The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has recently signed contracts with a number of independent producers and broadcasters that were awarded production funding to make TV or Radio programmes through the Broadcasting Funding Scheme – Sound & Vision II.
The Broadcasting Funding Scheme – Sound & Vision II was established to provide funding in support of high quality programmes on Irish culture, heritage and experience, and programmes to improve adult literacy. The Broadcasting Act, 2009 also extended the scheme to offer funding towards programmes dealing with the themes of media literacy and global affairs and increased the percentage level of funding for the Scheme via the television licence fee to 7%.
Recently signed contracts include:
Gmarsh TV Productions will produce the six part series ‘In Good Hands’. Throughout the 70s and 80s, David Shaw Smith and his wife Sally captured the intricacy and brilliance of Irish craft in the landmark RTÉ series, Hands. Now 70, and still filming, Shaw Smith – one of the country’s finest archivists and filmakers – returns, 30 years on, to some of the crafts he featured in the original series, the artisans, and the next generation to whom most have passed the torch. The series will feature six artisan trades that survive in a world of mass production, cheap imports and next-day deliveries – eight businesses that have adapted old skills to the modern world: from elite saddler-makers to bespoke cobblers, metalworkers, furniture-makers, silversmiths, tailors and harp-makers. The series will be broadcast on RTÉ 1 and was awarded funding of €280,000 towards the cost of production.
Independent radio producer Brian Gallagher has been awarded funding for two separate documentaries. €4,497 will go towards the production of ‘Brewery Days’, which focuses on the familiar story of a teenager who leaves school at the age of 14 to work in Guinness in the 1950’s. This one hour radio documentary takes a look at Dublin at a time when Guinness was one of the biggest employers in the city, and will be broadcast on East Coast FM in the autumn. Brian will also produce also a very different radio documentary, ‘Write to Read’. This fly on the wall radio documentary follows a group of children in a disadvantaged school on the North-side of Dublin, who are participating in a programme called Write to Read, which aims to improve literacy levels of disadvantaged children and will be broadcast on Newstalk 106-108FM. The project received funding of €4,671.
Donegal based production company, Real Films Ltd, received funding of €19,349 towards the production of ‘The Moon is an Orange Triangle’. This series aims to provide the listeners of Highland Radio with a unique insight into the worlds of seven autistic children. Three families have granted the production company full access to their lives and the series will be recorded over an eight month period.
West Dublin Access Radio received funding of €8000 to produce ‘Cá Bhfuil an Obair’. This four part series will focus its attention on providing career guidance to transition year students, specifically identifying and exploring potential career paths in sectors where fluency in the Irish language is a required core competence. This investigative series of programmes will be produced, researched, and presented by transition year students from Coláiste Chillian, in Clondalkin and St. Dominick’s Secondary School, in Ballyfermot, in conjunction with a technical and production team from West Dublin Access Radio.
LMFM Radio received funding towards the production of two documentaries. €3,700 was awarded for the production of ‘The Story of Dundalk Pile Lighthouse’. Like other lighthouses around the country, the introduction of new technology has affected the operation of these historical buildings. LMFM will trace the history of the lighthouse and talk to some of the people who have worked on it. LMFM will also produce a documentary telling the fascinating story of the Rundle Family who resided in Clogherhead, Co. Louth in the late 1800’s. ‘The Rundles of Clogherhead’ will offer listeners a unique insight into life in the village around that time. Produced by Deirdre Hurley, the station received a grant of €3,780 to produce this documentary.
Meanwhile, Dublin based Raven Productions has been awarded €15,400 to produce ‘Scléip’. This five part radio series will track the excitement, nerves, talent and ultimate winners of Scléip, the annual talent contest which is the highlight of the Gaelscoileanna interschool social calendar. Each episode will be an hour long, and will be broadcast on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.
‘Home News’, produced by journalist and broadcaster Brian O’Connell will focus on several Irish newspapers outside the Republic of Ireland and their readers. This five part series will see Brian travel to Sydney, New York, London and Belfast, as he discovers the importance of home news for the Irish diaspora, and examines how the newer online publications are catering for their needs. The project received funding of €19,000 and will be broadcast in autumn 2012 on RTÉ Radio One.
Radio producer Caroline Brennan has been awarded €6,000 towards the production of ‘The Amulet’. This radio documentary documents the collaborative work of Visual Artist, Marie Brett with a group of women who have all suffered bereavement through the loss of an infant. Two years after their loss, the Project explores the concept of an amulet as a signifier of ethereal farewell. The programme also reflects upon how far we as a society have come in recognising and celebrating little lives lost. The documentary will be broadcast on both Dublin City FM and CRY (Community Radio Youghal).
A further €3,500 has been awarded to Heather MacLeod, for the production of ‘Diabetes: the forgotten type ones’. This documentary will discuss the difference between Type One and Type Two Diabetes, their frequencies in Ireland, and the ways in which the latter has taken precedence in the media. This one hour programme will be broadcast on Dublin City FM.
Meanwhile, Paul Wright has been granted funding towards the production of two radio series which are both also to be broadcast on Dublin City FM. €13,800 has been granted for the production of ‘The Untold Story Of John Devoy & America’s Fight For Irish Freedom’; a three part documentary series which investigates all the key aspects of the remarkable life-story of John Devoy and how he unified Irish America behind the struggle for Irish Freedom in the fifty-year period leading up to the formation of the Irish Free State in 1922. Paul also received funding of €12,000 towards the making of a three part radio series entitled ‘Celebrating Saint Brigid’. This series investigates the historic figure that is St.Brigid, as well as how her legacy endures into our modern times and will be broadcast on Dublin City FM.
Radio producer Doireann Ní Bhriain will make the four part series, ‘Age and the City’; a series about ageing in an urban context. Through the stories of older residents of Dublin, Belfast and Cork, the listener will learn about age-friendly cities, and get an inside view of some of the issues that concern our ageing population, including mobility and transport, housing and health, creativity and the benefits of technology. The project received funding of €14,776. The same producer will also make ‘Music Generation’. This exciting series will bring music education to young people all over Ireland. Its innovative approach is already in place in several counties, and the programme features some of those involved in Mayo, Louth and Sligo, as well as some well-known performers who look back at their own music education. The project received funding of €8,500. Both series’ will be broadcast on RTÉ Radio One.
Dublin Community Radio station Near FM has been granted €8,800 toward the production of ‘Summer in the suburbs’.This unique series will feature four outside broadcasts from family fun day festivals around the capital, which will take place throughout the summer months. The series will be produced by Dorothee Meyer-Holtkamp. Another Near FM project ‘Rivitin’ History’ also received funding of €8,800 towards production. This is a series of mock history programmes from the pen of well-known local writer, Pat Meehan. This ambitious series will be produced, acted and directed by the local Near Drama Company. Near FM also received funding of €10,000 to produce ‘Not for the Money’. This is a series of short feature documentaries about organisations that are run exclusively by volunteers. This six part series will feature a range of volunteer led projects in the area ranging from the transformation of a former dump into a community garden; to the care of abandoned animals; to the running of alternative cultural events.
Another Dublin community radio station to receive funding is Dublin South FM. €12,266 was awarded towards the production of ‘Reaching Out’, a series of 26 one-on-one interviews with the aim of highlighting less well known services in the community, and raising awareness about the services they offer.
Elsewhere, community station Dundalk FM has received funding to produce ‘Ruaille Buaille’, which is a series of 20 Irish language programmes. Each programme will feature a panel of three guests: one to be an Irish speaker; one to be a local musician / poet; and one to be a listener, who wants to relearn the language. Produced by Alan Byrne, this series received funding of €9,000.
Finally, Conor O’Toole, from UCC FM, the college radio station at University College Cork, has been awarded €6,300, to produce ‘Church Art and Architecture in Cork’. This four part documentary series aims to reveal the background and history to the artistic and design features of four familiar landmark Catholic churches in Cork City to the general public. Through interviews and on-location recordings, the series will develop a coherent narrative, comparing artistic and architectural features of the different churches, and how they relate to the surroundings of the local community, and to the culture and historical heritage of the city in general.