Orlando von Einsiedel

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Orlando von Einsiedel at Nobel Week Dialogue, Göteborg 2017
Coat of the Einsidel family

Orlando von Einsiedel[1] (born in August 1980)[2] is a British film director. He directs mostly documentary films that investigate global social issues, and has filmed in various places around the world, including Africa, Asia, America and the Arctic. von Einsiedel became known for his award winning film Virunga, produced with the cooperation of Virunga National Park director Prince de Merode.

Early life[edit]

Von Einsiedel is the grandson of Wittgo von Einsiedel (a second cousin to Heinrich Graf von Einsiedel, who descends from Otto von Bismarck) and Walburga von Obersdorff.[1] His father, Andreas Jean-Paul von Einsiedel, was a photographer specialising in architecture and interiors.[3] Orlando grew up in Forest Hill, London, UK with his mother (Harriet), a British music therapist. He attended Alleyn's, an independent school in East Dulwich, London, UK.[4]


Von Einsiedel studied social anthropology at the University of Manchester[5] and an MSc in anthropology and development at the London School of Economics.[6]

Film career[edit]

Many of von Einsiedel's documentaries have been screened at some of the world's top film festivals. He directed Virunga (2014), which received an Academy Award nomination for Best Documentary Feature, and The White Helmets (2016), which won for Best Documentary (Short Subject). Both nominations were shared with producer Joanna Natasegara.[7][8][9][10] His 2018 film, Evelyn, about his late brother, launched at the London Film Festival[11] and won the BIFA for Best Documentary.[12] In 2020, 'Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (if you're a girl)', a film he was an executive producer on, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject).[13] In 2006, he co-founded Grain Media, a production company based in London.[14]

Snowboard career[edit]

Von Einsiedel spent several years as a professional snowboarder,[15][4][16] travelling the world promoting the brand names of various sponsors through media engagements, photo/video shoots, and competitions. During this period he was given the nickname 'Jill Dando', due to the rhyme connection between his name and hers.[4]

Selected filmography[edit]


  1. ^ a b People of Today 2017 / Lucy Hume
  2. ^ "Tirunga". DOCS Barcelona. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  3. ^ Website featuring von Einsiedel's father's photography
  4. ^ a b c "The gorillas, Leo and me: Orlando von Einsiedel interview". 6 February 2015.
  5. ^ "Orlando Von Einsiedel - School of Social Sciences - The University of Manchester". www.socialsciences.manchester.ac.uk.
  6. ^ "Collect Your Alumni Campus Card".
  7. ^ Ritman, Alex (5 December 2014). "'Virunga' Director Talks Oscar Buzz, Leonardo DiCaprio and Aggressive Lawyers". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  8. ^ Kinosian, Janet (5 February 2015). "'Virunga' details a complicated story of oil exploration in Congo". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  9. ^ "Oscar Nominations 2017: See the Full List". Vanity Fair. 24 January 2017. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  10. ^ Katz, Andrew (7 September 2016). "Exclusive: Watch the Trailer for 'The White Helmets'". Time. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  11. ^ "BFI London Film Festival - 6 to 17 October 2021".
  12. ^ "Evelyn · BIFA · British Independent Film Awards". 31 October 2018.
  13. ^ "British Council Film: Learning to Skateboard in a Warzone (If You're a Girl)".
  14. ^ "About us". Grain Media. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  15. ^ Grain Media (29 May 2009). "Orlando von Einsiedel Pro Snowboarder Interview" – via YouTube.
  16. ^ "Ex-Pro Snowboarder Wins Oscar For Best Documentary - Boardsport SOURCE". 27 February 2017.

External links[edit]