Film, like all cultural expressions, contributes to public debate. Thus, questions of who is permitted to make films and what messages can be communicated are important. From this point of view, the longstanding male dominance in the film industry is problematic. This project departs from a theoretical understanding of film and filmmaking as a system of representations. In feminist Film Studies,representation refers to how women and gender relations are portrayed in film, but representation can also be understood in terms of women’s presence in the film industry. Focusing on significant moments in film history, the aim is to investigate the gendered character of the system of representation in Swedish film. How does the presence of women filmmakers impact the representation of women on the screen? In which conditions and on what terms do women’s films gain access to the public sphere?

The project will analyze instances where women in film culture have acted for change and identify political, social, legal, economic and cultural conditions that have circumscribed women’s work. The main contribution of the project is its multi-disciplinary approach which enables a discussion of links between women filmmakers, their working conditions, the films produced and how they enter the public sphere. Combining the disciplines of Film, Politics and Law enables the development of a theoretical framework that connects relevant debates around cultural and political representation.