In Michel Gondry's 2008 film Be Kind Rewind, Jack Black's character (Jerry) explains what it means to swede in this way: You take what you like and you mix it with some other things you like and make a new thing. Neither the filmmaker, Gondry, nor the actor, Black, likely predicted that sweding would take off the way it has.
At the heart of the swede phenomenon is Swede Fest. If you're not already familiar with Swede Fest, now's the time to learn. Swede Fest was launched in Fresno, California in 2008 and is held there and in Tampa, Florida, every six months. While it is a film festival, it's like no other film festival you've ever seen, or entered. As described on the Swede Fest website: Swede Fest is the only film festival dedicated to sweded films.
A sweded film is a summarized, low-budget recreation of a popular movie, starring you! The organizers go on to say about sweding that its a great way to promote filmmaking in your community. Anyone can make a swede, its easy and a lot of fun! And from the list of movies that have been sweded by video enthusiasts around the world, a lot of fun is an understatement.
Films on the swede list include Raiders of the Lost Ark, Silence of the Lambs, Planet of the Apes, The Breakfast Club, Forrest Gump, Titanic, Jurassic Park, The Godfather, Citizen Kane, and many, many more. Swede Fest even caught the attention of National Public Radio recently. Check out their story at the NPR website. Swede Fest will hold its ninth festival in Fresno in May of 2012 and its second in Tampa in April.
The Swede Fest organizers don't award prizes, they simply accept the first 20 entries that are submitted, and they want to see swede film festivals held in more and more locations across the country. If you're interested in submitting a sweded film, or in holding a Swede Fest in your area, you should definitely check them out.