Norway, Sweden, Germany


A pyromaniac ignites his first fire in a peaceful village. In the weeks to come it is followed by a series of fires, spreading fear in the small community. An inferno lurks under the surface as a local policeman uncovers the unthinkable truth: the pyromaniac is one of the local firemen,  and the son of the fire brigade’s chief.  The film is an intimate portrait of the pyromaniac and the fireman, as they dual for control of the young boy’s mind.

Director's Statement

PYROMANIAC is a tense and authentic crime drama. I'm fascinated by the protagonist’s dualism as both fireman and pyromaniac. He will play as a modern "Jekyll & Hyde" - both the ultimate outcast and lifesaver. The film takes place in a beautiful and harmonious community, unable to fathom an attack by one of their own. To me this also resonates with Norway's reaction to the 22nd July massacre. Visually the film will explore our ancient fascination for flames. It appeals to our disposition to play with fire and cause destruction. Whilst also portraying the emotional traumas of a mother and father refusing to come to terms with the deeds of their offspring.

Director's Biography

Erik Skjoldbjærg (born in 1964) is a Norwegian director and writer. He graduated from the National Film and Television School in London in 1994, and made his debut with INSOMNIA in 1997, which he also co-wrote. The film was selected for the ”Semaine de la Critique” at the Cannes IFF, and re-made in 2002, with Christopher Nolan directing. PYROMANIAC is his sixth feature, previous titles include PROZAC NATION and NOKAS. His latest film, PIONEER, was selected by the Toronto IFF and pre-sold to UK, US and Japan, among others. Erik has also written and directed the ten-part drama series OCCUPIED, aired in US and most European countries this year.

Cast & Crew

Directed by: Erik Skjoldbjærg

Written by: Bjørn Olaf Johannessen

Produced by: Edward Dreyer, Aage Aaberge

Cinematography: Gøsta Reiland

Editing: Sverrir Kristijanson

Production Design: Christine Wilhelmsen

Costume Design: Anne Pedersen

Make-Up & Hair: Linda Boje

Original Score: Gaute Tønder, Maja Ratkje

Sound Design: Håkon Lammetun

Animation: Mats Andersen

Cast: Trond Nilssen, Liv Bernard Osa, Per Frisch, Agnes Kittelsen

Nominations and Awards

  • Feature Film Selection 2016