Sunday 26 February 2017

Aspiring directors 'not making the cut for funding'

Paul Melia

Paul Melia

YOUNG filmmakers are struggling to get movies made because of a lack of funding.

Managing director of the Galway Film Fleadh, Miriam Allen, said yesterday that producers found it difficult to secure funding from private investors because the Irish Film Board was often slow in committing to projects. And a fund used to finance projects from first-time directors had "faded", she said.

Members of the board were told at a public forum held in Galway on Saturday that aspiring directors needed finance, and if the Film Board speeded up its decision-making process, producers might find it easier to secure funding from private investors because of the board's backing.

The Film Board should be the first to commit to projects, but in recent years it had been the last, she said. "We're all looking for money is the bottom line," she said. "People are trying to get their first feature off the ground but funding has faded. There are no low-budget films being made.

"I think it (the funding programme) will be back, it's a very sensible thing to have because its developing talent. It's vital."

Yesterday was the final day of the Galway Film Fleadh, now in its 17th year, and actors Matt Dillon, Ed Harris and John Hurt were in town to check out the emerging talent.

An actors' masterclass was presented by Patricia Clarkson and Campbell Scott, while scriptwriter and director Paul Schrader ('Taxi Driver', 'American Gigolo') was also in town.

But the six-day fleadh wasn't only about watching movies. Over 600 meetings between producers, directors and financiers were arranged, with a view to future production. "Every aspect of the film industry is wrapped up in the Fleadh," said Ms Allen.

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