A Company of Her Own? The Norwegian Egede-Nissen Film Compagnie in WWI-Berlin

by Maria Fosheim Lund (National Library of Norway)

Abstract: Around 1916, Norwegian actress Aud Egede-Nissen was involved in establishing a film production company under her own (sur)name in Berlin: the Egede-Nissen-Film Compagnie. At that time, she held circa thirty film acting credits to her name, but had at the same time only two years’ worth of experience within the German film industry. As such, this was a star-name company by an actress that perhaps was not yet a star. Of course, her maiden name was not only hers, but passed on to her from her parents, and shared with her eleven siblings, including the two sisters Ada and Gerd who acted in several of the company’s films. The question of which of the Egede-Nissen’s we ascribe the film company ownership to thus emerges, a question that often has been solved in treating the sister’s efforts as equal. In this presentation, I will make the case that the company’s founder, owner and main asset was Aud Egede-Nissen, and that it would likely not have been able to exist had it not been for Aud’s entrepreneurship.

Maria Fosheim Lund is a Research Librarian in the Section for Film and Broadcasting at the National Library of Norway, where she is currently researching the trans-national film careers of the Egede-Nissen sisters and managing the Norwegian contributions to the Nordic Women in Film portal, hosted by the Swedish Film Institute. She is also a freelance Film Critic and Curator, and the Editor of the Norwegian journal for film culture, Wuxia. She holds an MA in Film Studies from Columbia University, where she also worked as a Project Manager for the Women Film Pioneers project. She has also held positions and internships at MoMA and Museum of the Moving Image in New York. She was the Editor of the anthology Small CountryLong Journeys: Norwegian Expedition Films (Nota Bene, 2017) with Eirik Frisvold Hanssen.