Vienna Film Fund: introducing gender criteria in regional film funding regulations

Vienna Film Fund
Key objectives of the measure:
  • creation of incentives to employ more female directors, writers, and producers in TV film production
Scope of the measure:
Nature of the measure:
regulatory, financial
Main feature of the measure:

In 2015, the Austrian association for women in the audio-visual industry – FC Gloria – presented the results of an analysis of the distribution of allocated film funding resources among women and men in one of three central creative roles – scriptwriter, director and producer – between 2011 and 2015. The results showed a clear gender bias. Only 22% of all public funding resources for cinema releases were allocated to films with female directors, writers or producers. In the segment of film production for television broadcasting, the disparity was even higher, with only 12% allocated to projects involving a woman in one of the three central creative roles.

In December 2015, the Vienna Film Fund, the largest regional film funding body in Austria with an annual funding budget of EUR 11 million, financed by the City of Vienna, modified its funding regulations for the television segment. Now, applicants can only request the maximum amount of funding for the production of feature films, series, documentaries, and documentary series for television if at least one of the three central creative roles is occupied by a woman. With regard to the production company, a woman is only considered to be the producer if she has the authority to sign for the company. In the evaluation of applications, points are allocated for the involvement of female directors, writers and producers.

Furthermore, the Vienna Film Fund has extended its sex-disaggregated data analysis. In addition to the analysis of the proportions between women and men regarding the number of approved film projects, the amount of funding granted is analyzed further (gender-budgeting). The analysis is based on the Swedish model to ensure comparability with other European countries. It indicates the share of female directors, scriptwriters, and producers in supported film or television projects. The approved funding is divided into three equal parts. If a women is occupied in one of the central creative roles a third of the funding is taken into account by the gender-budgeting statistic.

Results expected through the implementation of the measure:
  • an increase in the proportion of female directors, writers, and producers in TV film production
Financial resources allocated to implement the measure: