Setting aside a part (defined in advance) of state film financing for projects lead by female film directors

Sweden is a leading country in regulatory policies on this issue. In 2013 a “Film Agreement” was published which defined the objectives of gender equality and decreed that from that year onwards the Swedish Film Institute would aim to set aside 50% of production funding for women. In reality this means spending 50% of the total sum attributed for the 2013-2015 period to women whether they are directors, screenwriters or producers. This objective was met in 2014 but not in 2015.

The Norwegian Film Institute also announced that it intended to adopt a regulatory policy of quotas in order to obtain 50% representation of women among the “talents”. Norway here refers to decisions taken in its national parliament that stipulate: “The parliament requests the government to implement measures to improve gender equality in Norwegian cinema, and to maintain as an objective the proportion of men to women in key posts at no less than 40%”. The Ministry of Culture required the Norwegian Film Institute to follow this initiative with the current practice of quotas that establishes 40% of female film directors among the projects supported at the level of the development and production of feature films. The Norwegian Film Institute notes that one of the greatest challenges has been to increase the number of women applying for this sort of funding: the proportion is low and it is therefore difficult, despite the policy of quotas, to really arrive at a situation of equality. The Norwegian Film Institute also awards every year a certain number of “talent subventions”, and a quota of 50% has been implemented for this subvention.

In 2017 new regulations were adopted in Norway. The Norwegian Film Institute introduced quotas in the “market criteria scheme” whereas previously they had only existed in the “consultancy criteria scheme”. These quotas allowed for a sharp increase in the proportion of female film directors, going from 20% in 2016 to 62.5% in 2017. What is more, the Norwegian Film Institute also introduced moderated quotas for projects that contribute to great gender equality.


Other countries haven’t implemented official quotas but want to stimulate the applications for funding from female film directors and to increase the amount of funding allocated to these projects.

This is the case in Ireland, which in December 2015 implemented a six-point action plan with the aim of stimulating the funding applications from women for development and production. The aim is to reach, in 3 years, 50% of projects where the director is a woman, and to encourage gender parity in all the creative roles.

The UK has shown a similar intent. In its Diversity Standards programme the British Film Institute declared an intention of allocating 50% of public funding to women by 2020.

Denmark also implemented a plan of action in 2017 with awareness building, evaluation and encouragement, with the objective of having a 50-50 gender equality in those applying for funding.