The Norwegian Film Institute works for full 50/50 equality before 2020 through talent development, subsidy programmes and clear communication

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At the recent (November 22) Let’s talk about sex! How can we reach a better gender balance in Norwegian film? seminar organised by the Norwegian Film Institute, the institute emphasised the goal of its 2016 action programme – to reach full 50/50 equality before 2020 through talent development, subsidy programmes and clear communication.

A start for change

And when the following day (November 23 ) it backed six new TV drama series by a total of €2.6 million (NOK 24.4 million), it showed that the development towards the aim has been well started: in the applications received, the proportion of women scriptwriters, directors and producers was 49 – in the applications approved 52%. Among the directors the female share was 58%.

In the action plan the Norwegian Film Institute has stated that “equal opportunities in the Norwegian film industry are important to ensure a wide and varied offer of artistic, cultural and aesthetic expressions, a mirror the Norwegian society. Cinema is one of the most popular cultural activities – one that reaches most people - and it should also be reflected by who creates the movies.”

Together we can do a lot

“With full gender equality in the film industry filmmakers will not be met by negative reactions because of their gender, they will have the same power to influence, whether they are women or men - they feel fully equal industry players. We mean a sustained and stable gender balance, where there are as many women and men in positions of power, as many women and men both in front of and behind the camera - and a multitude of films that tell stories both girls and boys and women and men can identify with. This is not an easy task. The Norwegian Film Institute can do a lot, but we do not get it there alone – it will requires an effort from the entire film industry.

No more sexual harassment

“The Harvey Weinstein case in the US and the subsequent #metoo and other campaigns all over the world have made the need of gender equality even more relevant and necessary. The institute hopes that changing power structures, ie a more even distribution of power positions between the sexes, can help reduce the extent of sexual harassment. We are going to work for this. It is also important to clearly show that sexual harassment is totally unacceptable. Have clear guidelines on alert matters, ask professionalism and think about how we can prevent this,” concluded the institute.