Swedish Film Institute & Netherlands Film Fund Launch International Fund to Support Underserved Filmmakers

The Swedish Film Institute and the Netherlands Film Fund are partnering on an initiative designed to support filmmakers who are too often denied funding. A press release announced that the two orgs have launched New Dawn, an international fund that “aims to provide production funding and networks for groups of filmmakers that have traditionally found it hard to get financing for their projects.”

Eight film funds have joined New Dawn so far — Netherlands, Sweden, Slovenia, Denmark, Finland, French and Flemish Belgium, and Luxembourg — and are finalizing its criteria. More countries are expected to board this fall, when New Dawn will be introduced at an international film fest’s market.

“I am convinced that if we truly want a vibrant, open, and inclusive film industry that embraces multiple perspectives of filmmaking, we need to tackle the inherent obstacles not just nationally but also on an international level,” said Bero Beyer, CEO of the Netherlands Film Fund. “So I contacted Anna Serner and the Swedish Film Institute, whom I believe to be trailblazers in going from talking to acting on matters of equality and inclusion, to discuss that international angle. Together we reached out to many other public funders and it was both thrilling and inspiring to see such strong support from so many countries, that acknowledge the need and urgency of the New Dawn initiative, and are willing to back it up in spirit and with money.”

Serner, CEO of the Swedish Film Institute, added, “There is a vast number of new perspectives and narrative voices which we need to bring out into the light. The film industry is still a closed shop founded on old networks. More filmmakers need to be let in if the film industry is to be as vibrant, exciting, and important as it can be. The film industry has become more aware of how closed its world is since #metoo and Black Lives Matter. There has been broad consensus to date that we must start finding these new voices.”

Applications for New Dawn will open next spring. Projects must be feature-length (60 minutes or more) documentaries or narrative films with an underrepresented (i.e from a group the United Nations Human Rights Act defines as a discriminated group) director, producer, and/or screenwriter. Selected projects will receive access to networking activities in addition to funding.

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