Anna Serner and Alice Bah Kuhnke in Almedalen, 2015 Photo: Christopher Mair, Swedish Film Institute

A fully governmental film policy – bill

The Swedish Government’s bill entitled Mer film till fler - en sammanhållen filmpolitik (More film for more people – a cohesive film policy), bill no. 2015/16:132, has been submitted to Sweden’s Parliament. The proposal entails a fully governmental film policy with a clear focus, and is intended to come into force on 1 January 2017. It represents a historic change from the Film Agreements that have characterised Swedish film for the past 50 years.

The Government will take overall responsibility for film policy and funding. This means that the Film Agreement model that has driven Swedish film production for the past 50 years will be abandoned. The Swedish Film Institute will play a pivotal role in executing the new film policy.

The bill formulates a vision for Swedish film policy in the future. The Government states that: “Swedish film should be of high quality and display such breadth and diversity that it is relevant to everybody. Swedish film should be a natural, accessible choice for audiences nationwide, and should be attractive internationally.”

The vision is translated into seven film policy goals that will guide the Swedish Film Institute’s work moving forward:

  1. Development and production of valuable Swedish film are continuous and take place in different parts of the country.
  2. More and more people see valuable film, which is distributed and shown in different screening forms nationwide.
  3. The film heritage is preserved, used and developed.
  4. Swedish film is increasingly distributed abroad, and there is qualified international exchange and collaboration in the area of film.
  5. Children and young people have good knowledge of film and moving pictures, and have opportunities for their own creativity.
  6. Gender equality and diversity are hallmarks in the area of film.
  7. Film helps to strengthen freedom of speech and public dialogue.

To secure continued influence for other players in the film industry, the Government suggests the introduction of industry councils. These would give a wide range of industry players – more than those encompassed by the former Film Agreement – influence over how funding systems are structured, for example.

“The Government’s bill would give us a clear structure for industry influence, which is very positive,” says Anna Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute.

The bill will now be considered by the relevant committees, primarily the Committee on Cultural Affairs but also e.g. the Committee on Education and the Committee on Industry and Trade. Debating and voting will take place at the end of May.