2021-05-24 13:10Press release

Swedish film in pandemic year 2020 – new report out today

Run Uje Run. Photo: Johan Paulin / TriArtRun Uje Run. Photo: Johan Paulin / TriArt

Today sees the release of Facts and Figures, the Swedish Film Institute’s comprehensive statistical report on film and the Swedish film market in 2020. This year’s report shows the effects of the coronavirus pandemic, with falling cinema attendance and fewer cinema releases generally. Interest in film has, however, remained strong, with a shift in film consumption to streaming services.

“2020 was a challenging year for Swedish film, to say the least. The whole value chain was affected by everything from productions being cancelled or suffering increased costs, to distributors and screening organizations losing out on earnings. Digital development rocketed during the pandemic. While the year can certainly be summed up as one of crisis, there has been high interest in watching film, not least Swedish film. Cinema closures and release cancellations do not seem to have dampened consumer demand for film content – in fact if anything, the opposite is true. During the year, film viewing via video on demand increased dramatically, and digital services accounted for the lion’s share of film consumption in 2020,” says Josefin Schröder, Strategic Analyst at the Swedish Film Institute.

Highlights from the report:

  • Cinema admissions fell by 64%. Covid-19 restrictions hit Sweden’s cinemas hard. The year began with a strong first quarter for cinema, but most places were closed down during the second quarter. Cinemas were allowed to open again later in the year, but with strict admission limitations.

  • There were fewer film releases, even including films launched directly to video on demand (VoD). Just over 240 feature-length films were released in total, compared to almost 300 the year before. The number of VoD films increased sharply, from just a few in 2019 to around 30 in 2020.

  • Film viewing overall has not decreased because of the pandemic, but it has been concentrated to streaming services to an even greater extent. Digital viewing platforms’ share of total film viewing was 67%, compared to 47% the previous year. VoD services’ share of an average Swedish film budget also increased.

  • Far more of the feature-length feature films that received production funding had women screenwriters in 2020 than in the previous year. There was also an equal number of Swedish feature-length films that had a woman and a man respectively in the leading role in 2020, unlike 2019 when there were more men in leading roles.

  • Run Uje Run (Spring Uje spring) was the Swedish film that was rated highest by film critics, followed by the documentaries Scheme Birds and I Am Greta in second and third place.

  • The number of Swedish documentaries released did not fall, despite the pandemic. For one, documentary film festivals carried on as usual (although in digital form), and documentaries also received more media attention as far fewer feature films were released.

  • 19% of Swedish film releases in 2020 were films for children and young people, a sharp increase on 8% in 2019.

Read the full report here: Facts and Figures 2020

For further information, please contact
Torkel Stål, Analyst (contact info below).

About The Swedish Film Institute

The Swedish Film Institute is a collective voice for film in Sweden, and a meeting-place for experiences and insights that elevate film on all levels. We preserve and make available Sweden’s film heritage, work to educate children and young people in film and moving images, support the production, distribution and screening of valuable film, and represent Swedish film internationally. A broad diversity of narratives establishes discussions and insights that strengthen the individual and our democracy. Together, we enable more people to create, experience and be enriched by film.


Torkel Stål
Torkel Stål
Josefin Schröder
Strategic Analyst
Josefin Schröder