‘Guiding Lights’ Call for applications

Lighthouse with the support of FÁS Screen Training Ireland and Bórd Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board are offering support for two eligible Irish applicants to participate in the next edition of Guiding Lights. They are now accepting applications from writers and directors to take part in a fourth round of the scheme, due to launch in June 2011.

Successful applicants will benefit from 9 months of one-to-one mentor support from an established practitioner. A number of industry training and networking events will also take place alongside the mentoring. Previous mentors include Danny Boyle, Sam Mendes, Barbara Broccoli, Paul Greengrass, Alex Garland, Kenneth Branagh, Alison Owen, Stephen Frears and Nick Hornby.

The deadline for applications is 5pm on Wednesday 4th May 2011. For further information about the scheme, eligibility criteria and application process, visit www.guiding-lights.org.uk


Give Me Direction Screenwriting Conference

Bord Scannan na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board has announced three guest curators as part of the Give Me Direction Screenwriting Conference 2010. The programme consists of a day and half of public interviews, debates, screenings and readings, on the topic of comedy in filmmaking.

Lenny Abrahamson (Adam & Paul, Garage, Prosperity), Sharon Horgan (Pulling, Angelo’s), and Pat McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto) will select some of the people they think are funny and smart who will in turn talk about and screen some of the things that they think are funny and smart.

The event will take place in Dublin from Thursday 17th – Friday 18th June 2010. Further details of the event and the release date for tickets will be announced shortly.

Give Me Direction is run in association with the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival.

For more information visit www.irishfilmboard.ie


BSÉ/IFB Statement on Irish Audiovisual Industry

Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (BSÉ/IFB) is concerned that the recommendations in the Report of Special Group on Public Service Numbers and Expenditure Programmes (An Bord Snip Nua), as they refer to BSÉ/IFB, could have substantial and unanticipated negative economic consequences outside of the immediate public sector area that is the primary focus of the Report.

To be clear, the Report recommends the abolition of the Irish Film Board, the winding-up of its investment funds and the transfer of its enterprise functions to Enterprise Ireland.
Government funding, provided directly to the sector through BSÉ/IFB (€18.8m in 2009), is a key component of the entire audiovisual content industry. A recent survey by Price Waterhouse Coopers valued Ireland’s audiovisual content industry at over half a billion euro per annum and found that it now offers permanent employment to over 6,000 individuals. The industry in turn supports an ecology that generates many other indirect employment benefits arising out of production activities around the country.
The immediate loss of employment that withdrawal of BSÉ/IFB funding will cause is likely to cost the State in excess of the sought after savings. Further, the strategic importance of Ireland’s content industries to the creation of a Smart Economy – as described in the Government’s recent policy paper “Building Ireland’s Smart Economy” – is also at risk of being undermined.

The funding provided through BSÉ/IFB attracts additional finance that today supports an increasing level of private sector employment. The growth potential of the audiovisual content industry, as an essential component of the Smart Economy strategy, represents one of the best prospects of employment for young people seeking jobs in the future. For these reasons we believe it is important, in the context of the immediate crisis in the public finances, to ask Government to consider carefully the economic impact and employment consequences of this particular recommendation.
To be taken into consideration also are the consequences for Ireland if it were to become the only developed country in the world producing no films for the cinema, and thereby losing the most powerful tool available for establishing and sustaining its cultural identity abroad. It is well understood by all countries that the projection of an image of a country, its people and its way of life onto the screens of the world pays direct dividends in terms of inward investment, trade in goods and services, and tourism. Almost one in two US tourists to Ireland now state that their decision to come was triggered by seeing Ireland in the movies.
If the case for maintaining an Irish audiovisual content industry stands up, then we can demonstrate that BSÉ/IFB, through the accumulated knowledge and expertise of its staff, and their core competence in managing the business of creativity, is fit for today’s purpose. The effectiveness of the agency’s policies and the efficiency of its operation, at a cost of 10% of its total annual funding, compare favourably when benchmarked against similar agencies in other European and English-speaking countries, as well as against other Irish State Agencies.


BSÉ/IFB and JDIFF Irish Screenwriting Conference

Tickets have sold out for Give Me Direction, the new conference focusing on the art and science of writing for the screen organised by the Irish Film Board, in partnership with the Jameson Dublin International Film Festival (JDIFF).

Attended by a mix of Irish and international guests, Give Me Direction will be an opportunity to champion great and original writing for the screen and to deepen BSÉ/IFB’s engagement in addressing industry concerns. Guests confirmed for the day include Shane Black (Lethal Weapon), Paul Fraser (A Room for Romeo Brass, Somers Town), Eran Kolirin (The Band’s Visit), Conor McPherson (The Eclipse), Damien O’Donnell (East is East, Heartlands), Tanya Seghatchian (UK Film Council), Pat McCabe (The Butcher Boy, Breakfast on Pluto), Roddy Doyle (When Brendan Met Trudy), Kirsten Sheridan (In America) and Mark O’Rowe (Boy A, Intermission).

The event will include a public interview with Shane Black, plus a wide-range of informal discussions and sessions. There will also be a showcase of the best of new Irish writing talent with a reading of scenes from Memorabilia written by Kevin Barry and currently in development with the BSÉ/IFB.

The conference will take place 4–5 June 2009 at the Light House Cinema and the Shelbourne Hotel.

For more information, please click here.


Deadlines for BSÉ/IFB Short Film Schemes

The deadlines for the Irish Film Board’s flagship short film scheme Signatures and the short documentary scheme Reality Bites have been announced. Applications will be accepted until Friday, 17th July for Signature applications and Reality Bites applications will be accepted until Friday, 7th August.

Signatures is a short film scheme for the making of live-action, fiction films that act as a proving-ground for Irish creative talents which aims to encourage strong, original storytelling, visual flair, and production values appropriate to the big screen.

Reality Bites aims to encourage experimentation and a fresh approach to short non-fiction filmmaking and the Film Board are looking for something new in the use of the documentary form, whether the projects are journalistic or creative, observational or aesthetic, objective or personal.

Submissions in Irish are actively encouraged as films for either scheme can be produced in English or Irish. The successful short films will premiere at the Corona Cork Film Festival next year.

For more information please click here.


Strong Irish Contingent at MIPCOM International TV Markets

There will be a strong Irish delegation attending MIPCOM, one of the most important international TV markets, which takes place in Cannes from 13–17 October. BSÉ/IFB is partnering with Enterprise Ireland on the Ireland on Screen stand which promotes the Irish industry at the market and a range of business facilities for Irish delegates.

Irish companies attending this year include Accomplice Television, Ardmore Studios, Brown Bag Films, theBubble.ie, Cartoon Saloon, Campbell Ryan New Media, Irish Film Distributors, Grand Pictures, Jam Media, Kavaleer Productions, Magma Films, Network Ireland Television, Samson Films, Screentime Shinawil, Telegael, Tyrone Productions, Vision Independent Productions, Mercury Boy Inc, Animo, Boulder Media, Like it Love it Productions and Element Pictures.

MIPCOM is one of the largest TV markets in the world and attracts over 4500 international media companies from 105 countries. The market is aimed at creating, co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing entertainment content across all platforms. It provides the key decision-makers in the TV, film, digital and audiovisual content, production and distribution industry with the opportunity to network and discover future trends on a global level.

For more information about how Irish companies could benefit from joining the Irish stand at MIPCOM please click here.