Programmes aiming to encourage women to begin a career of director or to develop their length feature projects

As part of the incentivising policies we see countries that try to encourage young women to enter film schools, and in particular to study directing.

There are no effective policies in this area. Norway seems to be the country most concerned with the issue. The Norwegian Film Institute considers that gender equality has to be taken into consideration right from the earliest steps of a filmmaker’s career, and it tries to ensure an early recruitment of talented young women and men in the subjects studied by future film professionals. There is a concerted effort to try to encourage young women to consider a career in directing.

Among the policies of encouragement we identified above all a system of mentoring programmes, of coaching, training, networking that aim to accompany female film directors in their projects. These are, for the most part non-governmental programmes.

There is, for example, the Swedish mentoring programme “Moviement”, set up in 2012, that aims to support female film directors at the start of their careers.

In Belgium and France there is a coaching / mentoring scheme developed by the producer Diana Elbaum, that aims to accelerate the development of film projects directed by women. Called Boost Camp, it accompanies female film directors through the writing, the direction and the production of their feature film projects. It takes place over 3 weeks during the year.

In Austria the Austrian Film Institute established an initiative called ProPro (Producer’s Programme for Women), a mentoring scheme for female producers that aims to strengthen the position of women in the film industry. The programme takes place every two years. This week-long workshop is aimed at helping women develop their projects through a workshop residence and through individual coaching. Even though this programme is for producers and not directors, it feeds into a growing awareness of the position of women in the global film industry, and can potentially have a more generalised impact.

Ireland has a number of mentoring schemes. The association Screen Training Ireland, attached to the Irish Film Board, set up a series of initiatives that accompany women in the development of their film career. For example, in 2016, a female director and a female screenwriter received a specific financing that enabled them to participate in the mentoring scheme Guiding Lights. In the same way the IFB, in partnership with the Irish agency Enterprise Ireland, wanted to establish a hot-housing scheme for creative female talent in order to then redirect this talent pool towards opportunities proposed by the agency. Then, in 2017, the IFB launched a new small budget production programme tailored exclusively to female directors: after made-to-measure workshops, mentoring and training the selected talents would have the opportunity to apply for funding of up to 400,000 euros for a feature film, entirely supported by the IFB.

In terms of networking programmes we can point to a Norwegian intern training scheme which aims to reinforce the professional networks of young women.

In France the association “le Deuxième Regard” (“The Second Gaze”) and the Lab “Femmes de Cinéma” also focus on networking and the investigation of ideas in order to change mentalities.