Please introduce yourself

The DNA is that my name is Eilif, I am the son of Leif and Marit. My father is a priest and my mother is a ceramic artist. They are divorced, but good friends. There is hope in the world, but also some melancholy – our cat that we had for 19 years died last week. Sad, but the memories of our great, little red headed cat lives on.

I am 31 years old, and I live in a city called Tromsø. Tromsø is far north, situated between high mountains and the big blue sea. It’s the land of Northern lights and the midnight sun. Tromsø is also a incredibly cultural place with lots of festivals and creative people that has ambition and want to create stuff. Tromsø is a place of contrasts.

I hope I am many things, but more concrete for work, I am a filmmaker. I write, direct and produce and I collaborate with people from all over the world. It’s really fun and meaningful work for me. For the last three years I have worked at NRK to project lead documentary series for kids and grown-ups. It’s been great – but from January 1st I am quitting NRK to start my own company for development and productions visual stories.

When I don’t work, I love powder skiing, doing activities, an occasional drink. I have started needing on pizza and sometimes I jump in the sea for a cold dip with a warm sauna after.


Which team and when did you graduate?

Team 22 and I graduated in 2018.


What have you been doing since you graduated as a Kaospilot?

I got a job offer at NRK just before I graduated so I moved back to Tromsø to work at NRK there. In NRK I have directed and project lead several documentary series. My team and I created a series about a gang of amateur hockey players from Kirkenes (a small town far north), northern Russia and northern Finland. Was super fun and also to collaborate across borders was great. The hockey team, Kirkenes Puckers was actually nominated to the Nobel Peace Price this year for their work across the borders.

I have also done several other film projects outside of my work. I have made some music videos and a short doc called “Sju mil” which was nominated for an Amanda award (equivalent to the Oscars). Right now, its screening at festival across the world. And you can see it here:

And now I am starting a new chapter. I have resigned from my NRK job to start up my own production company! I’m looking forward to it. I will still collaborate with NRK, but I want to explore and learn more, so for me it’s a good time to try out this. I have many ideas and plans, but that has to be for another alumni interview. Next time! 😉


What is important for you in your job?

I my job it’s incredibly important to be open to other ideas and to people, I try to see connections. I also focus a lot of the creative process, so that we can create the best stories as we can, with what we have.

For me its about having a focus on the story, but also on the people. As a project leader in NRK I try to empower my team to be great team members and storytellers. It’s also important with doing my best to see people, hearing people and asking for help..easy to write, sometimes hard to do in real life. For me its also important to be kind and to be a good collaborator, but also to have some sort of ambition to what we are making. With the projects I lead, I try to serve the story. What does out story need now to grow and develop?

To be able to work with different kinds of people is important for me. I guess the keyword is openness. And also to have fun! To joke and meet resistance with fascination.

What major learnings would you point out from your experience that have shaped you as a leader?

I think through the different projects I have been part of its important to initiate – and to delegate. Try to take leadership when we do things. Dare to lead in a way. Though NRK and different film projects, I have also learnt the value of saying out loud that I don’t know all the answers, and that we need to help each other and to serve the project. To work “in service” of the film or to feel that we “work in service for something bigger is important for me to cultivate as a leader.

And really listen to my crew, to give them freedom (within frames). And also not to forget to have fun in what we do. It’s just TV and film…


What is your biggest source for inspiration right now?

Right now I am inspired by a speech I heard at the Climate summit in Glasgow from the youth delegation.

I am also really inspired by people and communities that are in the districts and outskirts of Norway and other places in the world. Through my work I travel a lot to the outskirts of Norway to make film and TV, and I meet so many fantastic and interesting people. I see a different kind of life and I am inspired by people and communities who want to do things, to create value for their community.


What would would be an example of a learning or an experience from your time at Kaospilot that has been important to you?

Check-in and check out hehe 😉 I use it a lot in my work, sitting in a circle and having a check-in and check out was revolutionary at NRK. It’s simple and powerful.

I feel I use the mindset from KP almost every day. A big learning has been to be comfortable being in a process, to be in the unknown. I actually like and thrive in it. I also like that when i meet KPs in the world, it’s also ways super nice to meet. I think we have strong community, which i also try to bring with me in my life.

This summer I met several KPs in Lofoten at a festival called Trevarefest. I joined them in creating the festival. Was amazing!

So, its been many things from KP for me. I also think back with warmth to my team. Was some good years and I am happy I went to the school.


What is a piece of advice that you would like to give future Kaospilot graduates?

I think its important to try to take the learnings at KP and use them in your interest or stuff you already do. Then it can be easier to see how you can use the knowledge in real life.

Several of the projects I was a part of at KP sent us to the outskirts. I went to Lofoten, to Træna (a small island in Northern-Norway) and I would really recommend to go the small places and work there. And come to the north. I can teach you skiing.

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