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International Rebate Scheme Launched for Gender-Balanced Film and TV Projects

A rebate program for film and TV projects that give women an equal shot was launched internationally Friday at the Berlin Film Festival. The 10% for 50/50 campaign began in Sweden at the Goteborg Film Festival.

Under the scheme, production, post-production and facility houses and other service providers who have signed up will offer a 10% rebate to projects that can demonstrate a gender balance. That is done by accumulating points in various categories relating to the makeup of the cast and crew and spanning areas including heads of department, producers, directors, and writers.

The hope is that offering a financial incentive will win over cash-conscious producers. “The truth is everything is decided on the bottom line,” said film and TV producer Gale Anne Hurd (“The Walking Dead”), who spoke at the launch event. “If you have 10% from a number of companies, that really adds up in a significant way.”

The initiative is the brainchild of Helene Granqvist, president of Women in Film & Television International, and Theo Lindberg, a partner at post-production outfit Chimney. Granqvist told Variety she had been surprised at how easy it had been to get the first wave of companies on board. There are currently 21 signatories, several of whom have joined in the past few days, mostly hailing from Scandinavia at the moment.

The eight criteria are defined by ReFrame, a program created by Women in Film LA and the Sundance Institute to achieve gender parity in the film industry.

Hurd also used her appearance to demand greater equality for behind-the-camera and behind-the-scenes female talent. “The other change I’d like to see more of is behind the camera and in all of the different craft departments,” she said. “I think we need more training programs….We need initiatives there. That’s something I’d like to help out with.”

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