This film festival plans to hypnotize its audience

Sweden's Göteborg Film Festival is back with another provocative marketing stunt

Published On
Jan 04, 2022

Editor's Pick

Sweden's Göteborg film festival has been wowing us with its provocative marketing stunts for some years now. Last year it put a viewer alone in a lighthouse for a week to watch movies back to back, and prior to that it asked viewers to watch horror movies while encased in a tomb and asked men to undergo a gyno exam while they watched. For 2022, it's planning another experiment—hypnotizing an entire audience.

The festival, which opens Jan. 28, will include three exclusive screenings at Stora Teatern in Gothenburg at which a hypnotist will perform a mass hypnosis before the film starts, and break it only after the screening. The hypnosis is promised to "transform the audience’s state of mind in accordance with the mood and theme of the specific film."  

Three films are on offer ("Land of Dreams," "Speak No Evil" and "Memoria"), although people applying to be part of the experiment via the website won't know which one they are seeing until later on. To measure the results, after the screening a questionnaire will aim to compare the hypnotized audience's experience of the movie with that of another,unhypnotized audience. 

The idea for the campaign, which was created once again via agency Stendahls, is inspired by the festival's theme for this year, which is "Disorder."

“The rules and restrictions of the past year have illuminated how to maintain order in society and what really governs people’s thoughts and behaviors," said Jonas Holmberg, artistic director at Göteborg Film Festival, in a statement." Maybe we don’t make decisions as independently as we like to think? With 'The Hypnotic Cinema' we want to raise questions about submission, transgression and control."

The campaign also comes as the festival returns to in-person screenings, although it is still offering an online pass to those who would rather watch from home. Holmberg added that "The Hypnotic Cinema" is "both a tribute to and an extension of the experience of watching films at the movie theater."

"Watching a film in the cinema can be extremely hypnotic," he added. "At home, with a tablet, it is much harder to maintain the focus you need to get really absorbed by a film. Now, as Göteborg Film Festival returns to theaters, we add another hypnotic layer."


Jan 04, 2022
Client :
Goteborg Film Festival
Agency :
Art Director :
Alexander Skoglund
Copywriter :
Mikael Andersson
Account Director :
Peter Ohlsson
Project Manager :
Anna Lotto
Jr. Art Director :
Sofia Malmborg
Jr. Copywriter :
Molly Ljungström
Head of Marketing :
Marie Murphy
Head of Communications :
Andreas Degerhammar
Head of Event :
Emma Rygielski
Communicator/ Press Co-ordinator :
Emmy Westling
Web Design :
Linda Gester
Artistic Director :
Jonas Holmberg
Mirja Wester
Production Agency :
is this it
Director :
John Boisen
Director :
Björn Fävremark
Director of Photography :
Fredrik Sellergren
Producer :
Johanna Smitz
FAD & Additional Cinematography :
Philip Esse
Make-up Artist :
Annica Strömberg
Visual Effects :
Producer :
Robert Danielsson
VFX Artist :
Jonas Gramming
VFX Artist :
Eric Ljunglöf
Marcus Holst
Sound Design :
Andreas Mellkvist
Photo & Retouch :
Studio Mint
PR :
Manifest PR
PR Strategist :
Johanna Svantesson
PR Strategist :
Julia Wohlén
PR Strategist :
Fanny Carlson
PR Strategist :
Annika Svahn

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type