Facts & Figures

Gender equality: data on applications and success rates by gender for the year 2020

As part of the Icelandic Film Centre's continuing commitment to gender equality throughout the Icelandic film industry, we offer the following data on the relative percentages of grants awarded by gender of key positions – producer, screenwriter, and director. We would also like to note that increased emphasis on gender equality and representation throughout the industry is now an important component of Iceland's new film policy, which was unveiled by the Minister of Education, Science and Culture last autumn and lays down policy for the next ten years.

As part of our own internal procedures, consultants at the Icelandic Film Centre are instructed, as they read and evaluate projects, to consider the criteria laid down in the Bechdel test and whether the creative content of applications promotes well-rounded, three-dimensional female characters. Applicants, too, are encouraged to apply these same criteria to the content of their work. In addition, both consultants and applicants are committed to tracking the gender of key participants in projects, which provides the entire Icelandic film community with a clearer understanding of participation by gender so that we will be able to address imbalances in a more timely manner.

We should also remember that, relative to our Nordic and European partners, the Icelandic Film Fund is small, as is our industry. On average, we are able to support only three to four narrative features per year, in addition to a handful of documentaries, short films, and TV series. This means that our sample size is also small, and large swings in data from year to year are possible. With this in mind, the data below gives some indication of the larger picture and the positive trends in gender participation in the industry that have been emerging in recent years.

Data for the year 2020 can be seen below. Data for previous years can be found here.

Total applications in 2020

In 2020 the Icelandic Film Fund received a total of 278 applications for various types of grants, plus an additional 67 applications that were part of a special governmental campaign intended to counteract the economic challenges to the film industry brought upon by the coronavirus pandemic.

The 278 normal applications in 2020 were an increase from 180 the previous year. Of those 278, 135 (or 49%) were awarded grants. Further information on the 67 applications that were part of the special coronavirus campaign can be found below.

Table 1: Here you can see the total number of applications, and the percentage of those awarded grants, by type of grant.

Type of grantApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Script grants1617547%
Development grants312065%
Production grants864047%
Total27813549%


Production grants by gender

Table 2: Here you can see the percentage of production or postproduction grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of producer.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men12325%
Women5240%
Team of men and women6233%
Total23730%
Documentaries
Men171165%
Women9667%
Team of men and women5120%
Total311458%
Short films
Men22100%
Women7343%
Team of men and women5240%
Total14750%
Narrative TV series
Men100%
Women11100%
Team of men and women6467%
Total8463%
Postproduction
Men10330%
Women---
Team of men and women---
Total10330%

Table 3: Here you can see the percentage of production or postproduction grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of screenwriter.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men16425%
Women4125%
Team of men and women3267%
Total23730%
Documentaries
Men201050%
Women5480%
Team of men and women6467%
Total311858%
Short films
Men6233%
Women8563%
Total14750%
Narrative TV series
Men---
Women3267%
Team of men and women5360%
Total8563%
Postproduction
Men8338%
Women200%
Team of men and women---
Total10330%

Table 4: Here you can see the percentage of production or postproduction grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of director.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men18633%
Women4125%
Team of men and women100%
Total23730%
Documentaries
Men221255%
Women6467%
Team of men and women3267%
Total311858%
Short films
Men6233%
Women8563%
Team of men and women---
Total14750%
Narrative TV series
Men5360%
Women2150%
Team of men and women11100%
Total8563%
Postproduction
Men8338%
Women200%
Team of men and women---
Total10330%

Development grants by gender

Table 5: Here you can see the percentage of development grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of producer.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men3267%
Women22100%
Team of men and women3267%
Total8675%
Documentaries
Men7571%
Women10660%
Team of men and women6350%
Total231461%


Table 6: Here you can see the percentage of development grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of screenwriter.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men6467%
Women---
Team of men and women22100%
Total8675%
Documentaries
Men11764%
Women8675%
Team of men and women4125%
Total161161%


Table 7: Here you can see the percentage of development grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of director.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men6467%
Women22100%
Team of men and women---
Total8675%
Documentaries
Men12758%
Women11764%
Team of men and women---
Total231461%

Script grants by gender

Table 8: Here you can see the percentage of script grants awarded, for different types of projects, by gender of screenwriter.

Narrative featuresApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men713549%
Women211152%
Team of men and women200%
Total944649%
Documentaries


Men13646%
Women11436%
Team of men and women3267%
Total271244%
Narrative TV series

Men20840%
Women15747%
Team of men and women5240%
Total361943%

Special coronavirus campaign by gender

Table 9: Here you can see the percentage of grants awarded by gender of producer.

ApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men30620%
Women19421%
Team of men and women18316.7%
Total671319.4%


Table 10: Here you can see the percentage of grants awarded by gender of screenwriter.

ApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men26415.4%
Women23521.7%
Team of men and women28422.2%
Total671319.4%


Table 11: Here you can see the percentage of grants awarded by gender of director.


ApplicationsAwardedSuccess rate
Men38615.8%
Women25728%
Team of men and women300%
Total66*1319.7%

*One application didn't have a director.