Gaute Hesthagen

sassy | passionate | precise

Our most explosiv pick of the bunch.


Gaute Hesthagen (1978) was born in the cold north of Norway. His first encounter with cinema was the legendary Norwegian film “Flaaklypa Grand Prix”. Being three years old, high-pitched sounds and scary talking puppets were a bit too much for the boy. He sat on the floor during the whole film and thought: “I’ll never set foot in a movie theatre – ever again”. Fortunately, that was all soon forgotten.

During his high-school years, he and some friends started making their own films. Almost every movie was about a guy who chases and shoots down villains with the showdown crescendo of small firecracker explosions. This went on for a while – until they accidentally burned down an old shack in the forest and had to pay for the damages. That put an end to such productions for some time.

The following years he studied theatre arts, worked as a runner and did freelance visual effects. His spare time was spent writing, directing, editing, composing music and doing VFX for his own shorts. At the age of 24 he was a full time director. It all seemed to happen suddenly and he was left wondering, “how the hell did this happen?” His shorts, Bokaj (2006) and LoveGame (2003) toured numerous international festivals. With that success and attention came the opportunity to direct more professional work. Offers came in, both commercial and feature, but Gaute felt that he should sharpen his directorial skills before the leap into major projects. With that in mind he put all contacts on hold and went on to study directing at the celebrated Norwegian National Film School in 2003. Before graduating in 2006, he had already been headhunted by Paradox, one of the best Norwegian production companies for commercials and features in Norway.

Soon, Gaute had made a name for himself in the national commercial scene. He was also featured as New Director in Shots Magazine and two of his films for Gnist and Green Box were highlighted in the same publication. Both commercials were later shortlisted at the Cannes Lions in 2008. Passion for storytelling, characters and interesting imagery create a very distinct feel and tone in Gaute’s films and commercials.