Rob Nilsson, of San Francisco, is the first American film director to have won both the Camera d’Or at Cannes (with co-director John Hanson) for NORTHERN LIGHTS (1979), and the Grand Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival for HEAT AND SUNLIGHT (1988). He is the creator of the Direct Action style of digital filmmaking and a pioneer in the techniques of video to film transfer.
Retrospectives of Nilsson’s work have been held at film festivals world-wide including the 2013 Love is Folly Film Festival in Varna, Bulgaria where he received the Golden Aphrodite Award for Lifetime Achievement. Other awards include the Ted M. Larson Award (Fargo International Film Festival), Indie Pioneer Award (Kansas City Filmmaker’s Jubilee), Filmmaker of the Year (Silver Lake Film Festival, Los Angeles), Milley Award for achievement in the Arts (City of Mill Valley), Master’s Award (Yerevan Film Festival), Lifetime Achievement Award (St. Louis International Film Festival), Sophia Lifetime Achievement Award (Syracuse International Film Festival) and in 2009, the Marlon Riggs Award (San Francisco Film Critic’s Circle).
In 2008, the Filmmaker’s Alliance of Los Angeles presented him with the first annual Nilsson Award for excellence in the cinema an award which Nilsson now curates.