Ása Helga Hjörleifsdóttir was born in Reykjavik in 1984. She finished her studies in comparative literature between the University of Iceland and La Sorbonne in Paris. Later she decided to move to New York to follow the path of the cinema and graduate in film direction at Columbia University in 2012. She directed numerous short films, including the best-known and award-winning Love Story (Ástarsaga, 2013) and You and Me (Þú og ég , 2015). The Swan, her first feature film, is an adaptation of the eponymous novel by Guðbergur Bergsson, acclaimed by the Icelandic critics. The film was presented in 2017 at the Toronto Film Festival.