Jan Nåls

Connecting storytelling and empathy

I believe in the healing power of stories

I´m a scriptwriter and researcher based in Helsinki, Finland. I write and develop fictional film stories. For the past decade, I've been studying empathy in storytelling. I share my knowledge and life-long curiosity of stories with film students, industry professionals, and others who wish to express themselves. What sets me apart? I know the theory as well as the craft of storytelling.

What I do


My creative practice is based on writing, mainly fiction films and series. I explore themes of displacement, identity, and power in my work. I am currently busy developing and writing a historical drama series with Kajsa Törnroth as co-author. The series is a political thriller called Kosmos, set in the 1970s in the occupied Baltic states.

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My central research interests are empathy and storytelling. My focus is the connection between our human capacity for fellow-feeling and our desire to tell and engage in stories. Other research interests include compassion in organizations, islands and our (lost) emotional connection with the natural world.

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I offer practical workshops in storytelling and scriptwriting in which I introduce empathy as a tool for concept and story development. These workshops can be tailored to the needs of industry professionals, students, or professionals in other fields with an interest in storytelling.

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People around a campfire at night