Director/writer Jörn Donner is a prominent figure in Finnish cinema best known for his film A Sunday in September (1963). He is a versatile director who has made films in almost every major genre including documentaries. Most of his dramas where made in Sweden, while his comedies were made at home in Finland. The son of Swedish-speaking parents, the Helsinki-born Donner began his writing career in his teens and by age 18 had published a collection of short stories. He then went on to Helsinki University to major in political science and Swedish literature. While in school he began writing film criticism for local newspapers. Though he had directed several short films during the '50s he was most renowned for his essays on film, his poetry, journalism, and fiction. He served as a civilian hospital orderly in 1959 (instead of military service as he was a conscientious objector). After publishing reports on Germany and central Europe, he moved to Stockholm to become a critic for a major newspaper. In 1963, he directed his first feature film, A Sunday in September. The film won a special prize at the Venice Film Festival for "Best Work by a First Time Director." He later married his leading actress Harriet Andersson. In addition to a fruitful career as a director and writer, Donner has also served as a member of the Finnish parliament.