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Saturday 16 December 2017

Gleeson's Flann film shares in €7m grant windfall

Allison Bray

ACTOR Brendan Gleeson's long-awaited television adaptation of Flann O'Brien's 'At Swim-Two-Birds' with an all-star Irish cast is among 43 TV projects getting more than €7m in state funding this year.

A feature-length cartoon in both English and Irish by the same animators who received an Oscar nomination for 'The Secret of Kells' has also been given the green light by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI).

A total of €7,861,000 in state funding derived from our TV license fees will be allocated to the projects that will be broadcast on commercial, public service and community television stations.

The allocation is given each year by the BAI under the Broadcasting Funding Scheme. It was set up to fund programming that fosters Irish culture, heritage and life, using 7pc of annual TV license fee revenue.

This year, more than half of the funds -- a total of €4.2m -- has been granted to television production companies making 20 programmes for the Irish language station TG4.

RTE is to get just €1.5m to produce seven programmes.

Even though the number of fluent Irish speakers represent a minority of television viewers, the BAI said productions for TG4 this year overwhelmingly met the criteria for funding.

"It's basically the quality of the programme," he said.

Meanwhile, Dublin-based Parallel Films -- which has produced a string of homegrown hits including Neil Jordan's 'Breakfast on Pluto' -- is to get a €500,000 grant to produce 'At Swim-Two-Birds'.

The adaptation of the 1939 coming-of-age novel has an estimated €11m budget.

A-listers

The film is to the directorial debut for Gleeson, who will also star in it along with Irish A-listers Gabriel Bryne, Colin Farrell, Cillian Murphy and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.

Shooting is due to get under way early next year.

A six-part drama series set off the west coast of Ireland called 'An Bronntanas' is to receive €725,000 in funding.

Other projects include a documentary on contemporary Irish society called 'A Criminal in My Life', which is to receive €120,000 funding and will be aired on TV3.

The second installment of the RTE pub-quiz drama 'Trivia' will get €320,000 in funding. The series will air on RTE.

Irish Independent

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