To film with smaller crews is quite easy in Stockholm. If you do not disturb the public or take up any space in sidewalks and such you can film as much as you want. Swedes speak English and are used to taking responsibility and helping out. But we are quite reserved. But nice people. If you take up space, need to stop people, set down equipment and so on you will need a police permit in public spaces and a permit from the land or property owner.
Permission to film
You are not required to have a permission to film in public spaces in Stockholm if you are a small crew using a handheld camera and your filming will not cause any obstruction. But if you use equipment like dolly tracks, lights, set up a crafts table, need to stop pedestrians or traffic and so on, causing obstruction, you need to apply for a Film Permit from the Police.
Here is a guide on how to apply for permits. The guide is in Swedish since all the permits are issued in Swedish. To apply for permits you will need to be fluent in Swedish. Our advice is to hire a local location scout or location manager or other consultant. We are happy to help you find one.
If you plan to film in the Stockholm area, it is advised that you give Stockholm Film Commission notice in advance. We can help with permits, local contacts and guidance. Even if you do not need a permit or any advice, we would like an e-mail with a short description of your project and the location(s). This is of great help if the Commission is contacted by the Police or the public and will help you film smoothly.
Public places exceptions
Some public areas in Stockholm are managed or owned by authorities other than the Stockholm city council and you always need to contact them. Some examples:
- Stockholm’s harbor – all areas next to the water are managed by Stockholms Hamnar
- Filming on water – permits issued by Länsstyrelsen
- Skeppsholmen and Riddarholmen – managed by Statens Fastighetsverk
- Stockholm Underground – managed by MTR
- Royal Djurgården and Royal Parks – owned and managed by the Royal House
Your local location manager, scout or line producer will know or can find out who owns what and where you will need to get separate permits. You can also always contact the Stockholm Film Commission for advice.
In Sweden filming on location is essential. As standard we have relatively small, flexible and reliable crews and we move from location to location. Often having equipment, trucks and cars directly at the location. Even when filming in the middle of town. We seldom have a basecamp far away and therefore we most of the time do not need to shuttle people back and forth. Let your local producer advise you on how to film here.
To preserve our locations and gain access to new ones it is essential to take care of the locations and the owners. Being polite, informative and open goes without saying. But then there might be new crews, or you might be new to filming in Sweden or maybe you are curious of how we work. To guide you we, the five main regional funds, have produced a guide for working on locations in Sweden. Download it here.
Working with a Swedish crew
Swedish crews speak fluent English and often a second foreign language. Sweden has seen an influx of international co-productions in recent years and on some Swedish film sets, English is the main language.
Swedish film crews are known as reliable, committed, flexible and well organized. Swedish crews have a high work ethic. In Sweden in general, punctuality is very much appreciated both for business and for social occasions. You will find that Swedes arrive for appointments on time, and often a few minutes early, “if you are on time you are already late” as the saying goes…
In general, the Swedish film industry is very budget-conscious: With a population of just 10 million, domestic film budgets are small. As a positive consequence production crews, VFX and post-production teams are extremely efficient and creative.
Some rates can often be perceived as high by foreign producers. But it is important to note that our crew sizes are much smaller than in the US, UK or other European countries, our way of organizing the team is a relatively flat and efficient and Swedes are creative and good at using the means at hand to work miracles (if you believe in them). For advice on rates and rate cards, please contact the Stockholm Film Commission.
There is no central registry for film crews. Hiring crew members is done by experience and personal networks. This is another reason why you should get a local contact or partner who can help you hire the right staff.
Finding production and service companies
For a list of production companies, please visit the Swedish Film & TV Producers association. For production service companies and other film resources visit our local film resources page. If you need advice on fixers, scouts and so on, please contact the Film Commission and we will guide you.
Stockholm Film Commission service
- We provide free assistance and guidance on film regulations, logistics, equipment, crew and contact with local authorities.
- We can give you an overview of potential co-producers or production service companies.
- The Film Commission works with directors, production designers, producers, and location scouts in the region and Sweden.
- We offer guidance and help for location scouting for international productions.
- We give you a highly confidential service.
- The Stockholm Film Commission collaborates closely with other international film commissions though memberships in Nordic Film Commission (HYPERLINK) and European Film Commissions Network (HYPERLINK)
- We are also a proud founding partner in the Nordic Film Commission (HYPERLINK) A networking group with film commissioners from Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark.
Since January 2021 you are generally allowed to film with drones, with the following restrictions:
- Drone’s weight should not exceed 25 kilos.
- The operator needs a license to operate the drone and operator ID.
- The operator needs to be registered at Swedish Transport Agency, Transportstyrelsen.
- The drone needs to comply with the regulations of marking the drone.
- And you must fly below 120 meters, within sight of the operator and not endanger anyone or anything.
FAQ and more info can be found here
You should also always check local restrictions such as:
- If you fly within the controlled air zone of Bromma there is a maximum altitude of 50 meters.
- You can fly up to 120 meters in Stockholm only when Bromma city airport is closed. Check air traffic here.
- Never fly closer than 5 kilometers from an airport runway or 1 kilometer from a helicopter-landing platform or in any restricted areas. For exact positions please see the map in this link.
Please feel free to contact the Stockholm Film Commission if you are looking for professional drone operators or aerial filming services.
Regulations in Swedish
Unfortunately, we are one of the few countries in Europe that do not have any production incentives in place yet. But the government is working with the issue and hopefully Sweden will have them in place in a near future.
What we can offer foreign producers though, is access to our national or regional film funds if they co-produce with a Swedish producer.
To be eligible to apply to the national film fund you need to have a Swedish producer as co-producer for your project. That producer is the only one who then can apply for funds from the national film fund.
There are several regional film funds that you can also apply from. For most of these funds you need a Swedish co-producer and the fund will have rules for your spend in the region / area. From these regional film funds, you can apply for smaller development funds. Some also offer top financing for your project when you already have most of your financing in place. The regional film fund will then act as an investor in your project and will expect to get money back when your finished film is being sold and distributed.
The film fund managed by Film Stockholm is aimed at film and television series based in the Stockholm region and / or showing high creative and artistic ambition. A condition is that you spend 100% of the funds received in the region. For more information on the fund, please see our section on co-production. The information is in Swedish.
Other regional film funds in Sweden are among others:
- For the west of Sweden, Film I Väst
- For the south of Sweden, Film i Skåne.
- For the north of Sweden, Filmpool Nord
Also, when your Swedish co-producer has funding in place from at least two of the Scandinavian countries’ national film funds, your Swedish co-producer can apply for funds from The Nordic Film And TV Fund.
When two or more European countries are involved in the funding of a film, you can apply for funding from the Eurimage program.
Weather and light
Stockholm has a maritime-influenced climate, which means that we enjoy warm summers and cold winters. But temperatures are in fact very mild considering the latitude – Stockholm has the warmest July months out of the Nordic capitals and has an annual average snow cover for between 75 and 100 days. Due to the city’s high northerly latitude, the length of the days varies widely, from more than 18 hours long around midsummer to around 6 hours long in late December. The nights from late May until mid-July are bright even when cloudy.
Stockholm has relatively mild weather compared to other locations latitude or even further south. With an average of just over 1800 hours of sunshine per year, it is also one of the sunniest cities in northern Europe, receiving more sunshine than Paris, London and a few other major European cities on latitudes south of Stockholm.
Read more about Stockholm’s weather and light here.
Facts and figures
- The region of Stockholm has a population of 2,3 million people
- The Swedish currency is SEK (Svensk krona)
- Stockholms largest airport is Arlanda. It is located 41 kilometers outside the city’s center and it takes approximately 30 minutes to get there by car
- The Stockholm metro has 7 lines and over 100 stations: 53 are above ground, 47 are located under ground
- Stockholm sits on 14 islands that are connected by 57 bridges, and the water is so clean you can drink it, swim in it and even fish in it
- Stockholm is the second most visited city in the Nordic countries