enda

Ole Olsen

(1863 – 1943)

Producer. Born 5 May 1863, died aged 80 on 5 October 1943. Founder of Nordisk Films Kompagni.

Ole Olsen was born in extreme poverty in a small farmhouse in Starreklinte in West Zealand, Denmark. After repeatedly running away from home, he was sent to Flakkebjerg Upbringing Institution. In his younger years, Olsen lived off various small jobs. He occasionally ended up in bad company, which came to cost him a few days in jail for being a con artist. It was only upon becoming a merchant that Olsen began to see progress. Markets, animal shows, and town festivals became his line of work. He toured Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Germany with “Karavanen” – a tribe of real, wild Africans. It was a huge success. In 1896 he became director of a newly started Tivoli in Malmö, where worked until 1901. It was here that he made his first foray into showing live pictures.

Back in Copenhagen, he opened the Biograf-Theatret cinema at Vimmelskaftet 47 in 1905. The following year, Olsen bought an allotment garden plot in Valby Mose and in 1906 established Nordisk Films Kompagni, which quickly became one of the world’s leading film companies. Just four years after its founding, Nordisk Film had departments in a number of major cities including Vienna, London, Berlin, Paris, and New York, as well as sales agents around the globe. Ole Olsen was at the forefront of the golden age of Danish film in the first half of the 1910s, and helped to turn Valdemar Psilander, Clara Pontoppidan, Betty Nansen, and Gunnar Tolnæs, among others, into international stars.

World War I closed the Danish film industry’s export markets. Most companies had to lock the door, and when Germany nationalised the country’s film industry, Nordisk Film was forced to relinquish all its interests there and lost huge sums of money. In 1922, Ole Olsen had to leave his post as CEO, and two years later he was bought out of the company. He spent the rest of his life on building a large collection of handicrafts such as porcelain, pottery, and silverware, for example.
Filmography Awards Festivals
Title Year Function Category
The Lammefjord damming 1946 Appearance Non-fiction footage
The President of Nordisk Film gives a speech 1936 Appearance Non-fiction footage
Writer's meeting 1919 Appearance Non-fiction footage
A Friend of the People 1918 Script DK/Feature
A Trip to Mars 1918 Script DK/Feature
Peace On Earth 1917 Script DK/Feature
At the Sea Shore 1909 Direction, Cinematography DK/Short fiction
Isbjørnejagt 1907 Appearance DK/Short fiction
Bonden i København 1906 Direction DK/Short fiction
Kong Haakons Kroning i Trondhjem 1906 Direction, Cinematography Non-fiction footage
Kong Christian IX's Bisættelse 1906 Direction Non-fiction footage
Proklamationen af Kong Frederik VIII 1906 Direction Non-fiction footage
A Fisherman's Life in Scandinavia 1906 Cinematography DK/Short fiction
Caros Død 1906 Cinematography DK/Short fiction
Det Danske Filminstitut registrerer international festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, dog primært de titler, som Filminstituttet varetager i sin festivaldistribution, og primært i forbindelse med de festivaler, som Filminstituttet har prioriteret at samarbejde med. Registreringen af festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, der ikke er i festivaldistribution, foretages kun for "launch"-festivaler ifølge Filminstituttets prioriterede festivalliste. Se listen over prioriterede festivaler.
Det Danske Filminstitut registrerer international festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, dog primært de titler, som Filminstituttet varetager i sin festivaldistribution, og primært i forbindelse med de festivaler, som Filminstituttet har prioriteret at samarbejde med. Registreringen af festivaldeltagelse og priser til danske film, der ikke er i festivaldistribution, foretages kun for "launch"-festivaler ifølge Filminstituttets prioriterede festivalliste. Se listen over prioriterede festivaler.