Nordic Women in Film is a knowledge bank and source of inspiration about women in Swedish film. A collection of name entries, topical portraits, in-depth articles, interviews, film clips and news intended to disseminate knowledge and awareness of women’s professional contributions to film, from both a historical and present-day perspective.

Our focus is on telling a largely unknown story, that of the role and significance of women in film history. Film history as we know it is dominated by men. In the early days of film there was a relatively high proportion of women working in the industry, in all sorts of creative and below-the line functions. With the rise of the talkies their numbers decreased.  Even though there certainly were pioneers and women active in filmmaking during the following decades, the surge of women directors didn’t happen until the 1970’s. It is time to showcase all these women, to accord the stories and professional competencies of women in Swedish film history their rightful place, and to take a closer look at films and contributions that have been forgotten, neglected – or perhaps written off by a male corps of critics.

Our ambition is to try to set the record straight by re-writing the history of moving pictures in the Nordic region from a feminist point of view. We want to enrich film history, fill in gaps and allow more people to take part in creating that history in the future.

Who do you think should take their place in film history? Who has inspired you as a filmmaker? Get in touch and tell us: nordicwomeninfilm@filminstitutet.se

The illustrations (where no portrait images are available to us) are by Siri Hagerfors.


The History of Nordic Women’s Literature, a collected work in five volumes about Nordic women writers, provided the original inspiration for Nordic Women in Film. Tove Torbiörnsson, a documentary filmmaker, film commissioner and, at the time of her death in 2015, head of department at the Swedish Film Institute, was the initiator of the website. The initiative is part of the Film Institute’s work to promote equality.

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