09 July, 2006

New funding policy at the Irish Film Board

The Irish Film Board (IFB) will encourage funding applicants to submit projects earlier in the development process, its executives announced at a presentation last week. James Morris, the Chairman, and Simon Perry, the new CEO, introduced a range of new policies and procedures that came into effect on 1 July.

The IFB said it will prefer that applicants (producers, writers or directors) apply earlier in a project's trajectory, "when the project exists only as an idea, an outline or a treatment". The IFB can then get on board for shared development and support a project through production. The board said it aims to support films that might not otherwise be made without its involvement and that it would make priorities for considerations on content, provenance or economic benefit to the industry.

Strong preference will be given to projects that are of ‘Irish initiation’, that is conceived, written and to be directed by Irish talents; that tell Irish stories, drawing on and depicting Ireland’s culture; and that entail new Irish filmmaking talent in key creative roles. The IFB will also give "serious attention" to submissions which propose a strongly Irish project that is to be directed by a non-Irish talent, only by directors with strong track records.

The funding body will consider films where an Irish producer is a minority co-producer but only on quality projects where IFB investment will be spent on Irish elements and the majority co-producer will be committed to act as a minority co-producer on a future Irish film.

IFB says it will be vigilant that it invests in films that will employ Irish personnel and sustain the Irish film industry. But the board noted that a film’s quality, not just its Irish hirings, would be a decisive factor.

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