50/50 SINCE 2015

At the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, The Swedish Film Institute launched the campaign #5050×2020, which aims to reach gender equality in the film industry by the year 2020. The Swedish Minister of Culture and Democracy at the time, Alice Bah Kuhnke, was in attendance and gave a speech, as was France’s Minister of Culture, and The Swedish Film Institute’s CEO Anna Serner, who has lead the institute’s work towards an equal industry for many years. It takes determination and commitment to change a skewed industry. At the time of writing, only 20% of all the films that reach Swedish cinemas were directed by women. However, it is easy for us film festivals to break the pattern. 

It is a matter of making a decision – something we did five years ago. In 2015, we held our first festival with an intentionally even distribution of male and female directors. Did the quality suffer? Most definitely not – we have never been as pleased with our film programme as we have been for the past five years and will of course continue in this direction.  

At the end of August this year, five large Nordic film festivals vowed to present film programmes with an equal representation of gender among directors by the year 2020. CPH:DOX, Oslo Pix, Tampere Film Festival, Northern Wave Film Festival, and Carl International Film Festival signed an equality document called “5050 by 2020 Gender Parity Pledge”. Gothenburg Film Festival has also taken the pledge. 

Great, let’s go.