Erik Poppe is a Norwegian film director, screenwriter and former cinematographer. Poppe is regarded as one of Europe’s most experienced and compelling directors recognized for his work with actors and impeccably well-crafted, multi-pronged narratives. His movies are often built around strong ensemble casts, sharp writing, impressive camera work and an uncanny knack for rhythm and music in the editing. During the last decade Poppe has become one of the most frequently awarded film directors from Scandinavia.
In June 2017 it was announced that Erik Poppe had worked for a year on developing a feature film about the 2011 terrorist attack on Utøya outside Oslo, Norway. The film, entitled U, (Utøya 22.juli) is a fictional account of events which will tell the story from the young people’s perspective, based on a series of in-depth interviews conducted with survivors from Utøya. Some of them was on set behind the camera while filming took place in September 2017 to help give the narrative credibility. The film was Berlin’s most confrontational and controversial offering during the International Film Festival in Berlin. Filmed in a single continuous take, the narrative is filtered through the real-time experience of one young woman, played vividly by newcomer Andrea Berntzen. It follows her over two hours, as she tries to survive amid the chaos and terror. The film was a runner up for the Golden Bear in the categories for best film, best female actress and best direction.