Tonje Hessen Schei

Tonje is an award-winning documentary director who has worked with independent documentary since 1996. Her films mainly focus on human rights, power structures in society with a focus on technology and the changing relationship between man and machine.

Tonje is the director of iHUMAN, a political thriller from the inside of the AI revolution, which premiered at IDFA 2019, with sold-out theaters and a Doc Talk with Edward Snowden. iHUMAN won Best Norwegian Documentary at HUMAN International Documentary Film Festival, 2020. The film had special high level panel debates at the Berlinale and Cannes 2019, and has screened at the UN and EU. iHUMAN has been selected for major international film festivals, including Black Nights Film Festival, CPH:DOX and HotDocs 2020.

Tonje directed DRONE, a documentary on the secret CIA drone warfare. DRONE received the award as Most Valuable Documentary of the Year at Cinema for Peace in Berlin. DRONE won the Amanda award, The Norwegian Oscar equivalent, and Gullruten, the Norwegian Emmy, for Best Documentary 2015. DRONE was on Netflix.

Tonje directed and produced PLAY AGAIN and INDEPENDENT INTERVENTION, which both won several international awards. The films have been screened on all continents in over 100 countries, and are used by schools and universities globally.

In Norway, Tonje worked for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (2005-2006), and she
was the Festival Director of Human Rights Human Wrongs Film Festival (2011). Tonje did a TEDx on Gaming as War in 2016.

Tonje has been featured in national and international media. Including national television broadcast and national newspapers. Internationally media includes BBC, CNN, The Guardian, Vice, Wired, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now! and many more.

In the U.S., Tonje worked for ENG (Electronic New Group, LA) and she was co-distributor and the researcher for All Power to the People! (1997) and Downwinders (2000). In Norway, she worked for NRK, the Norwegian Broadcasting Corporation (2005-2006).

Tonje is the recipient of The Chicken and Egg Award 2020 and was awarded the Norwegian Arts Council Stipend 2020-2023.