In this kafkaesque meeting a mother and her son is fighting a clogged bureaucracy that intensify the personal suffering it is supposed to remedy. The story is based on the directors own experiences with her brother suffering from schizophrenia. The film is inspired by both theater and documentary.



2.nd jury Prize Look and Roll Fest, Switzerland
Honorary Mention, Nordic Docs
The Hourglass, Writers Guild of Norway



Jury statement Short film festival Grimstad – WRITERS GUILD script award

This year’s HOURGLASS award is given by the Writers Guild of Norway, go to a film where the screenplay shines through a complicated piece of work. The film masterfully manages to describe a situation and tell a story that we as an audience know its fiction, but that always feels real. That´s not easy.

The films have a clear and apparent story that helps us to understand the frustration and powerlessness the people in the film feels. It’s a story that moves us emotionally while we were watching and sticks around after we have seen it. It shows a side bureaucracy specifically mental health care, that cannot turn our backs to. How mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters, often have to put their life on hold in order to care of their sick ones. All because the system is unable to take care of them. This year’s winner is an important film and though it’s a screenplay, it manages to portrait exactly this reality.


Here is an incredible well-played docudrama in incredible concise wrapping. We meet a young boy with a diagnosis in psychiatry. The majority of the film takes place through a bureaucratic, kafkaesque meeting, where Kjetil's ability to work and the ability to ve released is discussed. It goes from cold to lukewarm and back again. The Docudrama is so realistic that many viewers will think that what they experience is from reality. The replicas here sit so it hurts and the actors perform tremendously. The region is tight and cold-blooded, genre play is effective. This film shows how intimate, creative fictions can scarcely replace our documentary film experience, thus reducing the distance between so-called reality and the other, or should we say: the other realities, if they exist

Directors Note - ellen ugelstad

In this film I wanted to isolate a scene from my life, a meeting at a psychiatric ward. The initial idea comes from a chronic feeling of powerlessness regarding my brother´s illness and the struggle with the healthcare-system. My brother has been suffering from schizophrenia for over twenty years and I have been to many meetings regarding my brother´s life.

The Meeting Room tries to stage this experience. I wanted to capture the powerlessness from the perspective of the patient and show how a clogged bureaucracy intensify the suffering they seek to remedy. As the meeting passes the discrepancy between the patient need for a safe place to live with people that can look after him and the bureaucratic problems grows deeper and deeper.

Care is a complex term specially when it has to be adjusted to the principles of organisation. One can wonder if the structure itself creates a climate for bureaucratic power to thrive. I am interested in the grey areas; where does the personal responsibility and personal moral end and can a collective care even exist under the terms of a bureaucracy? I brought the meeting room to the stage to let the drama play out in an environment that inherently belong to emotional insight. To fight the bureaucracy alone is a powerless act, but to make a film gives hope.



LOOK AND ROLL FILM FESTIVAL / Basel, Switzerland / September, 2018

STAVANGER KINO / SCHIZOPHRENI DAGENE / Stavanger, Norway - 11. November, 2017

AMIFF - Arctic Moving Image Film Festival / Harstad, Norway - 2017

HØSTUTSTILLINGEN 2017 / Oslo, Norway - 15. September to 15. October, 2017

Kunstnernes Hus Kino / Oslo, Norway - 15, 16, 23, 24, 30. September and 1. October, 2017 / Conversation with Ellen Ugelstad after screening


ØYAKINO / Ringen Kino, Oslo, Norway - 5. August, 2017

NETTKINO / 17. July to 1. August, 2017

KORTFILMFESTIVALEN I GRIMSTAD / Grimstad, Norway - 14. to 18. June 2018

NORDIC DOCS / Fredrikstad, Norway: 12. May, 2018


Director: Ellen Ugelstad
Script: Einar Sverdrup,
Ellen Ugelstad
Cinematography: Audun Magnæs
Editor: Kirsti Marie Hougen,
Ellen Ugelstad
Producer: Twentyone Pictures


Edvin Anstendsrud
Trine Wiggen
Stig Frode Henriksen
Christina Ørbekk Nikolaisen
Hilde Olaussen
Marianne Mørk Larsen
Toni Usman

Supported by



Produced with the support from

Freedom of Speech Foundation VIsual Arts Foundation Norwegian Film Institute Lab