Berlin: European Rebates to Address Gender Gap

Courtesy of WIFT Kisorsy

Producers that have gender-equal projects will receive a 10 percent discount on services from participating post houses and other service providers.

The Walking Dead producer Gale Anne Hurd on Friday said Hollywood's equality push is paying dividends as she helped unveil European incentives for female-led projects.

"There is momentum,’ she said at the Berlin Film Festival. “We need to keep pushing, we need to take this initial progress and make it not just a contemporary solution to a contemporary problem, but make it the face of the industry and all industries.”

Hurd spoke at the launch of 10% 50/50, a European rebates program that offers film and TV producers with gender-equal projects a 10 percent discount from participating production and post-production houses, facility houses and other service and technology providers.

The rebate, spearheaded by Women in Film and Television International and global post-production company Chimney, is offered to productions that fulfill a minimum of four out of eight criteria as defined by ReFrame, a program created by Women in Film LA and The Sundance Institute to achieve gender parity in the film industry. 

Hurd, whose credits also include Terminator, Fear the Walking Dead and the Amazon anthology series Lore, told THR that the Hollywood production business needs a fix when it comes to on- and off-screen representation for women, and money can help.

"I don't think it's all about spending. That's the encouragement and it has a huge impact," she said. "But it's not the only aspect. We need training program. We need mentors, we need people who are open to hiring people who aren't exactly like them."

Women in Film LA executive director Kirsten Schaffer, also in Berlin, seconded Hurd's endorsement of the evolution in Hollywood. "It does feel like things are changing," she said. "Now, while not quite at 50-50, things are more balanced, which means more women are being called in for jobs."

Theo Lindberg, a partner at Chimney, the Stockholm-based production and post-production services provider, is offering the 10 percent discount to gender-equal projects tapping his company's Los Angeles facility for services. "Ten percent for 50/50 is a great way for us to show that we take gender equality seriously. We want to provide a tool to incentivize space for women in the industry," Lindberg said.