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New Swedish prize aims to boost female directors

Resulting film will premiere at the Stockholm International Film Festival

As part of their ongoing attempt to boost the profile of female directors, Swedish public funders and festival organisations have come together to launch a bold new prize that will enable a director at the beginning of her career to direct a feature film.

The Stockholm International Film Festival, together with Telia, the Swedish Film Institute and the Trade association of companies involved in the technical production of moving pictures in Sweden, are behind the initiative. The resulting film will premiere at the Stockholm International Film Festival the following year.

Since 1990 the Stockholm International Film Festival has handed out the short film scholarship “1 Kilometer Film,” to the brightest new talent in the industry. The feature film production fund is a further development of its support of new filmmakers.

“In our daily work we come across many interesting international film productions without gigantic budgets. This is what initially inspired us to create the fund. We see an opportunity to encourage both Swedish directing talent and promote female filmmakers,” says Git Scheynius, festival director of the Stockholm International Film Festival.

The Swedish telecommunications company Telia is the largest private investor in the project.

“We hope that the production fund will contribute to the innovation of Swedish film and be a source of support for the directors of tomorrow. From experience we know that our customers love Swedish film. Seven out of ten rented films in our video on demand service were Swedish during 2010,” says Stefan Trampus, head of broadband services at Telia.

“We share our partner’s enthusiasm for the production fund and see it as a good opportunity, together with the film institute’s other efforts, to increase the number of female directors. By only inviting female directors to apply, it will further enhance our goal to support equality within the industry,” says Lars G. Lindström, feature film commissioner at the Swedish Film Institute.

Application rules will be revealed in the summer, and the nominees will be shortlisted this autumn. The winner will be announced at the Stockholm International Film Festival in November 2011, and the produced film will premiere at the festival the following year.

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