Ole Christian Solbakken

Vita Vigeland - an exploration of the visual arts in and through the feature film screenplay

Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences, The Norwegian Film School / Kristiania University College

KeywordsScreenwriting, film.

“Vita Vigeland” is a project that will end up as a biographical screenplay about the artist Emanuel Vigeland, and his life’s work – the mausoleum Tomba Emmanuelle, which features an over 800 square meter fresco painting. Emanuel’s story is not as well-known as his much more famous older brother Gustav Vigeland, who has received most of the attention, but Emanuel’s story offers a lot of dramatic material. Betrayal, love, a cruel childhood, and a character with a very strong will. A film about Emanuel also has the potential to bring his life’s work to a large audience, as film has the ability to recreate the artwork experienced in Tomba Emmanuelle.


With the project, I will explore new methods for developing biographical drama for film, including painting, and drawing like Emanuel Vigeland. One result of this will be a fresco painting, which will be part of the film script. I am taking this empathetic approach to get as close as possible to the complex person behind Tomba Emmanuelle.


There will be investigations into the narrative and the ontological: What is the dramatic story, and how do I tell it? How does one invent and dramatize truthfully up against reality?


What will the screenplay look like and feel like when the visual is both a method and a result? What insights do I gain from the character, the biographical genre, and the film script by making the visual a major part of the process?


The project also offers many opportunities for interdisciplinary collaboration, including sound, photography, 3D, acting, and film, and some collaborations have already begun.


Ole Christian Solbakken is a screenwriter and lecturer. FILMART, The Norwegian Film School & Kristiania College. Solbakken has a BA from Visual Culture at Lillehammer College, and a BA in Screenwriting from The Norwegian Film School. Solbakken has been working as a screenwriter since his graduation from the Film School in 2014, and has written the crowdpleasing animation film “Christmas at Cattle Hill”. He has also worked on a lot of other projects both as a writer and as a dramaturg. Ole Christian has been a lecturer in screenwriting at Westerdals, Kristiania College since 2017.



Artistic Research Spring Forum 2024

1st presentation

The presentation will be an overview of the project after working on it since August 2023. I will discuss what I am attempting, what I discover, and some of the things I still don’t know. I will showcase drawings and read texts that I have written based on the drawings to demonstrate my efforts in approaching the character Emanuel Vigeland and his life.