A Guide to Stockholm Cinema

Rear View Of People At Theater

Now in its 25th year, the annual Stockholm International Film Festival takes place over the course of 12 days each November. An important celebration of movie culture in Scandinavia and beyond, the festival screens over 200 films drawn from 60 different countries.

The Film Festival

Scheduled to run between November 11–22, the Festival keeps its full event program a secret until October, but it's known for its dedication to and focus on young and unestablished filmmakers. Around a third of the screenings mark a directorial debut.

Cozy time at the cinema

For the duration of the festival, the whole city is taken over by movie screenings and events, including talks, workshops and quizzes. Of course, no film festival would be complete without honoring the talent present, so the Stockholm International Film Festival makes time for an award ceremony naming the best of the best.

The top prize is the Bronze Horse, which is awarded to the best film. Previous winners have included Pulp Fiction, 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, and Winter's Bone, with last year's prize going to Girlhood, a dramatic and moving look at girl gangs in the French suburbs. The festival also offers a prestigious lifetime achievement award, which has previously been won by luminaries such as world-renowned fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier and director David Lynch.

The film festival is indisputably the highlight of Stockholm's cinematic calendar, but the city's love of movies remains even once the spotlight moves on. If you're on a cinephile’s tour of Stockholm, don't miss these three institutions:

Baby Cinema

A shining example of Sweden's exemplary childcare standards, cinemas like Bio Rio and Biografen Saga have movie showings specifically for new parents taking their paternity or maternity leave. With spaces for prams outside the theater and even newborn babies getting their own seats, every effort is made to provide a safe and welcoming haven for exhausted mothers and fathers. The sound is slightly muted to protect tiny ears, the lighting is is dimmed and an intermission gives you time to dispense snacks, breastfeed and change diapers. Films chosen include hard-hitting documentaries like Leviathan and sweeping romances like Testament of Youth, allowing adults to watch the films they want to see without worrying about leaving their children.

Skandiateatern

The Skandia exemplifies the rule that you should never judge a book by its cover. Located a 35-minute drive from our Radisson Blu Arlandia Hotel, Stockholm, its ordinary façade on the busy pedestrian street of Drottninggatan conceals a neo-classical interior brimming with character and old-time ambiance. Built in 1923, its historical charms have seen it become a staple location for the Film Festival's red-carpet premières and screenings.

Biocafé Tellus

This low-key cinema is a local institution. Standing just south of the center, its doors have been open for nearly 100 years, sustained by dedicated fans who have made Tellus a not-for-profit labor of love. The shabby-chic interior screens regional productions and foreign films on Wednesdays, Thursday and Sundays, but its café is open every day of the week. Serving as both an artistic hub and a community center, you can stop by for a cup of coffee and find yourself participating in a poetry reading, learning how to crochet, or sitting back and enjoying a fabulous gig from an unknown band.

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