Nils Gaup

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Nils Gaup
Nils Gaup at the Gothenburg Film Festival in 2017
Born (1955-04-12) 12 April 1955 (age 68)
Occupation(s)Film director
Years active1987–present
Best Film
1988 Pathfinder

Festival de Cine de Sitges
Special Mention
1988 Pathfinder

British Film Institute
Sutherland Trophy
1989 Pathfinder

Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival
Grand Jury Prize
1990 Pathfinder

Nils Gaup (born 12 April 1955) is a Sámi film director from Norway.


Mikkel Gaup and Nils Gaup at the 1988 Oscar ceremony

Gaup was born in Kautokeino, Finnmark County in Northern Norway. He first intended to become an athlete but from 1974 to 1978 he went to drama school and studied at the Beaivváš Sámi Theatre in Kautokeino. He also founded the first Sami language theatre ensemble.

After acting in several movies, he rose to international prominence in 1987 with his film Ofelaš (international English title Pathfinder). It was the first full-length movie with all of the dialogue in Northern Sámi. This movie earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Foreign language film and the Grand Prize award at the 1990 Yubari International Fantastic Film Festival. After that he made the Disney-financed movie Haakon Haakonsen (Shipwrecked), based on the youth adventure novel Haakon Haakonsen. En norsk Robinson (Haakon Haakonsen. A Norwegian Robinson) by Norwegian author O. V. Falck-Ytter. In 1993 he shot his most successful film to date Hodet over vannet (Head Above Water). For this film, he won the Amanda Award (the most important Norwegian Film Award). It was remade as a 1996 American film with Cameron Diaz and Harvey Keitel in the leading roles. His next movie was Tashunga (also known as North Star), a project by Christopher Lambert. This film was panned by both the box office and the critics.

Gaup was previously scheduled as director for the Kevin Costner movie Waterworld. But due to exploding costs, he left the project.

He directed the 2008 film Kautokeino-opprøret about the Kautokeino rebellion of 1852 of the town of the same name in Norway. It is the true story of the riots of the Sami people against the church and state domination on alcohol sale.




Awards and nominations[edit]

  • Amanda Award Winner – Pathfinder
  • Academy Award Nomination Best Foreign language film – Pathfinder
  • Amanda Award Winner – Head above Water

Personal life[edit]

Nils Gaup is the uncle of actor Mikkel Gaup.[1][2] He is currently married to Linn-Kristin Henriksen, the sister of actor Stig Frode Henriksen known from the Kill Buljo movie.


  1. ^ "Joiker i Melodi Grand Prix på samenes nasjonaldag". (in Norwegian Bokmål). 4 February 2021. Retrieved 10 August 2021.
  2. ^ Aslaksen, Eilif Andreas (14 August 2008). "Nils Gaup: – Frarøvet framtiden". NRK (in Norwegian Bokmål). Retrieved 10 August 2021.

External links[edit]

Preceded by Eurovision Song Contest
Final Interval act

Succeeded by