Hanna Sköld: Bucking the System with New Ways of Film Finance and Distribution

I was lucky enough to meet Hanna Sköld recently at the 2nd EU Digital Assembly in Brussels in June and share some time with her discussing future disruption in the audiovisual world - both in TV and film... and her story is simply brilliant - a must 'hear'  any industry dinosaurs and incumbents who ratchet on about how they hold the reins on TV and film financing and, it takes deep pockets and a strong traditional network to make a successful audiovisual product. Several industry pundits were skeptical of crowdfunding and crowdsourcing in general at the event - but in essence - this new movement and phenomenon only helps big players validate what can and will work in the 'big' market. 

There are other ways to raise funds and market. And Hanna's foray into crowdfunding, building community, social dissemination and open sourcing content is proof that one can launch a successful brand and cultural meme using unorthodoxy in all facets of the process of film making.

Why do so many people choose to fund a project - in essence donating money to get it done? Why do so many people choose to donate time and skills in translating it for free, screening it, sharing it, and remixing it? 

Because it feels good.


For me, it's quite similar to the Open Source Software world where I have dwelling for a decade. People do it for kudos and the real currency is ego - not in a bad way. But because it makes them feel good.

Hanna is a Swedish writer and director that explores new narrative models for participatory storytelling and is best known for the unconventional way she produced and distributed her first feature film Nasty Old People, which had its premiere at the end of 2009 on the front page of The Pirate Bay.

Pirate Bay? Yes.

Four years ago Hanna Sköld did what few people dare to do - she took out a private bankloan to produce her film Nasty Old People and when it was done smacked a Creative Commons license on it, then collaborated with researchers and students connected to MEDEA, Malmö University on the distribution and marketing strategy of Nasty Old People and her film was distributed through The Pirate Bay and marketed through social media. The film quickly spread across 113 countries and was downloaded more than 50,000 times and live screenings erupted around the world. Translations were made into multiple languages, it was remixed by numerous other creatives, and it all became an overnight sensation.

Her critics were silenced.

Her second project “Granny’s Dancing on the Table” raised over 50,000 dollars at Kickstarter.

Together with you, we will create a granny-invasion! Because this time we are not only creating a film, we are creating a whole universe – the GRANNIVERSE – which includes a feature film, a psychcological adventure game and International Granny day.

Here is Hanna warmly thanking close to 1000 funders who backed her for more than 50,000 dollars to shoot her second film, Granny’s Dancing on the Table, at Kickstarter!


Sköld went on to win the European Talent Prize, awarded by the European Union's Media program - “the prize singles out Media-funded projects with the greatest potential to reach a pan-European audience”. They also won the £6,000 ARTE Pixel Pitch Award from Power to the Pixel with Granny’s Dancing on the Table.

Here you can see Hanna talk about her experiences at Media Evolution: The Conference in Sweden.


2012 Granny’s Dancing on the Table
2011 tantlängtan.
2009 Nasty Old People
2007 Sista Måltiden
2006 Tid för Te

Contact: hanna @ tangramfilm.se,