In english

The Bergman Cinematograph


About the project

Film is a language spoken all over the world. A unique combination of words, images, movement and sound, introducing great possibilities of communication. New techniques have made the language of film available to everyone, offering new tools and expressions, especially for schools. Let students convey their thoughts, ideas, and knowledge through animated films – explore film from the first syllable.

ingmar-bergman-viewfinder-chairBild lånad från

2018 marks the 100th anniversary of Ingmar Bergman’s birth and in memory of the Swedish director there are numerous festivals, exhibitions and documentaries taking place in Sweden and world-wide throughout the year. Ernst Ingmar Bergman, born 14th of July 1918 and deceased 30th of July 2007, was a Swedish film and theatre director, writer, theatre manager, dramatist and author. Considered one of the most inflential filmmakers of all time he wrote or directed more than 60 films. Among his best-known works are the films The Seventh Seal, Wild Strawberries and Persona.

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Already as a child Ingmar Bergman was fascinated by moving images. ”The first film I owned was 3 metres long and of brown color” – a film strip, oftentimes cut from some cinematic movie, boxed and available for purchase. When the film strip was wound through the cinematograph it would spring to life projecting moving images onto the wall. ”The small, wobbly cinematograph became my magical box” Ingmar Bergman said. He was 10 years old when he came upon his cinematograph. Today, 90 years later, a child puts a tablet on top of the animation box and creates moving images – the experience is still the same.


We’d like to offer children the possibility of exploring the language of film with Ingmar Bergman as a tutor, to get advice and inspiration from him and explore film from the first syllable. Seize the thought. Animate it!

The project is a collaboration between Erling Ericsson, The Ingmar Bergman Foundation, Unga Berättar and Den Pedagogiska Designbyrån.


The Magic Box

During 2003-2008 I worked with animation together with children in the MENA region, oftentimes in collaboration with local branches of Unicef or Save The Children. In Beirut, Lebanon, we developed a children’s animation project with Swedish Save The Children supported by SIDA, Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency.

A version of my animation box was produced in Lebanon and 25 red boxes were later introduced to schools in the region, from Tunisia in the west to Yemen in the east. While visiting the assigned joinery in the mountains above of Beirut, I was shown what was considered the archetypal box and the grandmother of my version – a very old wooden crate to be carried on the back, complete with movable characters. A wandering storyteller had searched for audiences along his path and spellbound children with his box of moving images, just like today but in a distant time.

preview31 The first animationbox

The Bergman Cinematograph

Bergman’s Cinematograph is also a physical animation box with everything you need to develop the language of film. It is a tool for children and young adults seeking to create animated film. In the 1980s Erling Ericsson built the first animation box specifically adapted for children and it was just as much an educational method as it was an animation tool. ”During the 80s I was working as a TV producer at UR, Swedish Educational Broadcasting Company, focusing on children’s filmmaking. The students were most often making their films at school and the animation box offered a work space with lighting where their movie could be animated. When Stockholm became the Cultural capital in 1989, the animation box reached international fame.”

Together with the 100 year anniversary of Ingmar Bergman, Erling has developed a completely new animation box adapted to modern technique – the tablet. The animation box is meant to be used during all educational work within the project, it will thus play a central role. The box includes everything one needs – an introduction to animation, the book ”Animate it”, proper lighting and examples on how to create characters.


How to use the box

The Animation box, Bergman’s Cinematograph, is a gift by The Ingmar Bergman Foundation to children and adults wishing to explore the cinematic language. The box is a smaller version of the one used in many schools around the globe. All kinds of animation can be made in the cinematograph but the easiest method is the so called cut-out technique using cut out figures with loose, movable limbs made from coloured paper put together by adhesive. In the book Animate it! accompanying the box you can learn more about different animation techniques. Combine the box with a tablet and one of many available animation programs and start exploring the language of film using Bergman’s Cinematograph.



Movies and Themes

During our workshops we have used Ingmar Bergman’s demons as a theme – what others call fears, madness or phobias Mr Bergman namely called ”dämons”, deliberately misspelled. The students in our workshops have picked one or several demons to play characters in their animations. Click here if you want to watch some of the films made in the project!

Bergmans dämoner

A selection of demons followed by Ingmar Bergman’s short description:

The Catastrophe Demon ”The strongest of the dämons”

The Fearful Demon ”Afraid of everything, a deeply spooked human”

The Fiasco Demon ”Not a day at work have I not had a feeling in the morning of failure. It is small an pitiful. I will fail. A fiasco could happen to others as well, not only to me”

The Rage Demon ”I have inherited from both my mother and father being an angry human, I have a freaking temper. It’s simply making the atmosphere dense and everyone is doing a worse job.”

The Control Demon ”It has a large family, the pedantic dämon, the punctual dämon, the order dämon”

The Sloth Demon ”I am generally a lazy person” The Resentful Demon ”Seldom forgets wrongdoing”

The Null Demon ”My creativity and my fantasy fails me, suddenly everything is quiet, empty and nothingness.”

The Bored Demon ”always bored, everything feels boring”

”The two deamons” – a film made by Max & Tova, 4th grade students


Articel from ”Svenska Dagbladet” one of swedens biggest newspapers



For questions regarding the project or the box,

contact Mr Erling Ericsson:


Mobile: +46 (0)70 523 4116


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