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Staffan Lamm

30 January 2023
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Staffan Lamm was born in Stockholm in 1937. Student exam in 1957. No film school whatsoever over the years. Started to work with the  author PeterWeiss during his period as filmmaker. Had the leading role in Peter Weiss’ experimental movie ”The Mirage”. Later Staffan worked as a director´s assistant and manuscript helper for Peter Weiss on another movie, three short films and an unfinished hour-long documentary. Thereafter Staffan  worked as a freelance short- and documentary film-maker for  the next 50 years, mostly for Swedish Television.

In 1964 Staffan met Peter Davis in the cutting room corridor of Swedish Television, We looked at and discussed our respective work-in-progress, and found out that we shared the same view on documentary film-making. This led to the decision that we should work together, so we applied for financial support for a project called (named) English Pictures which consisted of four low-budget documentaries, that we made during the following months, named Chelsea Bridge Boys, Public School, Royal Hospital and Immigrants. They were positively received in the press.

This  became the starting point for a long-lasting collaboration over the next 40 years with different subjects all over the world. Such as the U 2-affair, in 1973, with two combined interviews with the pilot Francis Gary Powers in Los Angeles. and the Norwegian Soviet spy Selmer Nielsen in northern Norway. And a film portrait of Howard Hunt and his role in the Watergate affair in the middle 1970s. And in 1967 a documentary about the everyday life behind the curtain in a Striptease Club in London, Strip.

In between Staffan has made about 40 documentaries on his own, but still regards the films he made in collaberation with Peter Davis as some of the best that he has done during his career. Besides that he has been chief photographer for two movies, where he also contributed as a manuscript writer.

In the early 1990s he also directed a movie after his own manuscript, with Max von Sydow in a leading role. He has also written a couple of autographical books.

In 1967 he filmed the so called Russell Tribunal on the Vietnam war, that was held in Stockholm. But it was delayed (blocked) by inner conflicts between the participants, and it wasn´t finished as a short film until 2002, when it was shown at the Berlin Festival and received prizes on several other short film Festivals, two in Sweden and others all over the world.

Staffan Lamm still lives in Stockholm, and is married to Ingela. They have two daughters and five grandchildren.