History of the AMF

Armé-Marin och Flygfilm was created as a non-profit association and after 94 years it was changed into the form of a foundation. The foundation AMF holds one of the world’s oldest collections of films in trust.

Armé-och Marinfilm was created on the 19th October 1920 as an association at the initiative of a few officers with a special interest in films led by lieutenant Gunnar Dyhlén. They wanted to create an activity which would supply the Defence and other organizations with films for education and information. From the very start around 25 units and schools joined in. The first film production was a documentary on “The field service exercises in Södermanland” ,1920. Then followed an increasing number of productions from different parts of the Armed Forces. When the Air Force became an independent defence branch in 1926 the name of the association was changed into “Föreningen Armé- Marin- och Flygfilm, AMF”. The defence resolution of 1925 brought about the imminent liquidation of a number of regiments. During 1926-27 the association made a very important effort by producing film memorials of most of these regiments. Not only the shutting-down ceremonies were documented but also the activities, people and places.

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During the nineteen thirties the AMF, in addition to all the documentaries, produced an increasing number of educational films, i.e. on subjects such as liaison and protection services. They also produced one or two films for general education, often with sequences of outdoor life and sports. In 1934 the then Chief of the General Staff had an investigation made into the question of educational films within the Army, which led to the creation of a special film section at the education department of the staff. In the Marine and in the Air Force special officers were appointed for the handling of film matters.

During the years of military alert films became an important tool for strengthening the will to defend and production was focused on short films and news varieties, many to be shown before the evening’s performance in the cinemas. The allied had found during the war that instructions to soldiers on film had great pedagogical advantages. This fact was in part to characterize Swedish defence films from 1946 and onwards and a very large number were produced during the fifties, sixties and seventies. During the fifties they started to make recordings abroad during the long journeys of the Marine and the exchanges of “flyer boys” in the Air Force. Regiments and flotillas appointed photographers on duty who documented the activities during a year of education. In the shade of the cold war a number of films on civil defence were made, which reflected the spirit of the time and age in a way which makes them into inestimable historical documents.

Different kinds of military drills were documented. Films for information on the defence were produced for schools and for the civilian market. A number of jubilee films were compiled with both new material and archive pictures.

Documentaries and educational films were produced continually during the eighties and nineties, but no longer on 35 mm or 16 mm film. Instead films were produced on video tapes and in the new millennium the production is strictly digital.

The association Armé- Marin – och Flygfilm had the task to support filming activities in the Defence and thereby to contribute to information about the defence both within and outside the Defence Forces. The association supplied and distributed films to the Defence forces, other parts of the Total Defence and the voluntary defence organizations as well as to schools, organizations etc. outside the voluntary defence.  This mission also included the task , in collaboration with the War Archives and the Defence Forces, to keep, preserve, document and make accessible the films that have been produced since the association was created and to document in moving pictures and to file events within the Defence Forces.

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Members of the association were mainly organizations within the Total Defence.

Chairmen of the association

1920-1932 Colonel Eric von Gegerfelt, the Army
1932-1939 Admiral Fabian Tamm, the Navy
1939-1947 Major-general, the Army
1947-1950 Major-general Nils Swedlund, the Army
1950-1959 Commander Harald Schulze, the Navy
1959-1971 Major- general Gunnar Brinck, the Army
1971-1996 Major-general Åke Sundén, the Air force
1996-2001 Major-general Åke Sagrén, the Army
2001-2007 Vice-admiral Frank Rosenius, the Navy
2007-2014 Major-general Lars Frisk, the Army

The association’s heads of division
1920-1944 Major Gunnar Dyhlén, the Army
1944-1952 Major Bertil Carlsson, the Army
1952- 1965 Commander Pedro Ahlmark, the Navy
1965- 1977 Captain Bo Sylvander, the Army
1977- 1989 Commander Jarl  Ellsén, the Navy
1989- 2002 Commodore Ulf Adlén, the Navy
2002- 2009 Lieutenant – colonel Anders Eisen, the Air force
2009- 2015 Peter Nordström, civilian

The association was converted into a foundation in 2014
Excerpt from the ordinance of the foundation

The main task of the foundation is to increase the knowledge of Swedish defence and security and its history as well as stimulate research with these purposes, especially efforts of an interdisciplinary character and to further manage and make accessible, to both the general public and to researchers, the historical film archives and historical film equipment which has been handed in and is developed over the years. This purpose will be achieved by:

Practising archive activities according to the instructions from Riksarkivet (the National Archives).

Produce films and documentaries in different media and supply other services within the area, i.e. education.

Hold in trust the films of the foundation.

Manage or hold in trust films of other agents.

Make the film archives, historical film equipment etc accessible to the general public and for research.

To pay out contributions to interdisciplinary research projects and educational efforts following requests or independently without previous request. Such contributions shall support the purpose of the foundation according to points a) to e) and must not amount to such great amounts that there is a risk that the demand for duration cannot be fulfilled.

Chairman of the foundation
2014 – Major general Lars Frisk, the Army

Head of administration of the foundation
2014 – Peter Nordström, civilian