Girls film!

Girls Film! is a week-long course where girls learn the basics of filmmaking. Many factors make girls less likely to be adventurous and to continue testing themselves in filmmaking and make their voices heard. Girls Film! contributes to correct this gender gap, by providing a safe space where girls can develop their talents, cultivate their inner creativity and form relationships with female role models.

Girls Film! has been successfully held four times – in 2015, 2016, 2020 and 2022. The course, originally only held in Reykjavík, was intended for girls in the 8th and 9th primary school grades (ages 14-15). One teacher from each school was invited to observe the course, with experienced female filmmakers teaching girls a dynamic and hands-on approach to filmmaking. Each school produced one short film, up to five minutes long. All the short films were then screened at the festival.

Girls Film! bases its ideology on Girls Rock Workshop. The main purpose is to create a safe space for girls, where they can experiment and tell their stories. Girls Film! celebrates diversity and inclusion. There is zero tolerance for prejudice, violence and discrimination on the basis of performance, gender identity, background, origin, financial status or other variables.

To teach the girls the basics of filmmaking. — To introduce the girls to female role models. — To provide the girls with a platform where they can be heard.

Our hope is that, with this course, more girls will get behind the camera, contributing to a better representation of girls and women in the filmmaking industry.

Girls Film! 2015 - 2022

Around 70 girls per edition participated in the Girls Film! workshop at the Reykjavík Nordic House . During the course they learned the basics of filmmaking and made their first short film under the guidance of film industry professionals. Since2015 the workshop has been held by RIFF in collaboration with the City of Reykjavík’s School and Leisure Department and Mixtúra.  

Some of the most experienced screenwriters and filmmakers in the country shared their knowledge with the girls. Teachers included screenwriter Margrét Örnólfsdóttir, actress and director Nanna Kristín Magnúsdóttir, filmmaker Anna Sæunn Ólafsdóttir, editor Valdís Óskarsdóttir, Project Manager for the City’s Gender Equality Act Kolbrún Hrund, filmmaker Erla Stefánsdóttir, director and producer Baltasar Kormákur, and producer Margrét Jónasdóttir.

Thanks to a large grant from the Children’s Culture Fund of Iceland, RIFF will also be able to bring the Girls Film! workshop to the countryside for the first time. In the spring 2022 RIFF will bring the workshop to seven different parts of the country in cooperation with the local municipalities.

Photos from the 2022 workshop in Borgarnes

Photos from the 2022 workshop in Reykjanesbær

Photos from the 2020 workshop - Nordic House

Photos from the 2020 screening in Háskólabíó

Photos from the 2020 screening in Bíó Paradís

Films from the 2020 workshop

Ertu góð – Sæmundarskóli
Týndar – Dalskóli
Jákvætt – Hagaskóli
Ég er drengur – Suðurhlíðaskóli
Heimaskjól – Laugalækjarskóli
Beint í mark – Háteigsskóli
Skugginn – Vogaskóli
What – Austurbæjarskóli
Leitin að súkkulaðinu – Fellaskóli

Quotes from teachers who participated in the workshop Girls Film

“I was so lucky to take my students to the Girls Film course. This course was extremely well structured, varied and interesting. I witnessed invaluable learning, meaningful work, and entertainment. Several times before I’ve taken similar courses run by RIFF, they’ve always been fun but this was by far the best I have taken. It was also interesting to have a gender division. The work went extremely well and there were far fewer collisions, than I expected, among the students. I found my girls to be incredibly successful and learn a lot during this course. They were all very happy and ready to work hard. The lecturers and teachers were excellent and sparked great interest among the students.”​

“The course was very successful, the girls were happy and surely the education they received will do them good in the future. Girls film is very useful for girls who are in their adolescence. They are at a vulnerable age as many things in society affect them and shape their attitudes and self-image. Girls film gives them strength and builds up their self-confidence. In addition, the course was useful for teachers. ”​

“The course "Girls film" was a very professional and well-organized course, there were professionals for each area of work. The girls learned a lot in a short time and gained a general and concise knowledge of everything that is important in filmmaking. The course also tested a great deal on the girls' independent work methods, which was very good. Girls and boys in 8th and 9th grade are at a vulnerable age, so it is often good for the sexes to work separately so that they can enjoy themselves on their own terms without the hormones controlling too much. This age is also good for courses like these, as these times are great formative years and much that is sown during these years will bear fruit in the future. I hope courses like these will prosper and develop in the coming years.”

“This was a fantastic course and useful for the girls, and great for them to have the opportunity to be just girls. The course is relevant for both sexes and it would be good if the sexes were mixed together, but then it would be necessary to make sure that the sexes get equal opportunities for the projects. The girls really enjoyed the course and they thought it was a big opportunity. The course is definitely encouraging for the girls to continue in filmmaking as they received good guidance during the course and were rewarded at the end as they got to show their families the results in a cinema. In addition, they received positive attention at school. It was extremely well done and it would be great if more students had the opportunity to participate.”​