Dag Johan Haugerud was educated as a librarian and then graduated with a degree in film studies from Stockholm University. He also studied dramaturgy at the University of Oslo and creative writing at Telemark University College. He has worked as a journalist and dramatist for various dance and theater companies. He has also published four novels, Noe med natur (1999), Den som er veldig sterk, må også være veldig snill (2002), Hva jeg betyr (2011) and Enkle atonale stykker for barn (2016). He made his debut as a film director with the short 16 Living Clichés in 1998. I Belong (2012), Haugerud's feature film debut, was awarded the Norwegian Critics' Prize and four Norwegian Amanda awards.
"What happens to a local community when a child kills another child? What is it like to be a child in Scandinavia today, and what does having children entail? What do we expect from our kids, and what kind of position do we want children to have in our society? Today we consider childhood both as something intrinsic and precious, and as a transitional phase on the way to adulthood. We are concerned about giving our kids a safe and meaningful adolescence where we allow them to be children, while at the same time we want to make them equipped for adulthood. Quite often these interests are conflicting. The wishes and ideals that control our considerations and decisions are a question of both human perspectives and politics; with answers that quite often divide the population. Besides family, school is the one institution that implements and executes the wishes and ideals we have for our children's upbringing. The educational system is crucial to the kind of society we want to have, which makes it an arena under constant pressure from parents, ideologists and politicians alike. The school's staff navigate conflicting interests from the outside world on a daily basis, at the same time as they are obliged to take each pupil's individual needs into consideration." [Dag JohanHaugerud]