Film Board says funding needs to be doubled to €20m
The Government needs to double the film industry's capital funding to €20m to allow it to compete, the Irish Film Board (IFB) has warned.
Calling for an immediate restoration of its pre-recession budget, the IFB said Irish films had taken in €125m at the global box office during the past 18 months.
But successive governments have cut the board's funding for film, animation and television drama projects by 44pc since 2008, reducing the current level of funding to €11.2m.
"Look at what we've done with limited funding . . . and just imagine what we could do if we had the funding needed to take the industry forward," said Dr Annie Doona, IFB chairperson designate.
The IFB said Brexit was a worrying concern.
"Anything that prevents free trade or free movement is a problem for us," said Ms Doona.
"We're not entirely sure what's going to happen yet, but anything that makes us less competitive is going to be a problem."
She was speaking at the launch of the board's five-year strategy plan following what she called an "unprecedented year of critical and commercial success".
Dr Doona urged the Government to pledge the "immediate restoration of pre-recession funding to at least €20m" in the next Budget.
She voiced a desire to build on recent achievements, which have seen Irish-supported films receive a record number of Oscar nominations at this year's Academy Awards.
The IFB chairwoman designate said she was encouraged by recent meetings with Heather Humphreys, the Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts and the Gaeltacht.
"The Minister has expressed support for us, but clearly the Government as a whole has funding priorities."
Among the key proposals mentioned by the IFB in its strategy plan was a desire to improve the gender parity among Irish film makers and writers.
The board is aiming for a 50/50 split in Ireland's film industry by 2020.