Edward af Sillén

Edward af Sillén (born 1982 in Blumenau,[1] Santa Catarina, Brazil) is a Swedish screenwriter and director for stage, film and TV. He has translated and directed many highly successful theatre shows including Twelfth Night[2] by William Shakespeare, The Drowsy Chaperone,[3] Bull and Cock by Mike Bartlett,[2] Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein,[2] Shirley Valentine by Willy Russell and Art by Yasmina Reza.[4]

Edward af Sillén
Edward Af Sillén - MUREN March 2021.jpg
Af Sillén in the tv-show MUREN, March 2021
Born (1982-09-25) 25 September 1982 (age 40)
Occupation(s)Screenwriter, director
Years active2004−present

Af Sillén has worked on the Eurovision Song Contest as a director, commentator and screenwriter, including 2016 where he co-wrote and directed the globally acclaimed interval act "Love, Love, Peace, Peace" with Fredrik Kempe, while also directing and writing for Sweden’s most popular television show Melodifestivalen. Following on from writing his first film Medicinen, his second writing En underbar jävla jul became the biggest Swedish film of 2015.[5] In 2019 he directed En del av mitt hjärta (A Piece of My Heart), a major jukebox musical film based the music of Tomas Ledin, lead by Malin Åkerman[6] which was nominated for the Audience Award at The Guldbagge Awards.[7]


Edward af Sillén (2009)

Edward started his career as an actor. Performing both at the Lorensbergsteatern and Stockholm National Theatre. Aged 18, he did stand-up comedy. Hungry to work in the creative side of entertainment and theatre, he knew he could get his foot in the door as an actor.[8]


2014 saw Af Sillén write his first feature film Medicinen. Based on the 2009 book of the same name, written by Hans Koppel (pseudonym Petter Lidbeck). The book was reworked into a screenplay by Af Sillén and his writing partner Daniel Réhn. An all-star cast including Ewa Fröling and Maria Lundqvist, was led by Helena Bergström.

Af Sillén’s second film was the Swedish comedy En underbar jävla jul, wrote again with Daniel Réhn. Starring Swedish acting legends Robert Gustafsson, Maria Lundqvist and Helena Bergström. Seen by 77,736 people during its premiere weekend, it broke records with the biggest opening for a Swedish film in 2015.[9] It went on to become the most popular Swedish film of 2015.[5] And has grossed over $8 million at the box office.[10] The film won Film of the Year at the QX Gaygala 2016.[11]

In December 2019, Af Sillén directed and released his third, and biggest, feature film. En del av mitt hjärta (A Piece of My Heart) is a jukebox musical based upon the music of one of Sweden's biggest selling artists Tomas Ledin. Lead by Malin Akerman playing Isabella, a lead business woman in the financial district of Stockholm, who returns home to celebrate her father's birthday.[6]

Af Sillén will return to cinema direction in his upcoming film Ett sista race, which he also wrote the script for. Working once again with Malin Akerman and David Hellenius. The Swedish car action comedy is based the Norwegian hit movie Børning.[12]


Af Sillén’s theatrical work includes Swedish translations of Steel Magnolias, Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein, Rock of Ages[13] and The Ladykillers. He directed Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, the play V.D. and the musical Hair at Stockholm’s National Theatre. His direction of Priscilla the Musical was followed by his translation and direction of the Tony Award winning musical The Drowsy Chaperone in 2015. That same year Af Sillén directed. as well as translated the plays Rumors and the Laurence Olivier Award winner Cock.

Af Sillén has written and directed national tours for major Swedish artists such as Tomas Ledin,[14] Ola Salo[15] and Peter Jöback.[16] He teamed up with Alcazar to create their first full production concert. Disco Defenders was a greatest hits residency which début in the Rondo at Lisberg, Gothenburg Summer 2015. The production moved to Hamburger Börs, Stockholm in Winter 2015. After another sell out run, the group took the show on a national tour then returned to Hamburger Börs in 2016.


2004 brought Af Sillén's screen writing breakthrough with the script for host Maria Lundqvist at the Guldbagge Awards, the Swedish equivalent of the Academy Awards. He returned in 2007 not only as Sissela Kyle’s scriptwriter, but as director of the show live on SVT.

Af Sillén was recruited by Melodifestivalen supervisor Christer Björkman to write and direct the 2009 contest.[17] His mix of humour, music and sparkle saw him return in 2010, 2012 and 2013.[17] After a two year contest break, he came back in 2016 to much acclaim. His parody sketch song Här står jag by Charlotte Perrelli performed that year topped the Swedish iTunes chart.[18] To boost declining viewer figures, Af Sillén was hired as a consultant for the 2019 contest.[17]

After a lifelong love of the contest, Af Sillén became the Swedish commentator in 2009 for SVT.[19] The following year he wrote his first Eurovision Song Contest for Oslo 2010.[19] His commentary continued until 2012 when Loreen won the competition for Sweden. The following year Af Sillén wrote and directed the 58th Eurovision in Malmö 2013.[19] In 2015 he was asked by the BBC to co-write the script of the Eurovision's Greatest Hits hosted by Graham Norton and Petra Mede for a celebration of Eurovision’s 60th year.[20]

2016 brought again the role of writer and director for Eurovision in Stockholm 2016 which featured the musical number "Love Love Peace Peace" performed by hosts Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw. The Independent named it the "ultimate interval act, somehow even upstaging Justin Timberlake himself".[21] Buzzfeed said the presenters were the "best thing about this year's contest".[22]

In 2021 Af Sillén took on a brand new role as a Judge on the 11th and 12th series of TV4's Talang, the Swedish version of the Got Talent franchise.[23]

Personal lifeEdit

Edward af Sillén is openly gay. Born in Brazil he was adopted by a Swedish father and an American mother.[24]



Year Title Role
2014 Medicinen Screenwriter
2015 En underbar jävla jul Screenwriter
2019 En del av mitt hjärta Director
2023 Ett sista race Director and screenwriter


Year Title Role Note
2005 - 2018 QX Gaygala Writer
2006 - 2010 R.E.A. Writer Hamburger Börs
2006 Det är jul igen by Maria Möller Director and Writer Intiman
2008 Blommor av Stål (Steel Magnolias) Translator Vasateatern
2011 Tomas Ledin Showtime Director and Writer Rondo (Gothenburg), Cirkus (Stockholm) and National Tour
2011 Trettondagsafton (Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare Director Stockholms Stadsteater
2011 Hair Director Stockholms Stadsteater
2012 I Love Musicals by Peter Jöback Director and Writer National Tour
2013 Arnould (Torch Song Trilogy by Harvey Fierstein) Translator Stockholms Stadsteater
2013 Rock of Ages Translator China Teatern
2013 Priscilla, Queen of the Desert the Musical Director Göta Lejon
2014 V.D. Director Stockholms Stadsteater
2014 Alcazar Disco Defenders Director and Writer Rondo (Gothenburg), Hamburger Börs (Stockholm) and National Tour
2015 Förklädet (The Drowsy Chaperone) Director and Translator Göta Lejon
2015 Skvaller (Rumors) Director and Translator Uppsala Stadsteater
2015 Cockfight (Cock) Director and Translator Stockholms Stadsteater
2015 Ladykillers Translator Oscarsteatern
2016 Rakt Ner i Fickan (Cash on Delivery by Michael Cooney) Director and Translator Krusenstiernska Teatern
2017 Bull Director and Translator Kulturhuset Stadsteatern
2017 Shirley Valentine Director and Translator Maximteatern
2018 Så som i himmelen Co-Writer Oscarsteatern
2019 Ola Salo's - It takes a fool to remain sane Director Rondo (Gothenburg)
2019 Häxorna i Eastwick (The Witches of Eastwick) Director and Translator Cirkus (Stockholm)
2019 Art by Yasmina Reza Director and Translator Hotel Rival (Stockholm)
2019 Trassel (Out of Order) by Ray Cooney Director and Translator Krusenstiernska gården (Stockholm)
2020 Pernilla Wahlgren har Hybris Director and Writer Hotel Rival (Stockholm) and National Tour
2020 Tomten och Bocken (starring Måns Zelmerlöw and Per Andersson) Director Hamburger Börs (Stockholm)
2021 Pappor på prov (It Runs in the Family) by Ray Cooney Director and Translator Krusenstiernska gården (Stockholm)
2022 Brynolf & Ljung Stalker Director Hotel Rival (Stockholm) and National Tour
2022 Tootsie (musical) Director Oscarsteatern
2023 Peter Pan Goes Wrong Director Cirkus
2023 Änglagård (House of Angels) Co-Writer and Director Oscarsteatern


Year Title Role Note
2004 Guldbaggegalan Screenwriter Hosted by Maria Lundqvist
2007 Guldbaggegalan Director and screenwriter Hosted by Sissela Kyle
2009 Roast på Berns Writer For Kanal 5
2009 Melodifestivalen 2009 Director and screenwriter Hosted by Petra Mede
2010 Melodifestivalen 2010 Director and screenwriter Hosted by Måns Zelmerlöw, Christine Meltzer and Dolph Lundgren
2010 Eurovision Song Contest 2010 (Oslo) Director and screenwriter Hosted by Erik Solbakken, Haddy N'jie and Nadia Hasnaoui
2012 Melodifestivalen 2012 Director and screenwriter Hosted by Gina Dirawi, Sarah Dawn Finer and Helena Bergström
2013 Melodifestivalen 2013 Director and screenwriter Hosted by Gina Dirawi and Danny Saucedo
2013 Eurovision Song Contest 2013 (Malmö) Director and screenwriter For SVT Hosted by Petra Mede
2015 Eurovision's Greatest Hits Co-scriptwriter For the BBC directing hosts Graham Norton and Petra Mede)
2016 Melodifestivalen 2016 Director and screenwriter Hosted by Gina Dirawi (all shows), Petra Mede (semi-final 1), Henrik Schyffert (semi-final 3), Sarah Dawn Finer (semi-final 4), Ola Salo, Peter Jöback (second chance) and William Spetz (final)
2016 Eurovision Song Contest 2016 (Stockholm) Director and screenwriter Hosted by Petra Mede and Måns Zelmerlöw)
2017 Uuden Musiikin Kilpailu Swedish Jury Spokesperson
2018 Eurovision: You Decide Screenwriter Hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw
2019 Eurovision: You Decide Screenwriter Hosted by Mel Giedroyc and Måns Zelmerlöw
2019 Melodifestivalen 2019 Consultant and Adviser Hosted by Sarah Dawn Finer, Kodjo Akolor, Marika Carlsson and Eric Saade
2020 Muren Entertainment Expert
2021 - Present Masked Singer Sverige Director
2021 - 2022 Talang Judge For TV4 with Sarah Dawn Finer, Bianca Ingrosso and David Batra
2022 Årets quiz Host

Eurovision CommentaryEdit

Year Title Role Note
2009 Eurovision Song Contest 2009 (Moscow) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Shirley Clamp)
2010 Eurovision Song Contest 2010 (Oslo) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Christine Meltzer)
2010 Junior Eurovision Song Contest SVT Swedish commentator For SVT (with Malin Olsson)
2011 Eurovision Song Contest 2011 (Düsseldorf) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Hélène Benno)
2011 - 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest SVT Swedish commentator For SVT (with Ylva Hällen)
2012 Eurovision Song Contest 2012 (Baku) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Gina Dirawi)
2014 Eurovision Song Contest 2014 (Copenhagen) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Malin Olsson)
2015 Eurovision Song Contest 2015 (Vienna) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Sanna Nielsen)
2017 Eurovision Song Contest 2017 (Kiev) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Måns Zelmerlöw)
2018 Eurovision Song Contest 2018 (Lisbon) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Sanna Nielsen)
2021 Eurovision Song Contest 2021 (Rotterdam) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Christer Björkman)
2022 Eurovision Song Contest 2022 (Turin) Swedish commentator For SVT (with Linnea Henriksson)


Guldbagge AwardsEdit

Year Award Result
2020 Guldbaggens publikpris (Audience Award) for En del av mitt hjärta Nominated

QX GaygalaEdit

Year Award Result
2014 TV of the Year for the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 Won
2016 Film of the Year for En underbar jävla jul, Stage of the Year for Alcazar Disco Defenders Won
2021 TV Star of the Year Nominated
2021 Stage of the Year for Hybris starring Pernilla Wahlgren Nominated


  1. ^ Niang, Matilda (18 May 2013). "Christer Björkman: "I kväll kan allt hända"". SVT Nyheter. SVT. Retrieved 12 March 2018.
  2. ^ a b c "HAR MEDVERKAT I". Kulturhuset Stadsteatern. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  3. ^ "FÖRKLÄDET". Göta Lejon. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  4. ^ ""ART" AT THE RIVAL FALL 2019". RIVAL. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  5. ^ a b "EN UNDERBAR JÄVLA JUL är 2015 års mest sedda svenska film". Mynewsdesk (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  6. ^ a b "A Piece of My Heart". IMDB. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  7. ^ "Aftonbladets läsare bestämmer – utser Guldbaggens publikpris". Aftonbladet (in Swedish).
  8. ^ Melin, Inger (9 March 2012). "Edward af Sillén – en skämtare i skymundan - Borås Tidning". Borås Tidning (in Swedish). Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  9. ^ "Publikrekord för julfilmen "En underbar jävla jul" - DN.SE". Dagens Nyheter (in Swedish). 18 November 2015. Retrieved 2016-03-23.
  10. ^ "Holy Mess". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  11. ^ Ottosson, Philip. "Här är vinnarna på QX Gaygala 2016". QX.se (in Swedish). QX. Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  12. ^ "Bakom kulisserna: se första bilderna från "Ett sista race" med Malin Åkerman". MovieZine.
  13. ^ "Rock of Ages". Chinateatern (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  14. ^ Peterson, Jens. "Tomas Ledins låtar blir musikalfilm". Aftonbladet (in Swedish).
  15. ^ Rogsten, Eva. "Ola Salo showar på Rondo: "Färgsprakande och maffigt"". www.expressen.se (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  16. ^ Forsén, Joacim. "Jöbacks största stund på scen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 17 December 2019.
  17. ^ a b c Ek, Torbjörn. "SVT anlitar hyllade regissören Edward af Sillén för att rädda Melodifestivalen". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  18. ^ Perrelli, Charlotte (14 February 2016). "Wow! #1 på iTunes". blogg.damernasvarld.se. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  19. ^ a b c "Commentators: The national hosts of Eurovision". Eurovision. 14 May 2017. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  20. ^ Demirian, Natalie; Ek, Torbjörn. "Mede tokhyllas i Storbritannien". Aftonbladet (in Swedish). Aftonbladet. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  21. ^ Loughrey, Clarisse (15 May 2016). "Watch Sweden's hosts steal the show with the perfect Eurovision song". The Independent. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  22. ^ Bryan, Scott. "Petra Mede And Måns Zelmerlöw Were The Best Thing About This Year's Eurovision". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 18 December 2019.
  23. ^ "Ny stjärnspäckad jury i Talang 2021". www.tv4.se (in Swedish).
  24. ^ "Sverige! - Avsnitt 11 | SVT Play". SVT Play. Archived from the original on November 16, 2015. Retrieved 2015-12-24.

External linksEdit