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Sveinbjörn I. Baldvinsson


Sveinbjörn I. Baldvinsson was born in Reykjavik on the 27th of August 1957 and grew up on the east side of town in Hlíðar and later in Laugarás. He started writing music and poetry at an early age and released his first book of poems at the age of nineteen and a solo album at twenty-one. He received his high school diploma from "Menntaskólinn við Tjörnina" in 1977 and earned his B.A. in comparative literature and Danish from the University of Iceland and the University of Copenhagen in 1982.

Sveinbjörn became more and more focused on dramatic writing and in the autumn of 1986 he moved with his family to Los Angeles to study dramatic writing at the University of  Southern California. At the same time he started work on his first feature film, Foxtrot. In that same year Sveinbjörn's short-story "Icemaster" won first prize in a short-story competition held by the Reykjavík Arts Festival. The story has subsequently been published in many countries.

After finishing his Master's degree at USC and working on several projects in Los Angeles Sveinbjörn was Head of of domestic TV programming at The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service from 1993 till 1996, when he got the opportunity to work as a screenwriter in Denmark. For the next decade he worked regularly on Danish film and television projects. The best known of these are the TV series Taxa and Forsvar.

Sveinbjörn was Film commisissioner for The Icelandic Film Center from 2003 to 2006. He has been a tutor at international screenwriting courses for European writers and worked as a script consultant in Iceland as well as Scandinavia. Sveinbjörn was associate professor and Head of screenwiting at the Norwegian Film School in 2009 until 2019.

Sveinbjörn has played in several bands, such as Diabolus in Musica and the jazz band "Nýja kompaníið" and alongside writing he has remained active as a songwriter, lyricist and guitarist. His most famous works in this field are „Lagið um það sem er bannað“ and the lyrics for the Eurovision song „All Out Of Luck“.

Sveinbjörn was vice-chairman of The Writers' Union of Iceland and secretary of The Icelandic Artists Union from 1992 till 1994. He was secretary for The Icelandic Dramatists Union and a jury member for the Nordic Council's Literature Prize 1998-2009. Sveinbjörn was vice-president for the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe (FSE) 2006-2013 and president of the Federation from 2013-2015. He is a member of the European Film Academy.


Photo of author:  Trude Lindland