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 three times – in 2015, 2016, and 2020. The course is intended for girls in 8th and 9th grade primary schools in Reykjavík (ages 14-15). One teacher from each school is invited to observe the course, where experienced female filmmakers teach girls a dynamic and hands-on approach to filmmaking. Each school produces one short film, up to 5 minutes long. All the short films are screened at the festival.

Girls film! bases its ideology on Girls Rock Workshop. The main emphasis is to create a safe space for girls, where they can experiment and have the opportunity to 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. 

Teach them the basics of filmmaking – Introduce them to female role models – Give them a platform so they can be heard.

Our hope is that with this course, we will see more girls behind the camera which will lead to a better representation of girls and women on screen.

Girls Film! 2020

Around 70 girls participated in the workshop Girls Film! at the Nordic House on 7-11 September 2020. During the course they learned the basics of filmmaking and made their first short film guided by professionals in the film industry. The course was held by RIFF in collaboration with the City of Reykjavík’s School and Leisure Department and Mixtúra. Many of the country’s most experienced screenwriters and filmmakers guided the girls, and the project. Teachers on the course 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.

Photos from the workshop

Photos from the screening

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.