Tonje Hessen Schei - producer/director

Tonje is a Norwegian filmmaker with experience as a producer, director, and reporter from NRK, the Norwegian National Broadcasting Network.  She recently completed her masters in film from NTNU, the University of Trondheim in Norway, and has a BA in film production from the University of Texas in Austin.  She also has a degree in social anthropology from NTNU.

 Throughout her studies, Tonje focused on the role of independent media in social change, fight for justice and human rights.  Tonje has been interested in the US media situation for twelve years, and has been specifically concerned with the corporate ownership of the media.  When she started her studies 50 corporations owned the majority of the media.  Today 5.5 corporations own 80% of the US media.   Tonje brings a new perspective to this situation, as her Norwegian background gives her a distinct critical take on media ownership and information control.  Tonje has been heavily immersed in the corporate war coverage for three years, and has worked within and explored the media democracy movement throughout this process.

In the United States Tonje has been working with independent documentary film since 1996.  She has worked for ENG (Electronic News Group, LA) as a researcher and co-distributor on All Power to The People!  (1997), and Downwinders (2000).  Other productions include Texas and the Death Penalty (1997), Tara House Blessing Ceremony (1997), Movement (1996), Circles (1995), Pathways (1994)

Tonje’s awards:
2005:  The Roy W. Dean Finishing Award, Los Angeles, CA

1998-2001: The McCune Art grant, Santa Fe, NM

1992: Trondheim Art and Culture Grant, Norway 

Tonje is the co-founder and a director of Anthropos Music, a non-profit organization based in Austin, Texas, which works with low-income schools, giving music lessons to at-risk youth, exposing them to cultural diversity through music while providing them a way to express themselves creatively.

Tonje worked as the director, curator and coordinator for Project 66, a public art project involving 200 artists and the business community in Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1997-2001.

Tonje is a member of OMPA, Oregon Media Producers Association.

Tonje is a permanent resident in the United States.  She is mother of two, married, and lives and works in Portland, Oregon.