Berlingske reports that the Director of the Norwegian Film Institute, Sindre Guldvog, has praised Parliament’s target of 40% for women in Norwegian film to be employed as directors, scriptwriters and producers. Until now the ratio has varied from year to year, but was as low as 15% in 2008.
The NFI is currently preparing a plan as to how female representation can be improved in the film industry, but in the meantime a quota system is being deployed whereby film projects with women at the helm are looked upon more favourably than those with men.
However, Sindre Guldvog warns that this approach “means that we are aware of choosing projects with women in key positions when we should be choosing between equally good projects.”
The Danish Film Institute is currently investigating its own sexual, ethnic and regional diversity, but CEO Henrik Bo Nielsen does not see a quota for women as being the answer:
“We are engaged in trying to get the highest possible number of candidates because it provides the strongest competition over funding. So when we get four times as many applications from men than from women, then we need to find out if it is because of some barrier which excludes qualified applicants.”
“The Norwegian model with its policy objectives of specific ratios is a variant on quota systems, and even though I recognise that it is an attempt to solve a gender issue, it is the worst possible solution.”
The plan for Norway to meet its government target for women is a work in progress, but overall the NFI is confident that this pursuit of equality will ultimately improve the quality of Norwegian Cinema for both sexes.
“A film industry without equal representation is an industry that lags behind and doesn’t capture the full range that both sexes represent,” says Sindre Guldvog.