Phie Ambo (DK)

Director. Born 1973. Holds a BA in Nordic Philology from the University of Copenhagen. Subsequently trained at the National Film School of Denmark, graduating as a documentary film director in 2003.

Phie Ambo released her first documentary film, entitled Family (2001), while still in film school. Co-directed with Sami Saif, Family won the prestigious Joris Ivens Award at the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA). The film follows Saif’s trip to the Middle East in search of his father. Like most of Ambo’s films, Family was shot in Cinemascope. At the same time, however, the film has much of the intimacy of a documentary diary film.

Family was one of the first Danish documentaries to achieve a noteworthy theatrical release. Having graduated from film school Ambo made Gambler (2005), a thought provoking account of Nicolas Winding Refn’s efforts, against all odds, to complete Pusher 2 (2004) and Pusher 3 (2005). Gambler looks closely at the creative process of Refn’s filmmaking, while also documenting the many economic battles in which the director was involved while making the second and third films in his trilogy.

Ambo’s more recent films include Hjemmefronten – fjenden bag hækken (The Home Front, 2010), which looks at the hostility that exists between neighbors who share hedges in suburban Denmark, and Fever (Fever, 2010), a documentary short about the artist Julie Nord.

In recent years Ambo has been especially interested in pursuing work of a more thematic nature, and this in the form of a duo focusing on big existential issues. In Mechanical Love (2007), which traveled widely on the international festival circuit, Ambo explored the relationship between human beings and robots, and the nature of emotion itself. Released in 2012, Free the Mind deals with the impact that thoughts have on both the mind and the body.

Ambo has also made a film called Kongens Foged (‘The Bailiff’), which takes a close look at the social system that shapes the realities of the Danes. Phie Ambo co-owns the production company Danish Documentary with directors Pernille Rose Grønkjær, Mikala Krogh, and Eva Mulvad, and producer Sigrid Dyekjær.

Mette Hjort, Ib Bondebjerg & Eva Novrup Redvall (2014)

Basic info

Main profession: Director
Born: 1973
Active: 2001-


…Når du kigger væk 2017
Så meget godt i vente 2014
Songs From the Soil 2014
Free the mind 2012
Kongens foged – sat på gaden 2012
Hjemmefronten – fjenden bag hækken 2010
Fever 2010
Mechanical love 2007
Gambler 2006
Mit Danmark – film nr. 7 2006
Dykkeren i min mave 2003
Family 2001
Executive producer:
Ekstra Bladet uden for citat 2014
Ai Weiwei The Fake Case 2013
Ballroom dancer 2011
Love addict – historier om drømme, besættelse og længsel 2011
Punk, håb og kærlighed 2003
Kreativ konsulent:
Flugten til Hollywood 2012

Read more about the films at the Danish Film Institute (DK)


Grand Prix 2015 Ile de France, FIFE, Environmental Film Festival Så meget godt i vente
Nicholas School Environmental Award 2015 Durham, Full Frame Så meget godt i vente
Audience Prize 2008 Warszawa, Against Gravity Mechanical love
Bedste Dokumentar 2003 Zanzibar Int. Film Festival Family
Dokumentarfilmpreis Des Bayerischen Rundfunks:  2002 München Documentary Festival Family
Joris Ivens Pris: 2001 Amsterdam, IDFA Family

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