Insignificant topic - women filmmakers in financing negotiations

Research output: Book/ReportBookProfessional


The study examines the experiences of female filmmakers in film and television development processes and financing negotiations. "Pieni aihe" (Insignificant topic), an informal working group of eight female film professional collected interviews, questionnaire responses and other descriptions from 40 professionals in the field in 2019. The aim of the working group was to study women's experiences of gender-based evaluation in the financing negotiations and development work of film and television projects, and how attitudes related to gender roles are reflected in the work culture of the industry.

Female filmmakers described discussions with funders, commissioners and other parties involved in the development of film and television projects. Both the women themselves and their works had been repeatedly subjected to explicit gender-specific evaluations. These focused mainly on three areas: the topic of the film suggested by the filmmaker, the characteristics of the protagonist or other characters in the plan, and the filmmaker's own personality and gender. The assessment situations had repeatedly included offensive and derogatory speech about femininity, traits perceived as feminine and the female perspective. The filmmaker's projects were fiction films, documentaries and animated films.

The study describes the long-standing and, in part still prevailing discriminatory attitudes in the work culture of the film and television industry in Finland. Unconscious bias would not be a right term to describe the presence of these attitudes, since the bias can be openly articulated in everyday speech and action repeatedly. For female professionals, this has meant extra tensions and mental stress in work and negotiation situations.

Insignificant Topic work group: Inka Achté, Saara Cantell, Piia Hirvensalo, Hanna Lekander, Lotta Lindroos, Jaana Puhakka, Iiris Saaren-Seppälä ja Raija Talvio.
Translated title of the contributionInsignificant topic - women filmmakers in financing negotiations
Original languageFinnish
Place of PublicationEspoo
PublisherAalto University
Number of pages33
ISBN (Electronic)978-952-64-0089-1
Publication statusPublished - 13 Oct 2020
MoE publication typeD5 Text book, professional manual or guide or a dictionary

Publication series

NameAalto University publication series ART + DESIGN + ARCHITECTURE
ISSN (Print)1799-4853
ISSN (Electronic)1799-4861


  • elokuva, televisio, päätöksenteko, sukupuoli, film, television, decision making, gender

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