Kathrine Windfeld Dies: Danish Director Loses Battle With Brain Tumor Just Days Before Final Work Debuts

Danish director Kathrine Windfeld passed away this weekend after a bout with a brain tumor, but her work will live on.

The 48-year-old director died on Saturday after a short battle with a brain tumor, but her final television series will premier later this month by Danish broadcaster DR.

Windfeld made an impact both in feature films and in television dramas. In her latest work, Kathrine Windfeld served as conceptual director for The Team (Mord uden grænser), which featured Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen. The show will premier on February 22.

After her death, Windfeld was remembered for being on the edge of a breakthrough.

“With her insisting power and energy she was on the threshold of realizing the full potential of an already impressive career,” wrote managing director Henrik Bo Nielsen of the Danish Film Institute. “Her infectious humor and sometimes furious energy will be remembered and missed.”

Windfeld was educated at the National Polish Film School in Lodz, receiving a MA in Film Production at the Northern School of Film & TV at the University of Leeds.

Though her work was centered in Denmark, Kathrine Windfeld also made her mark in America. In 2003, she won the Adult Jury Award-Certificate of Merit at the Chicago International Children’s Film Festival for her movie Lille mand, lille mand. She was also nominated for Best Danish Television Series at the Robert Festival in 2011 for Bron/Broen and in 2012 for Rita.

She was also known for short films, including the Emmy Award-winning Unit One (Rejseholdet/2003) and Ørnen (The Eagle/2003). Kathrine Windfeld also made two feature films, including the spy thriller Hamilton: In the Interest of the Nation (Hamilton: I nationens intresse) in 2012, and The Escape (Flugten/2009).

The Escape won praise for its riveting story and Windfeld’s excellent placement of actors.

“Drawing from Olav Hergel’s novel “The Refugee,” filmmaker Kathrine Windfeld contrasts the plight of a Danish journalist with that of an Afghan terrorist in this carefully observed sociopolitical thriller. Rikke (Iben Hjejle, The Boss of It All, SIFF 2007) hasn’t been in Afghanistan long when the Taliban kidnaps, tortures, and threatens to execute her if Denmark doesn’t withdraw its troops.

“Often cast in supporting parts, it’s a pleasure to see Hjejle, an actress of subtle strength and conviction, take on a leading role, and she does not disappoint. Director Kathrine Windfeld and actress Iben Hjejle expected to attend both screenings.”

Kathrine Windfeld leaves behind a 14-year-old son.

[Image via Ekkofilm]