How 'Stockholm' Turned a Toronto Suburb Into the Swedish City

Courtesy of Darius Films
'Stockholm' still

The heist flick was shot mostly in Hamilton, Ontario, where the locations were so effective that Ethan Hawke was the only actor to travel to the real Stockholm to capture exterior shots.

The Ethan Hawke thriller Stockholm chronicles the real-life 1973 bank heist in the Swedish capital that produced the term "Stockholm Syndrome" — shorthand to describe when captors and captives form an unusual bond.

With a modest budget of $10.5 million, Canadian co-producer Nicholas Tabarrok effectively cobbled together numerous subsidies and incentives available north of the border to make the film happen. The heist flick was shot mostly in Hamilton, Ontario, allowing the producers to nab the province’s 10 percent tax credit. That’s in addition to a separate incentive that refunds 21.5 percent of qualified Ontario production expenditures.

As a co-production with Sweden, the film tapped subsidies in both countries thanks to the casting of Swedish actors, including Noomi Rapace. Tabarrok won’t say how much financing came from Sweden, but Ontario Media Development Corp. chipped in $440,000. Telefilm Canada also invested at the script stage.

The Hamilton locations were so effective that Hawke was the only actor to travel to the real Stockholm to capture exterior shots. "Stockholm would not have been possible without the support of Telefilm, provincial and federal tax credits and the OMDC," Tabarrok says. "It’s nearly impossible to finance a film this size without the support of government incentives." 

This story first appeared in the Feb. 7 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.

comments powered by Disqus