Ruben Östlund

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Ruben Östlund
Ruben Östlund in 2014
Born (1974-04-13) 13 April 1974 (age 50)
Styrsö, Sweden
Alma materUniversity of Gothenburg
Years active1993–present
Notable workForce Majeure, The Square, Triangle of Sadness
SpouseAnna Östlund (married ?–2008)
PartnerSina Görcz (2014–present)
AwardsPalme d'Or (2017, 2022), Guldbaggen (2023)
HonoursH. M. The King's Medal in Gold

Ruben Östlund (Swedish pronunciation: [ˈrʉːbɛn ˈœstlɵnd]) (born 13 April 1974) is a Swedish filmmaker best known for his black comedic and satirical films Force Majeure (2014), The Square (2017) and Triangle of Sadness (2022).[1] He is the recipient of various accolades, including two Palmes d'Or, four European Film Awards and nominations for three Academy Awards.

Early life and education[edit]

Östlund was born in Styrsö, Gothenburg Municipality, Sweden. After high school, he started working in various ski resorts in the Alps during the winter seasons. While in the Alps, he began making skiing videos for his friends, which helped him obtain a job at a local production company.

He went on to study at the film school in Gothenburg, graduating in 2001. He was accepted to the school based on his skiing films.[2] Together with film producer Erik Hemmendorff, he is the co-founder of the production company Plattform Produktion, which produces his films.[3]



His first three feature-length fiction films were The Guitar Mongoloid (2004), Involuntary (2008) and Play (2011).[4] The Guitar Mongoloid won the FIPRESCI Award at the 27th Moscow International Film Festival.[5][6] Östlund's short film Incident by a Bank won the Golden Bear for Best Short Film at the 60th Berlin International Film Festival[7] and the Grand Prix at Tampere Film Festival in 2011.


In 2014, his film Force Majeure was selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival,[8] winning the Jury Prize.[9] Sweden then submitted Force Majeure for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. After the Academy shortlisted but did not nominate it, Östlund released a humorous video of his response to missing the nomination list.[10] In 2016, he was a member of the jury for the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes.[11]

In 2017, his film The Square, loosely inspired by some of his own experiences and art installation with Kalle Boman,[12][13] competed at the Cannes Film Festival, where it ultimately won the Palme d'Or.[14] Alissa Wilkinson of Vox described the film as "Burying self-referential allusions in the background and merrily poking viewers till they bruise, The Square at times feels more like longform performance art than a narrative film. It’s social satire by way of art-world comedy, and no woke participant is exempt from its barbs."[15]

In 2020, he received the King's medal in gold for significant efforts in Swedish film.[16]

Afterwards, he pursued the project Triangle of Sadness, a satirical film about the wealthy elite, winning his second Palme d'Or in 2022.[17] On January 23, 2023, he won Best Director at the Guldbaggens gala for Triangle of Sadness. The film won five other nominations.[18] In January of the same year, only a day after winning the Guldbaggengala, Triangle of Sadness received Academy Award nominations for Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Original Screenplay.[19] He was the Jury president of the 2023 Cannes Film Festival.[20]

Personal life[edit]

Östlund has been in a relationship with fashion photographer Sina Görcz since 2014 and has a son called Elias. He was previously married to his director colleague Andrea Östlund. They divorced in 2008 and have twin daughters, Alva and Hilda, together. Östlund was 28 when he became a father for the first time and was working on The Guitar Mongoloid, his first feature film.[21]


Year English title Original title Notes
1993 Addicted Skiing film
1997 Free Radicals
1998 Free Radicals 2
2000 Låt dom andra sköta kärleken Documentary
2002 Family Again Familj igen
2004 The Guitar Mongoloid Gitarrmongot
2005 Autobiographical Scene Number 6882 Scen nr: 6882 ur mitt liv Short
2008 Involuntary De ofrivilliga
2009 Incident by a Bank Händelse vid bank Short
2011 Play
2014 Force Majeure Turist
2017 The Square
2022 Triangle of Sadness
2026 The Entertainment System is Down

Awards and nominations[edit]

Academy Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2018 Best International Feature Film The Square Nominated
2023 Best Director Triangle of Sadness Nominated
Best Original Screenplay Nominated

BAFTA Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2015 Best Film Not in the English Language Force Majeure Nominated
2023 Best Original Screenplay Triangle of Sadness Nominated

Cannes Film Festival[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2008 Un Certain Regard Involuntary Nominated
2014 Force Majeure Nominated
2017 Palme d'Or The Square Won
2022 Triangle of Sadness Won

Golden Globe Awards[edit]

Year Category Nominated work Result
2015 Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language Force Majeure Nominated
2018 The Square Nominated
2023 Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy Triangle of Sadness Nominated


  1. ^ Brooks, Xan (11 March 2018). "Ruben Östlund: 'All my films are about people trying to avoid losing face'". The Observer. ISSN 0029-7712. Retrieved 11 March 2018.
  2. ^ Carlberg, Ingrid (18 January 2009). "Folkfilmaren Ruben Östlund". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 January 2009.
  3. ^ Pham, Annika (30 October 2008). "Interview with Ruben Östlund". Cineuropa. Retrieved 30 October 2008.
  4. ^ Helmerson, Erik (21 March 2009). "Ruben Östlunds nya om unga som rånar". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). Retrieved 21 March 2009.
  5. ^ "27th Moscow International Film Festival (2005)". MIFF. Archived from the original on 3 April 2013. Retrieved 3 April 2013.
  6. ^ Awards 2005 Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine, FIPRESCI; retrieved 5 June 2008.
  7. ^ Meza, Ed (17 February 2010). "'Bank' wins Golden Bear for best short". Variety. Retrieved 17 February 2010.
  8. ^ "2014 Official Selection". (in French). Retrieved 18 April 2014.
  9. ^ "Un Certain Regard 2014 Awards". Festival de Cannes 2014. 23 May 2014. Retrieved 23 May 2014.
  10. ^ Tartaglione, Nancy (16 January 2015). "Force Majeure's Ruben Ostlund Does 'Worst Man Cry' Over Oscar Snub – Video". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 16 January 2015.
  11. ^ "Un Certain Regard Jury 2016". Cannes Film Festival. Retrieved 28 April 2016.
  12. ^ Page, Thomas (29 May 2017). "Cannes 2017: 'The Square' skewers the dark side of the art world". CNN. Retrieved 29 May 2017.
  13. ^ Asp, Jon (27 January 2017). "Ruben Ostlund Talks About His New Film, 'The Square' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
  14. ^ Pulver, Andrew (28 May 2017). "Cannes 2017: Ruben Östlund wins Palme d'Or for The Square". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 May 2017.
  15. ^ "The Square's high-concept comedy targets both the art world and the social contract". Vox. Retrieved September 10, 2023.
  16. ^ "Medaljförläningar 28 januari 2020 - Sveriges Kungahus". (in Swedish). Archived from the original on 28 January 2020. Retrieved 28 January 2020.
  17. ^ Keslassy, Elsa (9 June 2017). "From 'Square' to 'Triangle': Palme d'Or Winner Ruben Ostlund's New Project Unveiled (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 9 June 2017.
  18. ^ "Alla vinnare på Guldbaggegalan 2023". (in Swedish). 2023-01-23. Retrieved 2023-01-23.
  19. ^ "Här är nomineringarna till Oscarsgalan 2023 – trippelnomineras". (in Swedish). 2023-01-24. Retrieved 2023-01-24.
  20. ^ "Ruben Östlund, Président du Jury du 76e Festival de Cannes". Festival de Cannes (in French). 28 February 2023. Retrieved 2023-05-12.
  21. ^ "Ruben Östlund om nya filmen, papparollen – och varför han vägrar botox". 16 May 2022.

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