Irish Film Board reels in 14% funding increase in budget

But the €2m increase is still below 2008 figures says the agency's chairperson

Irish Film Board reels in 14% funding increase in budget

Charleigh Bailey and Seán Kerslake in the recent hit 'A Date for Mad Mary'

Following a bumper year for Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board, which saw the country’s national development agency for the film, TV and animation industry become the dark horse of the Hollywood awards season, yesterday’s budget brought a €2m boost in funding. Having helped bring the likes of Room and Brooklyn to international acclaim, the 14% increase has been welcomed, while still acknowledging that the body’s funding is still below Celtic Tiger levels.

According to yesterday’s budget figures, the capital allocation for the IFB in 2017 will be €12.7m, an increase from 2016’s €11.2m, while the administrative budget jumps from €3.3m to €3.8m.

Dr Annie Doona, chairperson of the organisation, said: “The Irish government has recognised the achievements of Irish filmmakers and have demonstrated their commitment to the future of the Irish film, television and animation sectors. We wish to thank Minister Humphreys in particular for her continued support and increased funding.”

But Dr Doona, also the president of the Institute of Art, Design & Technology Dún Laoghaire, pointed out that the budget figures still fall short of pre-financial crisis numbers, something that the IFB has been campaigning to return to.

“Earlier this year, the IFB board called for a restoration of IFB funding to 2008 levels of €20m, which we believe is critical to building on the current success of the industry and remains a key element to the IFB strategic plan over the next five years,” she said.

“At our current reduced budget levels, the IFB has invested in projects which have won major international acclaim, connected with Irish audiences and generated $150m at the global box office over the last 18 months.”

Irish films received a total of nine Oscar nominations at this year’s Academy Awards, while other productions, including Sing Street, The Lobster and Love & Friendship were all critical and commercial successes in cinema markets worldwide. The Irish animation industry, which has also been honoured with a number of Oscar nominations in feature and short categories, is seen as an integral part of the country’s creative economy, currently employing 1,600 people full time.

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