Torill Kove

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Torill Kove, 2018

Torill Kove (born 25 May 1958) is a Norwegian-born Canadian film director and animator. She won the 2007 Academy Award for Animated Short Film for the film The Danish Poet, co-produced by Norway's Mikrofilm AS and the National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

Life and career[edit]

Born in Hamar, in the south of Norway near Oslo, Kove has lived in Montreal, Quebec, Canada since 1982. She moved to Montreal to continue her academic studies in urban planning at Concordia University earning a master's degree (MUP '89) at McGill University later changing her major to animation.[1]

Characteristic illustration by Torill Kove; from Norwegian children's book Johannes Jensen føler seg annerledes (Johannes Jensen feeling strange) from 2003

Kove has previously stated that she in fact did not watch much animation until she was in her thirties. Unemployed in the fall of 1991, rather than look for work she spent time at the NFB's former public access facility on St. Denis Street, where every day she would watch films. "Two things happened as I was sifting through the NFB animation collection: one was excitement at having discovered such a wonderful treasure of films, and the other was a voice in me that said loud and clear 'I want to do this.'"[2]

Her first Academy Award nomination was for My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts in 2000, inspired by the story of her own grandmother who had ironed the shirts of Norway's King Haakon VII for many years.

In 2013 she directed the Danish-Norwegian-Swedish animated feature Hocus Pocus Alfie Atkins, based on the Alfie Atkins books by Swedish children's book author Gunilla Bergström.

Kove's 2014 NFB animated short, Me and My Moulton, is an autobiographical film about a little girl’s desire to fit in, premiering at the 2014 Toronto International Film Festival.[3] It was then nominated for an Academy Award on January 15, 2015.[4] Her films The Danish Poet and My Grandmother Ironed the King's Shirts were included in the Animation Show of Shows.

In February 2015, Kove stated that her next film would be based on her life in Montreal, specifically in the Shaughnessy Village neighbourhood.[1] In May 2016, Kove stated on the NFB's blog that she was in production on a more minimalist film, Threads, inspired by her experiences as an adoptive parent:

...Threads has been an experiment in working simply. I’m drawing on a basic tablet, using Toon Boom Harmony Software — and in the end I’ve opted for one of the basic pre-set brushes. I’ve set myself the challenge of making a five-minute film within a year, and that’s part of the appeal. Keeping it simple makes it easier to try new things with the visual universe that I want to create.[5]

In addition to directing and animating short films, she has also illustrated several children's books. On September 3, 2015, she received the Anders Jahre Prize for the Arts [no], Norway's top cultural prize.[6]


  1. ^ a b Fraiman, Michael (20 February 2015). "Canada meets Scandinavia in an unsung Oscar veteran's films". Maclean's. Retrieved 20 February 2015.
  2. ^ Kove, Torill (8 September 2014). "On Animating True and Not So True Family Stories". The Huffington Post. Retrieved 9 October 2014.
  3. ^ Wolfe, Jennifer (7 August 2014). "Seven NFB Films to Screen at TIFF 2014". Animation World Network. Retrieved 8 August 2014.
  4. ^ Kove, Torill (15 January 2015). "Today, My Short Film Was Nominated For an Oscar". Huffington Post. HPMG News. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
  5. ^ "The Thin Red Line: New Animation from Torill Kove". NFB Blog. National Film Board of Canada. 17 May 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2016.
  6. ^ Thill, Scott (3 September 2015). "Torill Kove Receives Norway's Top Cultural Prize". Cartoon Brew. Retrieved 8 September 2015.

External links[edit]