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PRODUCTION Ireland

New funding procedures at the IFB

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James Morris, Chairman of the Irish Film Board, and CEO Simon Perry have just presented to the local film industry the film organisation’s new funding procedures and principles, in effect from July 1.

The changes have been introduced to encourage applicants to propose projects at an earlier stage (before the first draft of the screenplay) and seek an in-principle commitment of support from the IFB.

Funding decisions will no longer be made by a production panel meeting on a monthly basis, but on a rolling basis by a Project Group comprising all IFB production and development executives and, on an ad hoc basis, consultants chosen for their specific skills. Applications will be considered if the project has a director attached and is to be made by a bona fide production company based in Ireland or another EU state.

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Preference will be given to films of Irish initiative in a creative sense (conceived, written and to be directed by Irish talent), those that tell Irish stories or entail new Irish talent in key creative roles. The IFB will also give “serious attention” to quality projects to be directed by non-Irish talent but with strong Irish elements attached (characters or settings), to quality projects with a minority Irish co-producer attached, to projects where there is a commitment from the majority co-producer to reciprocate by acting as minority co-producer for a future Irish film.

Documentaries will be more rigorously assessed in terms of their theatrical potential or potential international festival exposure, and animation projects will be treated with more flexibility, in recognition both of the growing importance of Irish work in this field and of the narrowness of the theatrical market for the genre.

The Board recently increased its production, development and business affairs staff to respond to the expected increase of work following the introduction of those new rules.

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