Swedish Film Institute Unveils Initiative for Women Screenwriters at Cannes

The Swedish Film Institute has launched a new initiative in the hopes of addressing the gender gap among Sweden’s screenwriters — especially the one that persists on bigger budget films. According to a press release, the Swedish Film Institute introduced “an exclusive script initiative aimed at professional female Swedish screenwriters for the development of bigger budget feature films of high quality and with big audience potential” at the Cannes Film Festival today.

In a study released last fall, “The Money Issue,” the Swedish Film Institute found that women represent less than 30 percent of Sweden’s screenwriters. In 2018, only one of Sweden’s eight big-budget films featured a woman scribe, and, overall, “film commissioners receive fewer applications from female writers than from male writers.”

The screenwriting scheme will take place over 18 months and be split into two parts. The first phase will see up to 10 participants conducting research for a potential film, with the financial support of the Institute. In the second phase, four to six participants will develop their scripts and be paired with a dramaturge.

The program will also feature networking opportunities and mentorship from industry professionals.

”We obviously have a lack of female voices and we need to change the numbers,” said Swedish Film Institute CEO Anna Serner. “This initiative will provide professional female screenwriters with muscles in the form of a network, and spark the desire to make big budget films and develop a project for the market to compete for.”

The application period for the women’s screenwriting initiative opens June 4. Selected participants will be notified in mid-September. Head to the Swedish Film Institute’s website for more information.

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