Eija-Liisa Ahtila studied filmmaking at the London College of Printing, UCLA, and at the American Film Institute in Los Angeles. In 1990 she received the Young Artist of the Year Award, Tampere, Finland. Since then, she has received numerous grants and awards, including an AVEK-award for important achievements in the field of audio-visual culture (1997), the Edstrand Art Price (1998), a DAAD fellowship (1999), honorary mention at the 48th Venice Biennale (1999), the Vincent Van Gogh Bi-annual Award for Contemporary Art in Europe (2000), and a five-year grant from the Central Committee for the Arts (2001), as well as the Artes Mundi Prize (2006).
Most recently she was awarded the Prince Eugen Medal for outstanding artistic achievement (2009). She has participated in Documenta XI (2002) and the 50th Venice Biennale (2005). She will also be a participant in the forthcoming 5th Moscow Biennale (2013). Important recent solo exhibitions have been shown at the Moderna Museet, Stockholm (2012), the Jeu de Paume, Paris and the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen in Dusseldorf (2008).