Rob Nilsson

Rob Nilsson (born October 29, 1939, Rhinelander, Wisconsin) is an American independent film director, writer, and sometimes actor. He has won the Caméra d'Or at the Cannes Film Festival and the Sundance Grand Jury Prize. Nilsson grew up in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and in the San Francisco Bay Area, graduating from Tamalpais High School in Mill Valley, California in 1957. He graduated from Harvard in 1962 and began working in film. His first film, Northern Lights (1978), was co-written and co-directed with John Hanson, tells of the struggles of North Dakota farmers in 1915 organizing to resist the effects of bank foreclosures. The film was well-received, winning the Caméra d'Or (best first film) at the Cannes Film Festival. That was followed by the landmark independent film, Signal 7, the first film to be successfully transferred from video to 35mm. Signal 7 , which was produced by Don Taylor and Ben Myron, Bay Area art house exhibitors, and executive-produced by Francis Ford Coppola, was shot over the course of four nights. It premiered at the Telluride Film Festival. His next film, On the Edge (1985) starred Bruce Dern and Pam Grier, and was his most "Hollywood" effort to date.






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