Tonje Hessen Schei

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Tonje Hessen Schei
Hessen Schei photographed by Marte Garmann in 2022
Alma materUniversity of Texas, Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Occupation(s)Film producer, film director

Tonje Hessen Schei is a Norwegian film director, producer and screenwriter[1] who has been making independent documentary films since 1996. Her films mostly take on international issues that question systems of power.

Most recently, Hessen Schei directed Praying For Armageddon, a political thriller that investigates the dangerous consequences of the fusion between Evangelical Christianity and American politics.[2] The film's worldwide premiere took place in early 2023 at the CPH:DOX film festival in Copenhagen, Denmark.[3] The film will have its U.S. premiere at the Hamptons International Film Festival on October 8, 2023.[4]

Hessen Schei also directed iHUMAN, a film on artificial intelligence, power and social control.[5] It premiered at IDFA in 2019 with sold-out theaters and a Doc Talk with Edward Snowden.[6] iHUMAN won Best Norwegian Documentary at HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival in 2020.[7] The film also had special high-level panel debates at Berlinale and Cannes [8] and was screened at the UN.[9] iHUMAN qualified for the Oscar run in 2020.[10]

Drone, a documentary Hessen Schei directed on the secret CIA drone warfare program premiered in 2015.[11] Drone received the award for Most Valuable Documentary of the Year at Cinema for Peace in Berlin.[12] The film also won the Amanda award[13], The Norwegian Oscar equivalent, and the Gullruten, the Norwegian Emmy for Best Documentary in 2015.[14]

Hessen Schei directed and produced Play Again[15] and Independent Intervention[16], which both won several international awards. The films have been screened on all continents in over 100 countries and are used by schools and universities globally.


Film Year Director Producer Writer
Praying For Armageddon 2023 Yes Yes No
iHuman 2019 Yes Yes No
Privacy of Wounds 2018 No Yes No
Drone 2014 Yes No Yes
Play Again 2010 Yes No No
Independent Intervention 2006 Yes Yes No

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Tonje Hessen Schei". IMDb. Retrieved 21 April 2020.
  2. ^ "About the film". Praying For Armageddon. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  3. ^ "Praying For Armageddon World Premiere". CPH:DOX. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  4. ^ "Praying For Armageddon U.S. Premiere". Hamptons International Film Festival.
  5. ^ "About the film". iHUMAN. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  6. ^ "iHUMAN World Premiere". IDFA Institute. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  7. ^ "iHUMAN". Norwegian Film Institute. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  8. ^ "iHUMAN". Norwegian Film Institute. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  9. ^ "Tonje Hessen Schei's schedule for 2019 UN Forum on Business and Human Rights". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  10. ^ "Oscars: Documentary Feature Entries Shatter Record; Animated Feature, International Films In Running Confirmed". Deadline. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  11. ^ "Hot Docs 2015 Women Directors: Meet Tonje Hessen Schei — 'Drone'". Retrieved 23 May 2020.
  12. ^ "Cinema for Peace awards". Wikipedia. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  13. ^ "List of Amanda award winners". Wikipedia. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  14. ^ "Gullruten". Wikipedia. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  15. ^ "Play Again". IMDB. Retrieved 27 September 2023.
  16. ^ "Independent Intervention". IMDB. Retrieved 27 September 2023.