Reports commissioned by national film institutions and other studies on the place of women film directors in the cinematographic creation


  • Reports from National Film Institutes

Most national film institutes publish annual reports on the production and financing of films (usually called “Facts and Figures”), taking into account the gender dimensions. This is the case in Belgium, Croatia, Denmark, Finland (since 2016), Ireland, Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland (from 2018 onwards), and Sweden (which will publish a report collating information from the year 2000 to the present day.

We have noted how, in many countries, the first reports that were published concerning this issue were done in collaboration with the EWA for a report focusing on female film directors in the European film industry. This is the case with Germany, Austrian, Croatia, France, Italy, the UK, and Sweden]. It is also the case for Slovakia, but in this country only one report was published and there was no follow-up publication.

In the UK the directors’ union “Directors UK” commissioned a study about the proportion of women among directors. They also asked for half of public funding to be allocated to films directed by women from now to the year 2020. They also want films to respond to certain criteria of diversity (including gender) before they can be allocated government funding.

There are similar initiatives in Switzerland where the association ARF/FDS, a collective of Swiss filmmakers, published a 2015 report on the issue. In this study they highlighted the fact that female screenwriters, directors and producers are allocated less funding than their male counterparts whatever the supporting institution. What’s more, the proportion of women diminishes from the number applying (31%) to those receiving support (28%) and the sum of funding, if obtained (22%).

In some countries the national film institutes have been tasked with undertaking more advanced studies into the situation of women in the film industry. These are often studies focused over longer periods of time.

In France two reports on “the place of women in the film and audiovisual industry” were commissioned by the CNC in 2014 and 2017. These very complete reports give information for example about salary differences between male and female directors. They are however ad hoc studies that will not be repeated annually.

In Portugal there are no annual reports into the question but a fairly advanced study was produced that focused on the changes of the situation of female directors and women in the film industry between the years 2003 – 2013.

In Sweden the aim is to publish an annual report as a qualitative study on the kind of films that women have the opportunity to work (budget, type of production etc.)

The Norwegian Film Institute aims to evaluate the results of measures adopted over a longer-term period in 2020, for which it will collaborate, for this issue, with other institutions from the film industry at a regional, national and international level.


  • University investigation

Sometimes, in addition to these statistical reports, the national film institutes join up with university departments to undertake more advanced investigation into the distribution of gender in the film industry, especially behind the camera.

This is the case in Austria which marries two policies of information. On the one hand in the Austrian Film Institute provides information on its site “Gender in Equality” and will soon publish a first report into gender in Austrian film, and on the other hand, at a university-level, the Sociology Department at the University of Vienna is starting to collate and analyse statistics about the division of gender in the national film industry over the 2012 – 2016 period.

Denmark is also starting to implement this type of policy. A research project was begun and the report will be published in early 2018. This study, whose area of focus is in part defined by Danish male and female directors, investigates the obstacles that women face during film studies (to diploma level). Interviews will be undertaken in Danish film schools uniquely with students in the directing department, so as to be able to compare the experiences of male and female students.

In Germany the German Federal Filmboard doesn’t publish an annual report with information concerning gender divisions between the films funded and whether their directors are male or female. On the other hand, the institute commissioned a study into the subject at the University of Rostock, published in 2015. This study, as well as providing statistical information, proposes measures that can be adopted to overcome inequality (awareness building campaigns, monitoring).

Spain undertook a similar study in 2007 into women in the film industry, coordinated by the sociologist Fatima Arranz and directed by the Universidad Complutense in Madrid.