The Irish Film Board announces new funding initiatives for female talent
by Naman Ramachandran
- The schemes are part of continuing strategies to foster gender equality
The Irish Film Board (IFB) has announced several new funding initiatives at the recently concluded Galway Film Fleadh, targeted at incentivising female writers, directors and producers, in order to increase female representation in the Irish film, television and animation industry. One of the initiatives is a Low-Budget Film Production and Training Scheme aimed at established and emerging female writers and directors. After a process of workshops, mentoring and training, the selected talent can apply for support to produce a feature film with a budget of up to €400,000 fully funded by the IFB, and film and television tax credit Section 481.
With effect from September 2017, the Enhanced Production Funding Scheme will provide support of up to €100,000 for fiction features that are creatively led by an Irish female writer(s), director(s) or writer-director. Under the Development Focus for Female-Initiated Feature Films Scheme, the IFB production and development team will review the Screenplay Development programme and announce amendments leading to gender parity.
Also in September, the IFB board will appoint a new Gender Equality and Diversity Subcommittee that will consult with external bodies and establish ongoing policies and guidelines in relation to the application process and funding arrangements, and will be responsible for their implementation and delivery. In addition, the IFB will celebrate achievements by female talent, increasing their visibility.
In December 2015, the IFB had introduced a “Six Point Gender Plan” in order to achieve 50/50 parity in three years, but applications have remained low in the feature sector. In the shorts sector, however, 70% of the IFB short films funded under the IFB Short Stories and Frameworks schemes that premiered at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh had female directors.
Dr Annie Doona, IFB chair, said, “These initiatives represent the continued commitment of the IFB to achieving gender parity within the film, television and animation sectors. We are of the view that whilst a lot has been achieved in developing the careers of female writers and directors, not enough has been achieved in relation to increasing the actual funding applications received by the IFB, with female talent attached. I believe these direct funding initiatives will incentivise an increased number of applications from female-led talent, and will support, empower and elevate Irish female talent working within the industry. 50/50 parity of funding remains our goal.”
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