Galway City of Film Seminar ‘The Business of Documentary: An Irish and Nordic Perspective’

Galway City of Film has announced details of its upcoming seminar ‘The Business of Documentary Making: An Irish & Nordic Perspective’ in association with Galway Film Centre, Screen Training Ireland and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

This one day seminar on Wednesday 12th October in the Harbour Hotel in Galway City will look at different aspects of the business-side of documentary making. It will examine both Irish and Nordic experiences; though many miles apart, both areas face similar challenges. The day will be an insight into how both regions do the business of documentary and what we can learn from each-other.

The first session of the day from 10am to 11.30am will be Producing People, Swedish Style. This panel will discuss Producing People, a new initiative from Film i Skåne, where four emerging producers from the Skåne region (South Sweden) will be mentored and supported for one year to springboard to the next level. The four producers will talk about how they navigate the career pathway of a producer in their country and in Europe in general. There will also be a presentation of the Nordic Film Fund and the work of Film i Skåne. as a regional film fund and some insight into funding structures for creative documentaries in the Nordic countries. Lisa Nyed from Film i Skåne will talk with Ann Lundberg, Caroline Drab and Sofie Palage, three young Swedish Producers from the Producing People Scheme. The session will be chaired by Irish filmmaker Niamh Heery.

The second session The Irish Funding Model will run from 11.45am to 1pm. This panel will briefly look at the Irish funding opportunities for documentary makers with representatives from the Irish Film Board, TG4, RTÉ and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland. The panel will feature James Hickey from the IFB, Ciarán Kissane from the BAI and Proinsias Ní Ghráinne from TG4 and the session will be chaired by Paddy Hayes of Magamedia.

A Networking Lunch will take place from 1pm to 2pm and the cost is included in the ticket price of the event.

The final session of the day from 2pm to 3.30pm will feature Atlantic: A Case Study of an Irish/Norwegian/Canadian Co-Production. This panel will examine how the award winning documentary, Atlantic, was co-produced and Risteard Ó Domhnaill Producer/Director of both Atlantic and The Pipe will be in conversation with Karl Emil Rikardsen, Co-producer, Atlantic. The panel will be chaired by Irish filmmaker Ross Whitaker.

For more information on the speakers and details of the day please see:

Tickets for the full-day event are priced at €30 (waged) and €25 (unwaged/members of Galway Film Centre).

TO BOOK: please email or call 091 770748.


Latest BAI Sound & Vision Funding Round Announced


The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced details of the latest package of recommendations under the Sound & Vision Scheme to have been ratified by the Authority at its most recent meeting.

Funding amounting to €5.109m has been allocated to 123 projects.   Of this, €4.386m has been allocated to 24 TV projects, while 99 radio projects will benefit to the value of €723,000.

In all, 310 applications seeking €29.5m and covering 25 different genre/format categories were received by the closing date of March 5th, the highest for any round to date.

With regard to the funding allocated, documentary was the most supported format in radio, while drama was the most supported in television.  In anticipation of the centenary of the 1916 rising, a number of applications, particularly dramas linked to 1916, were received.  Three television drama series focused on the 1916 rising have been allocated substantial funding, one each for transmission on RTÉ 1, TG4 and TV3.

  • The RTÉ 1 project is ‘Generation’, a five part series focused on the three weeks around the rising, but which will also put these events into a global context.
  • The TG4 project is a ‘Súil Eile’ take on the rising. ‘Wrecking the Rising’ follows three accidental time travellers whose presence in Dublin threatens to change the course of history.
  • ‘Trial of the Century’ on TV3 will explore what would have happened if the leaders of the rising had actually been put on trial.

The BAI will now commence contract negotiations with all successful applications.  A full list of the projects being offered funding is available here


BAI Hosts Discussion on Programme Standards in the Broadcast Media


“Ireland is changing; broadcasting standards are not black and white; and respect for the individual and groups in society matters most to viewers and listeners”.

These are the key findings of new research into public attitudes regarding programme standards in the broadcast media. The research was carried out by IpsosMRBI on behalf of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) and the findings were presented as part of a ‘conversation’ on broadcasting standards that was hosted by the BAI today.

During the event, the BAI heard the views of broadcasters, programme makers, civil society groups and members of the public. The event also featured input from Andrea Millwood-Hargrave, a renowned broadcasting standards expert, who provided insights into the concept of a community standard and the broader international experience in this area.

Speaking about the event, Bob Collins, Chairperson of the BAI said: “The BAI has always regarded the public as its key stakeholder group. What the research undertaken by IpsosMRBI shows is that attitudes are not static. What may have been regarded as being offensive in the past may offend fewer now; and what may have been regarded as acceptable some years ago, may now cause considerable offence. In setting and implementing standards the BAI and broadcasters must have due regard to changing attitudes among the viewing and listening public.”

“The research shows a mature and informed viewing and listening public, with many willing to accept the reality that they may be offended by something that is not regarded by others as being ‘offensive’. The majority of those polled agreed with the statement that ‘broadcasters should cater for all tastes even if some of these programmes offend me’.

“The conversation we are having today is just the beginning of the process of redrafting the Code of Programme Standards. There will be full consultation with the public and with broadcasters over the coming months and everyone will have an opportunity to make their views known”, Mr. Collins said.


Ireland is changing; broadcasting standards are not black and white; and respect for the individual and groups in society matters most to viewers and listeners.
61% of those polled regarded themselves as fairly or very liberal, while 37% regarded themselves as being fairly or very conservative.
71% agreed strongly or slightly with the statement broadcasters should cater for all tastes even if some of these programmes offend me’.
80% were offended by scenes/descriptions of rape/sexual assault or cruelty; 50% by explicit/graphic images; and 30% by comedy or reality TV.
81% agreed either strongly or slightly with the statement: ‘I have different expectations of different channels in terms of the type of content they broadcast.’.
Watersheds and pre-warnings are still regarded as good ideas and are the preferred restrictions. The majority agree that broadcasters should bear full responsibility for what children see.
26% are regularly or occasionally offended by how lesbian/gays/bisexual and transgender people are portrayed on TV. Figures for portrayal of other groups include women (25%); people with disabilities (24%) and immigrants and travellers (both 23%).
In terms of language used, the words that people find most offensive are those relating to race, ethnic origin or sexual orientation.
In 1987, 60% of people stated they would miss the church if it was gone, compared to 34% who would miss TV. In 2012 only 30% stated they would definitely miss the church while 55% would miss TV.
71% claimed to be very or fairly computer literate, but there were significant differences among the age groups. While 95% of those between 18 and 34 placed themselves in this category, just 35% of those aged 55+ did so.
The vast majority of people (85.4%) watched TV at home in the traditional way, with one in two having watched something pre-recorded on their TV in the previous week.
There has been a significant increase over the past three years in people’s use of the social media but this growth shows some sign of tapering off over recent months.

Further details of the research are available at the following link:

* Most of these findings were based on face to face interviews with 1,000 people aged 15+ carried out during October and November 2013. The research was complemented by an IpsosMRBI Attitudes and Values Survey undertaken in 2012.


BAI at the The Galway Film Fleadh 2013



The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced details of its partnership with the Galway Film Fleadh 2013.
Once again, the BAI is one of the main industry supporters of the popular ‘Film Fair Market’ which facilitates meetings between film makers, producers, financiers, distributors and broadcasters. Other events being supported by the BAI include actor’s master classes, screenwriting master classes, casting workshops and the pitching awards. The BAI has also partnered with Media Antenna Galway to hold a panel discussion during the Fleadh that will focus on opportunities for the independent production sector.
In addition, the Fleadh screening programme features a number of projects which received production funding from the BAI via the Broadcasting Funding Scheme;The Sea An Léigear 1922 (The Siege 1922)Run & JumpAn Bhean a Shúil Trasna MheiriceáLife’s a BreezeA Fighting Heart/Croí Trodach
Speaking ahead of the Fleadh, Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the BAI said; “The Galway Film Fleadh continues to provide a unique opportunity for the film, broadcasting and creative communities to meet and discuss developments, trends and opportunities for independent production and broadcasting. We are especially pleased to see a variety of BAI projects being included in the screening programme this year.” Further information including screening times is available at




Call For: BAI – applications for Archiving of Programme Material

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today issued a call for applications under its Funding Scheme for the Archiving of Programme Material (“Archiving Scheme”).  The Scheme has been designed to provide funding support for the development of an archiving culture in the Irish broadcasting sector, contributing to the preservation of Ireland’s broadcasting heritage.  It is funded through a percentage of the annual Broadcasting Fund.

The first round of the Archiving Scheme is seeking high quality proposals for the archiving of programme material which preserves a historic record of Irish culture, heritage and experience.  There is a particular focus in the current round on historic programme material which is under threat either through its fragile physical condition or it existence on a soon to be obsolete format.  A total of €1.4m has been allocated to support applications in the current round.

The Archiving Scheme is open to a range of individuals and institutions including broadcasters, advertisers, persons/institutions in possession of relevant material, persons/institutions capable of carrying out work on archiving material considered to be of value to the State, and persons/institutions capable of furthering the Archiving Scheme’s objectives.

To assist with the application process, the BAI has developed guidelines for applicants which, together with an application form, are available on the Authority’s website or on request from

The closing date for receipt of applications is 12 noon on Thursday, 11th April 2013.  Any queries relating to the Archiving Scheme should be directed to

To view the Guide and the Application Form, go to:


BAI announce funding decisions from the latest round of Sound & Vision II

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today, 10th October 2012, announced funding decisions from the latest round of Sound & Vision II – the Broadcasting Funding Scheme. A total of 79 projects have been offered funding.

Round 15 of the Scheme accepted applications for both Television and Radio projects.216 applications requesting €12.7 million were received.

A total of €4,514,398 has been offered to broadcasters and independent producers to support the production of 64 Radio and 15 TV projects. When completed, the funded projects will be broadcast by a range of community, commercial and public service broadcasters across the country. All of the projects being offered funding will explore the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience.

Highlights of this funding round include:

  • An increase in the amount of drama being funded on both radio and television with 11 projects supported on this occasion;
  • The round also includes funding for adult/media literacy projects and animation projects;
  • €1.4 million is being allocated to fund 7 Irish or bi-lingual projects;
  • 34 of the projects will be broadcast on Commercial broadcasting services, 29 will be broadcast on Community broadcasting services while 16 will be broadcast by Public Service broadcasters.

Speaking about the announcement, Michael O’Keeffe, Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland said:“This round was particularly noteworthy for the high level of qualifying applications that were received.In order to partly address this, the BAI made an additional €1 million available in the round.However, given the competitive nature of the Scheme, it was inevitable that some very worthy projects did not make the final cut on this occasion.

The allocation again represents a significant investment of funding, financed by the Television license fee, directly to the broadcasting and audiovisual production sectors in Ireland.To date in 2012, funding totalling €13.4 million has been offered by the Scheme to 185 radio projects and 60 television projects.The provision of such funding will result in an increased range of high quality television and radio programmes being made available to Irish audiences.”

The BAI will now commence contract negotiations with all successful applicants.A full list of the projects being offered funding is available at:

Meanwhile, the BAI has received over 200 applications for funding under Round 16 of the Scheme which closed in September.It is envisaged that the outcomes of this round will be announced before the end of the year.The BAI expects to announce details of closing dates for 2013 in November.


Broadcasting Funding Scheme update: 21 BAI funded projects commence production


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.



BAI launch Community Broadcasting Support Scheme 2012.


The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has  launched its Community Broadcasting Support Scheme 2012.

This Scheme is open to licensed community and community of interest radio and television stations. The aim of the Scheme is to award funding grants which enable community broadcasters to evaluate and review the operation and effectiveness of their services. Evaluations funded by the Scheme can either address internal issues e.g. supporting stations with organisational development issues or focus on external issues such as aiding community broadcasters to take a closer look at the communities that they are licensed to serve.

Commenting on the launch of this year’s scheme, Michael O’Keeffe, BAI Chief Executive said: “The BAI is very pleased to continue its support of the community broadcasting sector through its Community Broadcasting Support Scheme. This Scheme is invaluable in providing a mechanism for community broadcasters to undertake quality evaluations looking at their own ways of working or to examine their existing relationships with their target audiences. We believe that the provision of funding again this year will continue to enhance the development of the community broadcasting sector even further”.

The Scheme is operated by the BAI through its Sectoral Learning and Development function. This year, a budget of €36,000 is available for both the operation and funding of the Scheme. The closing date for completed applications to be submitted to the BAI is 18th May 2012.

An information booklet and copy of the application form can be accessed in English here or as Gaeilge anseo