The Norwegian documentary “The Artist and the Thief” won the award for best documentary at the BFI London Film Festival in London on Sunday.
– Many thanks to the BFI London Film Festival and to all the people who have voted for the film. It is a great honor for us to win this prestigious award, says director Benjamin Ree.
On a daily basis, Ree works as a documentary filmmaker for VGTV, but Norwegians perhaps associate him most with the documentary «Magnus» (2016), which followed the chess genius Magnus Carlsen.
The 31-year-old’s film, which premiered in Norway last month, has received a number of international awards during the year, including the Creative Storytelling award in American Sundance and best documentary at Nordisk Panorama in Malmö.
It also won the Andreas Prize during the film festival in Haugesund and has been named one of the best films of the year by the BBC.
Ree is a trained journalist and has previously made documentaries and reports for the BBC, Reuters, NRK and VGTV, among others.
“The artist and the thief” depicts how the Czech, Oslo-based artist Barbora Kysilkova gets two works stolen from her gallery by Karl Bertil-Nordland – for which she then paints the portrait. Then the story, which Ree followed with a camera for several years, extends to what the BBC describes as “a touching story of inspiration, guilt and reinvention in many rich teams”.
VGTV is a co-producer of “The Artist and the Thief” and VGTV employee Benjamin Ree is the director.