Thomas Freundlich (b. 1975) is an internationally acclaimed dance filmmaker and one of Finland’s most awarded short film directors. Originally coming to filmmaking from dance, he has created some 40 choreographic works ranging from ensemble works to solos, opera and theatre productions and dance films.
Freundlich graduated from the professional training program of the Finnish National Ballet school in 2001, and has furthered his dance studies in Boston and New York. In mime and movement theatre, his principal teachers were Adam Darius and Kazimir Kolesnik.
Thomas Freundlich’s choreographic works include several groundbreaking projects that have combined contemporary dance with ABB industrial robots. These include the evening-length Human Interface, for two dancers and two robots, which was presented in 2012 at Finland’s Zodiak Centre for New Dance; as well as several large-scale event-choreographies utilizing both traditional six-axis robots as well as latest-generation collaborative models that enable close-range interaction with human performers. Mr. Freundlich also programs the robots himself.
For the screen, Freundlich has created 13 dance short films and has shot hundreds of performance captures, trailers and promo videos for Finnish and international dance companies, theatres and independent choreographers. Freundlich’s dance short films, documentaries and multicamera productions have been seen on broadcast TV and streaming platforms worldwide. His dance shorts include the film Cold Storage (2016), which was from 2017-2019 the most widely screened Finnish short film at festivals worldwide. To date, Cold Storage has received 44 awards and has been selected by over 300 festivals worldwide. Freundlich’s films of recent years include Fram (2019), a dance film and documentary co-authored with Valtteri Raekallio and shot in the arctic wilderness of Spitsbergen. From 2012 to 2014, Freundlich and Raekallio were the artistic directors of Finland’s Loikka dance film festival.
Mr. Freundlich’s work has been recognized with some 50 grants and awards from foundations, arts councils and festivals worldwide, including a three-year grant from the Arts Council of Finland 2011–2013.
Thomas Freundlich | thomas at freundlich dot org | +358 400 805 438 (UTC+2)
Motion imaging by Thomas Freundlich
Dance works by Thomas Freundlich in the Finnish Dance Database