Jörn Donner, the prolific Finnish producer and director whose credits included Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning Fanny And Alexander, has died at the age of 86.
Reports in local news were followed today by a statement released by the Tallinn Black Nights Film Festival, the biggest film event in the region, mourning his passing.
“A legend has left us,” said Tiina Lokk, director of Black Nights. “Donner’s work has not only influenced Nordic film but also life outside the screen – as a writer, a sharp-minded social critic, a politician and a diplomat.”
Donner passed away yesterday (January 30) after a long fight with illness, according to the festival, which presented him with a lifetime achievement award back in 2017.
As a producer, Donner made more than 60 films, including Bergman’s 1982 drama Fanny And Alexander, which won four Academy Awards including Best Foreign Language Film in 1984.
As a director, his credits included the 1963 movie A Sunday In September, which saw him win the Best Debut award in Venice. He also helmed To Love (1964), Black On White (1968), Portraits Of Women (1970) and Fuck Off! Images of Finland (1971), as well as a 2017 sequel to the latter, Fuck Off 2 – Images From Finland. His most recent credit was an hour-long documentary that chronicled his work with Bergman.
Donner was a multi-hyphenate, also founding the Finnish Film Archive and running the Swedish Film Institute from 1978 to 1982. As a writer, he published more than 50 books, winning the Finlandia literary award in 1985. He also served 14 years in the Finnish parliament, three years as a MEP in Brussels and was Finland’s Consul General in Los Angeles during the 1990s.