Growing up in the eighties in Sandefjord, a small town south of Oslo, Norway, Joachim Rønning spent his free time making short films with his dad's 30 pounds home video camera - one of the few burdens for being the first of the video generation.
In 1992 he attended Stockholm Film School in Sweden - graduating in 1994. Later that year Rønning served his mandatory time in the military making 'propaganda' films for the Royal Norwegian Army.
In 1995 he began directing commercials and music videos professionally in Oslo with his childhood friend, Espen Sandberg. They went under the name of ROENBERG - their last names put together. Their extensive and award winning work in commercials in Scandinavia led to major international commissions such as ads for Airbus, Nintendo, Coca Cola, GE and Nokia.
Rønning established himself in the American commercial film market with spots for Capital One, Labatt's and especially with the USA Today Superbowl 2001 Viewer's Poll-winning spot 'Rex' for Budweiser. In 2008 he won the Lions in Cannes for his Hydro commercial - 'Train Loop'.
In December 2008 Rønning's first Norwegian feature film - MAX MANUS - premiered. A WWII drama, it tells the true story of famed Norwegian saboteur Max Manus and his battle to overcome his inner demons. MAX MANUS soared to become the highest grossing Norwegian movie of all times, shattering box office records by selling over 1.2 million tickets in Norway alone - meaning 25% of the country's population went and saw it in theaters. MAX MANUS had its North American premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2009.
KON-TIKI became the director's next epic. Produced by Jeremy Thomas and Aage Aaberge, in cooperation with Recorded Picture Company and Nordisk Film, it is the true story about legendary explorer Thor Heyerdahl and his epic crossing of the Pacific on a balsa wood raft in 1947. KON-TIKI premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival in September of 2012.
In 2013 KON-TIKI made history when it, as the first Norwegian film ever, got both a Golden Globe nomination and an Academy Award nomination in the foreign language category.
After KON-TIKI Joachim Rønning directed PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: DEAD MEN TELL NO TALES for Disney and producer Jerry Bruckheimer. The movie opened in May 2017, becoming one of 10 highest grossing films of the year with almost $800m in world wide box office receipts.