The Mill Valley Film Festival (MVFF) will honor Anna Serner, CEO, Swedish Film Institute, with its Mind the Gap Award at the 42nd Festival in October. This award recognizes those persons whose work and leadership inspires the movement towards greater equity in film—Serner is recognized internationally as a leader in gender equality in film production and exhibition. In conjunction with honoring Serner, MVFF42 will produce a Swedish Focus of recent films from the country.

Serner will also speak at the Festival’s annual Mind the Gap Summit which takes place on Saturday, October 5, with “money” as a new theme for this year’s Festival. The Swedish Film Institute, under Serner’s leadership, published a report in 2018 entitled “The Money Issue” which explores how finances and investments in the film industry are distributed, and how that translates to working conditions for male and female filmmakers.

“We hear frequently from women filmmakers that ‘money’ is a major issue for them. That includes film financing, pay equity, and power dynamics,” said Zoë Elton, MVFF Director of Programming and founder of MVFF’s Mind the Gap gender equity initiative. “With this in mind, our annual Mind the Gap Summit will focus on these topics, offering women filmmakers a practical guide on how to improve in this area,” Elton added.

For the past five years, MVFF’s Mind The Gap initiative has been leading the charge in festivals towards closing the gender equity gap in Hollywood and the rest of the global film industry by providing an inclusive platform for emerging and established women filmmakers and content.