Leif Furhammar (Translated by Bjorn Book-Larsson)
In 1897, two years after its original invention, modern cinematography premiered in Sweden. The French film pioneers Louis and Auguste Lumière sent their photographer Alexandre Promio to promote the cinématographe at the International Industrial Exhibition in Stockholm. Promio showcased films previously created in France by the Lumières and also took the opportunity to shoot films with distinctly Swedish motifs. On the grand opening of the exhibition, he documented the arrival of King Oscar II and the royal family. It was a part of the marketing scheme for the new technology to film rulers and powerful individuals in order to excite them about the new medium.
During his visit, Promio, took on Ernest Florman, a Swedish royal court photographer, as a motion picture photography apprentice. When Promio departed after just a few weeks, Florman assumed the duties of filming the events at the exhibition and running the cinematographic theater Kinematografen i Gamla Stockholm. He thereby became the first Swedish cinematographer.
During the following years, Florman created several short documentaries. In the very beginning of the twentieth century, he experimented with synchronized film sound by letting artists lip sync to their own phonographic recordings.
The first ten years of Swedish film history consisted primarily of imported material. Western and southern Sweden experienced the fastest growing number of motion picture theaters, primarily due to the proximity of central European and British film industries. Eventually, a smaller scale domestic production industry sprang up in association with the larger cities' movie theaters.
AB Svenska Bio in the southern city of Kristianstad proved to be the most prominent and most rapidly expanding of the budding film studios. Its board hired Charles Magnusson, who already had significant film experience in Gothenburg, to head the productions. In 1909 the creation of small, original