Wednesday 22 November 2017

Calls for Irish Film Board to have funding restored to €20m

Screen Producers Ireland says the Film Board needs funding to keep making hits like ‘Brooklyn’
Screen Producers Ireland says the Film Board needs funding to keep making hits like ‘Brooklyn’
Michael Cogley

Michael Cogley

Screen Producers Ireland (SPI) has called on the Government to reverse cuts made to the Irish Film Board's budget between 2008 and 2014 in next Tuesday's Budget.

State capital funding to the Irish Film Board (IFB) plummeted by 40pc during the six-year period. The call comes after the new RTE director general, Dee Forbes, said she wanted to put a greater emphasis on developing Irish drama. SPI said Ireland would lose out on high-value jobs in the indigenous film and television sector if funding isn't substantially increased in next week's Budget.

Chief executive Barbara Galavan urged Finance Minister Michael Noonan to prioritise the board's funding.

"We appreciate that there are many demands on minister Noonan's chequebook come Tuesday but we believe that investing in indigenous productions through increased IFB funding will deliver a significant net benefit for the economy. Indigenous producers provide high value jobs, shape our national and cultural identity and market Ireland abroad," she said.

Ms Galavan argued that the cuts have had a significant impact on the sector, reducing the number of opportunities to creative talent in Ireland.

SPI wants the board's budget restored to €20m so that it can "compete on a level playing field with their international counterparts".

"It offers a pivotal opportunity for this government to show it is committed to supporting the creative industries and to nurturing growth in the indigenous production sector.

"Increasing the funding available to producers will result in significant economic and cultural dividends."

Irish Independent

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