Leo Behrens is an award-winning Norwegian trans cinematographer & director, based in Los Angeles. In 2023, Leo earned his cinematography degree from the American Film Institute Conservatory. Shortly after his graduation, he was selected for The ASC Vision Mentorship Program 23-24. He began his career as a camera operator and director, after graduating from Westerdals Film & TV in 2010. In just a few years, he advanced to the role of cinematographer, making notable contributions to a wide range of projects in Norway, spanning documentaries, music videos, short films, TV series, and reality TV shows.
Leo’s short film “SKIN” won the Gold Medal in the alternative/experimental category at the 2023 Student Academy Awards, where he served as the writer, director, and cinematographer. He received a mentorship through The Academy Motion Picture Arts and Science as a Gold Alumni. “SKIN” was nominated for the Grand Jury Awards for short films at AFI FEST and was selected for Oslo Fusion Film Festival and GemFest 2024. His recent cinematography contributions to the documentary “Evan Ever After” earned the Audience Award for “Best Florida Short” and the Jury Award for “Best Short Doc” at Out On Film Atalanta in 2023. It gained recognition at notable film festivals, including, Outfest, HollyShorts, InsideOut Film Festival Toronto, and NewFest New York.
Leo was one of five recipients of the Fresh Perspective in Cinematography grant in 2024, sponsored by AbelCine, ARRI and The ASC. The will be utilized with the feature film "Shadow Watchers", shooting in April 2024.
Leo has a deep love for stories that showcase unique angles and provide fresh perspectives. He enjoys exploring any subject outside of the conventional topics, and challenging audiences with thought-provoking narratives that encourage questioning current social norms. He holds a special fondness for drama, thriller, magical realism, and science fiction. Being a transgender filmmaker, Leo is also passionate about exploring LGBTQ themes across different genres, but his creative pursuits span a wide array of storytelling genres.
Westerdals Film & Television production Class of 10
Studied writing and directing for two years.
American Film Institute Class of 23
PANAVISION DXL 2, ARRI, ARRIFLEX 435, RED and SONY
Photo by © Talisha Elger