5050by2020 panel at the Berlin Film Festival

International Department

At this year's EFM Horizon during the Berlin International Film Festival, The Swedish Film Institute co-hosted a panel discussing the road ahead for the 50/50 by 2020 movement.

From its beginnings as a call to action for gender parity in the funding schemes of films in Sweden, the 50/50 by 2020 movement has grown to become a global movement which embraces the entire filmic eco-system, working towards the increased representation and structural inclusion of other equity-seeking groups.

Audience 5050by2020 event Berlinale 2020
Photo: Lia Darjes, EFM Horizon

The room was packed when Anna Serner, CEO, The Swedish Film Institute, took the stage and delivered her keynote speech. Starting with the gender equality work at the Swedish Film Institute in the early 2010's, she described the breakthrough at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival and shared her thoughts on the situation today.

Anna Serner then joined the panel to continue the discussion with Dame Heather Rabbatts (DBE, Chair of Time’s Up UK), Delphyne Besse (Co-Founder and Co-President of France's Collectif 50/50) and moderator Wendy Mitchell (Contributing Editor, Screen International and Screen Daily).

Panel 5050by2020 - A Roadmap for the Future Berlinale 2020
Dame Heather Rabbatts, CEO Swedish Film Institute Anna Serner and Wendy Mitchell, contr. editor Screen Int. Photo: Lia Darjes, EFM Horizon 

Selected quotes from the panel

Anna Serner

“You need to change the people and power, so that you can realize that others do find quality in other kinds of stories and expressions.”

“Who feels welcome [in the industry]? That is a big issue. We’ve had a gang of people who felt comfortable and we need to reach outside of that circle,” she insisted.

Heather Rabbatts:

“Anybody who has power, who is in control of decision-making, whether you’re an awards festival, an institute, a studio, a production company, a Netflix: appoint women, appoint people of color, and see what happens. That’s what we have to focus on: power,” she said to applause.

She added: “The thing about power is nobody gives it up willingly. You have to wrench it out of people’s bleeding hands. And you do that by data, buy building alliances, by having people speak and stand up. The more we do that, the harder it will be to resist.”

“I can remember arguing about diversity years ago and nobody paid any attention, but BAFTA couldn’t get out from under its this year, this is a signal that this is not going away.”

“It’s not about win or lose,” said Rabbatts. “This movement is not going back in the box.”

“People ask me, should we have a women’s award? Should we have a people of color award? No! Should we have a white men award?” joked Rabbatts. “We have to look at who’s defining what’s other. We are not the other; We’re here.”

Delphyne Besse expressed anger towards the Venice Film Festival, which has committed to the 50/50 representation metric but included only three women directors in Competition in the last 2 years. “We are not using the same way of reading things,” said Besse. “It’s outrageous, clearly they’re not making any effort.”

What the press said

Berlin 2020 Empowered Women Directors and Hinted at a Better Future for Europe’s Film Festivals – Anne Thompson, IndieWire

Time’s Up UK Chief & Swedish Film Institute CEO Discuss Equality: Progress Being Made But ’5050×2020′ Still Looks A Long Way Off – Tom Grater, Deadline

Weinstein verdict “not the end” of equality movement, Berlin panel hears – Ben Dalton, Screen

50/50 Movement Looks to Future With More Inclusive Scope and Targets – Manori Ravindran, Variety

SFI heralds Diversity and Inclusion in 50/50 talk and Berlin selection – Annika Pham, Nordisk Film & TV Fond