In 2018, the Ministry of Education and Culture commissioned a report from Jaana Paanetoja, LL.D in the wake of the global #metoo-movement to learn about the status quo of the Finnish film industry and theatre scene.
The analysis looked into, among other things, whether film production companies have taken care of their employer obligations pursuant to the labour legislation, aimed at securing a working environment that is free from harassment and other inappropriate treatment, and whether occurred cases of harassment and other inappropriate treatment were due to deficiencies in the legislation content or lack of competence related to the practical application of legislation. In addition, existing good practices and operating models in the film and theatre industry were collected and their impact on the prevention of harassment and other inappropriate treatment and on the intervention in the occurred cases was assessed.
According to the report, there are some shortcomings in recognising the obligations set in different labour laws as well as uncertainty with regard to power and authority relationships. In some cases, not enough attention has been paid to preventive actions. Furthermore, the report indicates that there is also room for revision and specification in legislation. The analysis also revealed shortcomings associated with the operating culture and structure in the industry.
Dr Paanetoja's report provided a comprehensive overview on the current state of affairs within the sectors and proposed measures related to, for instance, the primary importance of the development of internal operations in the industry, the clearer definition of responsibilities, obligations and rights and the strengthening of confidential cooperation.
The Ministry of Education of Culture has taken action by providing financial support in the form of grants addressed to the fields of theatre and film, intended for providing education on subjects where gaps in information were identified (e.g. legislation, practical measures to prevent harassment, rights and obligations of the employer). The Ministry has also introduced new obligations for the Finnish Film Foundation, the agency responsible for granting public support to cinematic and audiovisual productions. The Foundation must now monitor that publicly funded productions fulfill their legal obligations as well as ensure that appropriate measures are in place to prevent harassment and promote gender equality. The same clause applies to all operating grants of the Ministry starting 2020 (see more under "Gender equality policy of the Ministry of Education and Culture").
The national public service broadcaster YLE has also taken action internally. The Ministry has found it important that the sectors also develop ethical guidelines for their work. An excellent starting point is provided in the guidelines produced as a joint effort of audiovisual players in February 2018.
While no quotas have been established, the percentage of female filmmakers in projects applying for and receiving production support from the Finnish Film Foundation has been on the rise. In 2018, 43 % of producers, 42 % of directors and 49 % of scriptwriters who received support were female. In 2019, 66 productions with Finland as the main producing country received production support. Of these projects, 51 % had a female director, 46 % a female scriptwriter and 31 % a female producer.
|Name of partner||Type of entity|
Finnish Film Foundation
The Finnish Theatre Association
Civil Society Organization (CSO)
A research project was carried out by the Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore in 2016-2017 on Gender Equality in Finnish Film Production. The purpose of the research was to find out whether gender equality was realised in the public financing of Finnish film. In addition, factors that may cause gender inequalities in film production more broadly were evaluated. Gender equality was approached as a question of financial resources: do women and men receive an equal amount of public financial resources for their films? Public resources referred to funds originating from the state budget. The research results were published in a publication: Gender Equality in Finnish Film Production. The Division of Public Financing. Tarja Savolainen 2017. Center for Cultural Policy Research Cupore.
The study by Cupore indicated that the financing organisations do not report how the money is awarded per gender. One of the main suggestions was to create a database that would enable the monitoring of public film financing and the evaluation of gender equality. The Finnish Film Foundation and public broadcaster YLE have since started these databases.