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Female Directors Decrease from 21 to 6 Percent

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Female Directors Decrease from 21 to 6 Percent

And Breathe Normally Film (2018)

A still from “And Breathe Normally,” directed by Ísold Uggadóttir.Photo: Andið eðlilega / And Breathe Normally/Facebook.

A recent study carried out by Statistics Iceland shows that women direct only one out of every ten Icelandic feature films. The proportion of female directors in Iceland has decreased since the 1990s.

The first Icelandic full-length feature film was premiered in 1949. Since that date 191 feature films have been released in Iceland, and women directors are outnumbered by men nine to one.

The percentage of female directors has decreased over the past several decades. It was highest in the 1990s, at 21 percent. It dropped to 15 percent between 2000-2009 and to 6 percent between 2010-2017.

(Image: Statistics Iceland.)

Helga Rakel Rafnsdóttir, chairperson of WIFT (Women in Film and Television Iceland) told RÚV the problem is systematic and societal, and underlines the urgency of a marketing campaign to correct the situation.

WIFT board member Dögg Mósesdóttir, points out that female-directed Icelandic films have enjoyed widespread success both in Iceland and abroad. Recent examples include And Breathe Normally (2018) and The Swan (2017). Dögg suggests gender quotas could improve the situation, mentioning a new Swedish study which demonstrated their effectiveness.

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