Screen Directors Guild of Ireland (SDGI) acknowledge the continued support of the Irish audio visual industry by the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism following yesterday’s budget.
Despite the reduction in funding to the Arts Council of Ireland and the Irish Film Board, SDGI welcomes the continued financial support of these vital elements of the cultural and economic fabric of Ireland.
SDGI welcomes the announcement in yesterday’s budget of the continued, although diminished, financial support of the Arts Council and the Irish Film Board. This support is vital for the ongoing economic and cultural value of the Irish audio visual Industry, and SDGI acknowledges that this commitment is a strong endorsement of the sector.
Ciaran Donnelly, Chairman of the Screen Directors Guild of Ireland, today commented ‘The retention of government support to the Arts Council of Ireland and the Irish Film Board is a strong endorsement of the Irish film and television production sector. It indicates the importance placed by Minister Martin Cullen and the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism on supporting the arts and the Irish film and television industry. This support will help sustain and create future jobs for directors and production personnel within the sector.’
The 2010 budget for the Irish Film Board has been announced as €19.3 million, a 5% reduction on the allocation for 2009. ‘An Bord Snip Nua’ had recommended the abolition of the Irish Film Board, a recommendation which prompted a co-coordinated and thorough response from players in the audio visual sector. SDGI welcomes the necessary retention of The Irish Film Board. The funding for the Irish Film Board allows Irish companies working within the sector to attract additional international investment, which is spent on Irish jobs and local services.
In 2009, Irish Film Board funded film and television projects contributed an estimated total of over €70 million to the Irish economy, showing a significant return on government investment in this sector. The sector continues to provide local jobs, and sustained international investment to the economy. Irish film, television and the arts in general bring valuable expenditure to local businesses across the regions and promote Irish culture to international audiences around the world. Such profiling has ancillary yet tangible effects on Irish tourism.
A recent PriceWaterhouseCoopers survey found that Ireland’s audio visual industry offers permanent employment to over 6,000 individuals, and values its worth at over half a billion euro per annum. The industry in turn generates many other indirect employment benefits arising out of production activities around the country.
The Minister for Finance, during his budget speech yesterday, referred to a recent Irish Times survey that found that 84% of those surveyed think Ireland needs to ‘start believing in itself again’. SDGI strongly believes that the arts sector in general, and particularly the audio visual sector, has a vital part to play in this regard. Ireland has made a powerful contribution to global arts and film. A strong cultural sector is crucial to the development of a healthy and positive democratic society, and SDGI, through its work with Irish directors, is committed to contributing to this, and facilitating it.