Stockholm International Film Festival 2021
Film festivals play out in unique places. Sundance takes place in the picturesque Wasatch Mountains. Toronto’s TIFF Bell Lightbox is a block-long complex which hosts the city’s namesake festival. And the Cannes Film Festival unfolds on one of the world’s most recognisable waterfronts. But for all the features that those venues have, there’s one thing they’re lacking.
The 2021 Stockholm International Film Festival is the first festival to make use of an electric vehicle as a venue. The electric vehicle in question? Polestar 2. An app in the car’s native Android Automotive system, a joint venture between Polestar’s digital team and the film festival’s team in New Zealand, enabled Polestar 2 owners to watch the festival’s offerings in the car. This experience wasn’t limited to those who have the digital keys to the all-electric fastback, however.
A new test drive format, one long enough to contain a film screening, saw participants taking the Polestar 2 on a test drive to one of two locations: Steninge Palace, a Baroque construction on Lake Mälaren outside of the capital; and an isolated forest site, the ideal setting for a thriller-themed cinematic experience. Test drives began at Norrmalmstorg in the centre of Stockholm, where the travelling cube of Polestar roadshow fame was set up. Participants were given a destination, along with an envelope to be opened upon arrival. Inside said envelope was a hand-written note explaining that the 404-litre trunk of their Polestar 2 doubled as a snack bar, containing vegan refreshments.
Participants praised the Polestar 2’s performance, the unorthodox nature of the event itself, and the fact that “it was actually more fun to drive the car than to watch the movie”. Nöjesguiden Film Editor Kasia Syty, writing about her experience driving Polestar 2 out into the woods to watch coming-of-age/horror feature Hellbender, spoke highly of the entire adventure*, including the on-site Polestar specialists. “They made it both easy and worthwhile to be spirited away into the darkness late on a Monday evening,” she states. “They explained how the Android Automotive system worked, they opened gates in the middle of nowhere, and they laughed off my comments about how all killers say they’re there to help.”
Film festivals will always be known for playing out in unique places. Stunning mountain towns. Metropolitan megaplexes.
And Polestar 2.
*Article in Swedish.