“We Train Auteurs”: Education, Decentralization, Regional Funding, and Niche Marketing in the New Swedish Cinema

  • Anna Westerståhl Stenport
Part of the Global Cinema book series (GLOBALCINE)


New film training programs emerging in the western Gothenburg region of Sweden illustrate assumptions and logics structuring the contemporary Swedish film industry as it operates on regional, national, and international levels. These training programs illustrate a productive tension between market- and economic development-oriented regionalization efforts and a focus on arts/auteur/noncommercial film education. This productive tension has effectively contributed to a vibrant, heterogeneous, and diverse film culture. Building on dozens of interviews with directors, producers, film instructors, educational program coordinators, and film practitioners undertaken during the past two years, as well as on analyses of curricular and policy documentation, this chapter presents a prismatic account of a previously overlooked component of contemporary Swedish film culture and industry. Combining representative practitioner perspectives and analyses of curricular assumptions and practices, the chapter also includes brief case-study career trajectories of some recent film program graduates.


Film Production Research Interview Productive Tension Subsequent Reference Creative Sector 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Film i Väst AB, Årsredovisning, 2011, (accessed May 12, 2012). FiV includes a description of its aims and mission on its website: “Film i Väst has directly contributed to the growth of the industry, the education of film workers, and the development of new talent in the region. Now involved in 30–40 feature film coproductions each year, it is one of the most significant regional film funds in Europe and the most significant source of funding for films in Sweden, after the Swedish Film Institute. It acts as a co-producer, part owner and financier of feature, short and documentary films, drama for TV, and offers many additional resources for film production.”Google Scholar
  2. 3.
    Several recent reports discuss these aspects in more detail. See, for example, Olsberg SPI, Building Sustainable Film Businesses: The Challenges for Industry and Government(London: Olsberg SPI, 2012) andGoogle Scholar
  3. Ib Bondebjerg and Eva Novrup Redvall, ed., A Small Region in a Global World: Patterns in Scandinavian Film and TV Culture (Copenhagen: Filmthinktank, 2010).Google Scholar
  4. 14.
    Ref Jenny Lantz, Om kvalitet. Synen på kvalitetsbegreppet inom filmbranschen (Stockholm: Wift, 2007).Google Scholar
  5. 16.
    Several recent publications and reports have investigated prevailing gender discrepancies in the Swedish film industry, especially in A-functions such as pro ducer and director. These include Svenska Filminstitutet, 00-talets regidebutanter och jämställdheten (Stockholm: SFI, 2010), (accessed May 7, 2012); Karin Högberg, “Kvinnor som producenter,” in Att göras till filmarbetare, ed. Margareta Herrman (Stockholm: Nya Doxa, 2011), 142–172;Google Scholar
  6. Jenny Lantz, The Fast Track: Om vägar till jamstalldhet i filmbranschen (Stockholm: Wift, 2011) and Om kvalitet;Google Scholar
  7. and Svenska Filminstitutet, Hur svårt kan det vara? Filmbranschen, jämställdheten och demokratin (Stockholm: SFI, 2004).Google Scholar
  8. See also, Annika Wik, Inför nästa tagning: kontaktytor för unga filmskapare (Stockholm: Svenska Filminstitutet, 2012).Google Scholar
  9. 20.
    For accounts of these developments, from multiple perspectives, see articles in Transnational Cinema in a Global North: Nordic Cinema in Transition, ed. Andrew Nestingen and Trevor Elkington (Detroit: Wayne State UP, 2002).Google Scholar
  10. 21.
    Film i Väst AB, Årsredovisning 2011 (Trollhättan: Film i Väst, 2012). Scholar
  11. 29.
    A recent collaborative research project has analyzed some of these competing demands, including student learning outcomes, industry engagement expectations, and underlying assumptions of a professionally oriented academic university educatio that also should include, as per higher-education standards in Sweden and the European Union, emphasis on critical reflection, impartial research inquiry and methodology, and analyses of context assumptions. Herrman’s and colleagues’ findings are collected in the informative volume Att göras till filmarbetare, ed. Margaretha Herrman (Nora: Bokförlaget Nya Doxa, 2011). See especially Margareta Herrman and Carina Kullgren, “Studentpitchen: iscensatta normer,” 233–253, and Maj Asplund Carlsson et al., “Att göras till filmarbetare i den nya kulturekonomin,” 280–291.Google Scholar
  12. 37.
    Gorki Glaser-Müller, et al., “Manifesto för vår film.” Formulated February 2009. Submitted via e-mail to chapter author on May 9, 2012.Google Scholar
  13. 44.
    Paula Wahlbom, research interview by the author (Gothenburg, May 17, 2012). See also Gothenburg International Film Festival, Statistik, Publik och Media (Gothenburg: GIFF, 2012) andGoogle Scholar
  14. Eva Novrup Redvall, “More than films and dragon awards: The Göteborg International Film Festival as a meeting place,” in Journal of Scandinavian Cinema 2.2 (2012): 135–142.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 47.
    Kultur i Väst, Fokus: Filmteknik för tjejer. Rapport från ett genusprojekt, Skriftserie 2012: 1. Västra Götalandsregionen.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Mette Hjort 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Anna Westerståhl Stenport

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations