Swedish Film Institute
CEO Anna Serner travels the word to talk about the gender equality work of the Swedish Film Institute. Here she is at a seminar in Cannes 2016. Photo: Marie-Therese Karlberg

Towards Gender Equality in Film Production

The gender equality perspective permeates everything that is done at the Swedish Film Institute: from production funding to the choice of films to promote from the archive, to the recruitment of new personnel. One of the Film Institute's goals is to lay the foundation for gender equality in film production, a labour that moves forward with the aid of concrete action plans.

International impact

The panel at Cannes 2016Panel talk in Cannes 2016 with Emilie Lesclaux (director), Chiara Tilesi (production company We do it Together), Ruben Östlund (director), Alexandra-Therese Keining (director) and Roberto Olla (CEO Eurimages). Anna Serner was moderator.

The gender equality work of the Swedish Film Institute has received a lot of international attention and inspired similar orginazations (eg. BFI and Eurimages), as well as generated plenty of press, for example in The Hollywood Reporter, May 15 2016:
"The British Film Institute and other U.K. film organizations, such as Directors UK, plan to further gender equality in film funding with a strategy modeled after the FiftyFifty by 2020 system first launched in Sweden in 2012."

A Gender Equality Report

Gender Equality Report 2017

In late 2017 The Swedish Film Institute presented the gender equality report "Looking back and moving forward", which depicts how gender equality has been integrated as an every-day issue into all parts of the organization. The report is also a compilation of the gender equality work that has been done since year 2000, when the government stated our mission to support equality within the Swedish film industry.

The report was the first of a yearly edition to be published by the Film Institute. 
It can be found, and downloaded, below.


Sharpening the goals proved successful


In the Film Agreement of 2013 the gender equality goal was sharpened, with production funding now to be divided equally between women and men. In reality this meant that by the end of the agreement period (2016) the total sum of funding should have been distributed to 50 percent women and 50 percent men, in the professional categories of director, script writer and producer. This goal was very close to being reached, as is shown in the graph, but since there was still a lot left to do, the work continued. And as part of the continuing work a new action plan was published in July 2016, called Goal 2020: Gender equality in film production, both in front of and behind the camera. (Read more below)


Everything but the Film Agreement 

The Swedish Film Institute published the action plan Towards a Gender Equal Film Production in 2013, where some of the steps and incentives that were to help reach the goals were presented. One of the incentives was Moviement, a program for mentoring and change for women directors. Another example is the web site Nordic Women in Film, which was released in April 2016, with increased visibility for women film worker as main objective.

Goal 2020

At a seminar during Almedalen Week 2016 the new action plan Goal 2020: Gender equality in film production, both in front of and behind the camera was presented.The plan contains four concrete steps:

  • Women in key roles in more and larger productions: A qualitative survey to be conducted into what films women get the opportunity to make, and why.

  • Increased visibility: We continue updating the digital knowledge bank nordicwomeninfilm.com

  • Counting continues, both behind and in front of the camera: We produce an annual gender equality report featuring qualitative analyses in the world of film.

  • Increased knowledge about gender and diversity: We hold an annual film education seminar focusing on gender, which targets teachers and film educators to reach children and young people.