Watching a movie from the inside of a sarcophagus seems to be a terrible idea. But as awkward as this idea may sound, it was used by Göteborg Film Festival, which wanted to explore what happens when one decides to give the comfy theatre seat for a coffin to watch a movie. And not just any film but Aniara, a science-fiction movie, an adaptation of Harry Martinson’s eponymous poem. A spaceship carries passengers from Earth to Mars. Yet, things change and one of the characters refers to the ship as a “sarcophagus.”

In line with the festival’s theme Apocalypse, the film festival wanted to make cinephiles experience the feelings that embrace someone when trapped in deep space. During this week’s #ThrowBrandThursday, we are introducing you to “The World’s Most Claustrophobic Cinema,” a campaign for which the festival joined hands with Stendahls agency.

The peculiar cinema had eight sarcophagi which were open for a limited number of courageous people. The experience gave aficionados the opportunity to venture into a world that could trigger various feelings, such as anxiety, isolation, and, of course, claustrophobia. The coffins were equipped with a panic button and were constantly monitored.

“Our goal was to find a way to take the experience of the film, and the apocalypse, further. To take the sense of aloneness and claustrophobia and strengthen it,” said Jonas Holmberg, the festival’s Artistic Director.

In a time when the film industry faces a major shit, with streaming services such as Netflix or HBO threatening the cinemas, the festival had to come up with an idea to turn cinephiles from streamers to moviegoers. In the movie trailer, we find out that “When Earth ends, we must find a new home” in order to get through. Using a similar formula, the festival came up with this campaign, a strategy, to survive “against the giant streaming services.”

That’s why Göteborg Film Festival decided to create something that Netflix can’t: Develop a concept that would attract international media’s attention and still offer a once-in-a-lifetime adventure for aficionados, one that cannot be experienced elsewhere.

The goal was to place the festival in a creative context, and thus, get more visitors to the festival. The campaign had tremendous success, as the initiative got over 1.2 billion global impressions and a high number of festival visitors.


Client: Göteborg Film Festival

Agency: Stendahls