drinkable coffe

My name is Simon Gjerde Tonev.
I am half Bulgarian and half Norwegian. I started out working two years for top branding agency Kind Conceptual Branding in Bergen. After two years at Kind, I started working as a film director for Opplett. Over the last three years, I have worked for clients such as Lerøy, Santander Consumer Bank, Cutters, Adams Matkasse, SK Brann, 7 Fjell, Norwegian Hull Club and more. Now I'm based in Stockholm, but I love to travel for work. I've shot documentaries in India, commercials in London and worked on two features. One as location scout and haze wrangler, and the other as gaffer. As a freelancer I’ve directed, shot, gaffed, produced, sound designed, designed scenography, been 1st and 2nd AC and made drinkable coffee.

Film is an experience hard to describe with words. Being able to laugh and cry within seconds from each other. The thrill, the goosebumps and that enormous lump in the throat as an emotional moment arises on screen. Storytelling whether that be around a camp fire, through a song, or on the big screen has always been important me. It gives us a glimpse of what it means to be human.

kettles are good drums

I have always been interested in storytelling in one way or the other and started making films when I was 9 years old. As kids, my sister and I would always perform all kinds of shows in our living room. She used to sing and dance while I used to play drums on kettles and kitchen equipment. We still play music together today.

I grew up on an island on the west coast of Norway. With only 5000 people in my hometown and no other filmmaker around, I had to investigate all departments and aspects of how a film was made. At first I thought it was frustrating being some sort of a one man band doing all things myself, but as I've gotten older and into the industry, I've realised that to become a conductor of an orchestra, you should know a bit about all the instruments. This has given me the ability to produce opportunities of my own or working in a team for agencies and bigger production companies.

you've heard this story before

Discovering filmmaking changed the course of my life and becoming a film director is my ultimate dream. To be able to tell stories that can provoke and engage the audience as much as it can make them laugh and cry is what drives me. Stories and imagery that has not yet been materialised, but makes me excited only thinking about it. I want to make films I want to see, not overly pretentious hard-to-grasp films. I've always said that even if I'm 70 years old when I first get to direct a feature film - I'm still going to try.

Meanwhile dreaming and working towards a future of fiction films, I do commercials, documentary, short films and music videos. I love to do commercials and portraits of people I admire. I'm constantly looking to step out of my comfort zone and continue to grow as a filmmaker. People that inspires me to do so are people like Ennio Morricone and Quentin Tarantino. In case you were wondering, Cinema Paradiso and Django Unchained are my favorite films of all time.