2022-05-17 12:17Press release

Swedish film market in transition – new report released today

On the cover: Writer-director Ninja Thyberg made her feature debut with Pleasure, one of the Swedish films sold to the most international territories in 2021.On the cover: Writer-director Ninja Thyberg made her feature debut with Pleasure, one of the Swedish films sold to the most international territories in 2021.

Today sees the release of Facts and Figures 2021, the Swedish Film Institute’s comprehensive report on film and the Swedish film market. Among other things, the report shows that Swedish film was at the forefront of digital advancement during the year. Almost 30 percent of Swedish feature-length films premiered digitally or on TV, and the majority were released almost simultaneously in cinemas and on streaming services.

– The film market is in rapid change. In this phase the need for knowledge is increasing and I therefore hope that Facts and Figures will contribute to new insights and a deeper understanding of the current situation. When commercial streaming services gain greater influence over Swedish film, both financing and visibility, the Film Institute's role as guarantor of independent Swedish film production becomes increasingly important, says Anette Novak, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute.

As is tradition, the report will be launched during the Cannes Film Festival, which opens today.

Read or download the full report here: Facts and Figures 2021

Highlights from the report:

  • The number of theatrical releases increased compared to 2020. During this second year of the pandemic, the move towards a more digital film market was further intensified, with an even higher number of films premiering online compared to previous years. 27% of the Swedish premiere releases were digital or on TV, which is a high number compared to both foreign releases in 2021 and Swedish releases in previous years.

  • The distribution between female and male lead roles was more even in the Swedish releases compared to foreign ones in 2021. The Swedish films had more older people compared to the foreign premieres. The percentage of films with LGBTQ themes was also higher for Swedish than foreign film. Meanwhile, there has been a general upward trend for these themes in recent years, among Swedish and foreign film alike.

  • Cinema admissions increased during the year, and some films managed to attract large audiences in the autumn when covid restrictions on public gatherings were lifted. Just over six million cinema tickets were sold in Sweden in 2021. This is a slight increase on 2020 but far below pre-pandemic levels.

  • The share of total film viewing on digital services was 65%, a slight decrease on 2020. Subscription-based streaming services accounted for the largest proportion of digital film consumption, 41%. There are signs of some saturation for digital consumption, after years of strong growth. The trend for TV viewing generally is downward, but TV remains an important screening platform for feature-length film. Of all feature-length films watched in Sweden, almost 30% were seen on TV.

  • Films that have received production funding make up about 50% of released feature-length fiction films and about 65% of released feature-length documentaries. Many of the films without funding are low-budget productions, but Netflix’s first Swedish feature-length films were also made without funding. For feature-length fiction films with production funding, the Swedish Film Institute on average accounted for just under 35% of the budget.

  • The proportion of first-time directors in Swedish feature-length film has been at a high level in recent years. The proportion fell for documentary films and fiction films with market funding during 2021, but was at a stable high level for fiction films with commissioner funding. One explanation for the continued high proportion in feature-length fiction film is the debutant initiative Moving Sweden – a collaboration with national broadcaster SVT, aiming to stimulate the renewal of Swedish film, bolster recovery and promote new narratives, perspectives and voices with nationwide distribution in Sweden.

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

Facts and Figures 2021 will also be available in printed form at Cannes. Please visit Scandinavian House, 11 Square Mérimée, to pick up your copy (from Friday, May 20).

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.


Jan Göransson
Head of Press
Jan Göransson
Per Perstrand
Communications Officer – Press
Per Perstrand
Torkel Stål
Torkel Stål