Article Sourced from – Women and Hollywood February 18, 2016 http://blogs.indiewire.com/womenandhollywood/how-the-swedish-film-institute-achieved-50-50-funding-distribution-between-male-and-female-directors-20160218 By Inkoo Kang |
Last year, we praised Anna Serner, the head of the Swedish Film Institute, who achieved her organization’s goal of distributing funds equally between men and women directors in just three years.
Here’s what we wrote back then:
At a private presentation during this year’s Gothenberg Film Festival, Serner shared how she led the Swedish Film Institute toward its record-making 50-50 split. Despite the occasional calls for gender-equality quotas in the rest of Europe, Serner was adamant that that wasn’t her solution. Rather, her answer was ingeniously simple — and necessarily comprehensive.
Wherever Serner and the SFI could identify a source of gender imbalance, they strived to counter it with a solution. Can’t find enough women directors? Try the NordicWomenFilm web portal. Women helmers having trouble funding their second or third films? Ask a female filmmaking veteran how they did it through the SFI’s mentorship program. Not enough young female directors applying for gigs? That’s where support comes in — in schools, camps and regional talent-development programs, all the way through festivals and competitions, with a focus on female role models. And lest the SFI get complacent, it has intensified its self-monitoring to make sure it stays on course.
Also worthy of envy, though, is the brute fact that Sweden — as a country with a state film fund — has a central force that can spearhead this kind of profound and sustained change, while we here in the U.S. lack such an institution. Let’s hope other countries follow in Sweden’s straightforward logic: If women pay half of the nation’s taxes, they should receive half of its film funding.