 from Academy of Art University in San Francisco. She works in a variety of genres ranging from poetic documentary to music-films, hybrids and fiction.
Her work often explores the thin line between sanity and insanity, the hierarchy of power and explores different forms of reality. Her previous documentary Indian Summer is an example of this investigation. This film tells the story of her younger brother living with schizophrenia. It is a poetic portrait of a young man's struggle for his own dignity and search for freedom. Indian Summer was nominated for the International Young Talent Award at DOK Leipzig and Nordic Dox Award under CPH:DOX, screened at Nordische FilmTage in Lubeck, and received two nominations at the Norwegian “Emmy-Award” called Gullruten.
Her films often migrates between different platforms and has also screened at the Annual National Art Exhibition in Oslo. The last few years she has explored the lines between fiction and documentary and her short film “The Meetingroom” won best screenplay at the Norwegian Shortfilmfestival in 2017. Her recent work includes the filmessay Making Sense Together which investigates the relationship between power and powerlessness in psychiatry and screened in competition for best Nordic Documentary at Oslo:Pix in June 2018. The Green Valley recently recieved the Golden Chair for best short film at the Norwegian Shortfilm festival. She is also a recepient of a five-year artist grant from the Norwegian Art Council.