Irish Film Board says restoration of €20 million in state funding is critical to industry success

 The Irish Film Board has launched a new five year strategic plan

The Irish Film Board (IFB) has launched a five year strategic plan following a year of “unprecedented success”, detailing its vision for the role of the board within the Irish film, television and animation industry. Included in it is a call for the restoration of the pre-recession level of funding from the state.

The release follows a year of "unprecedented” critical and commercial success for the Irish film and animation. Quite a number of Irish productions have had global success in 2015/16 including, Room and Brooklyn, which were both nominated for the Best Film Award at The Oscars this year.

James Hickey, Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board said: “Our purpose is to support the highest quality in creative film making and our ambition is to see this quality recognised by Irish and international audiences”.

According to the Irish Film Board, Irish films have taken $140 million at the worldwide box office in 2015/16, with audience figures estimated to be in the region of 18 million admissions. It says that the wider audio-visual sector “employs some 6,000 people in Ireland at present, generating over €0.5 billion to the economy”.

There are three key areas outlined in the plan to build on recent success.

Vision for 2020

The IFB said that they will be working with industry stakeholders, to promote an overall vision for the industry. They wish to focus on “leadership, gender & diversity, and building audiences for film, television and animation”.

Building on Core Strengths

The IFB plan to build on the success they have already achieved in order to develop creative screen talent production as well as talent and skills. They stated that funding and support is necessary in order to develop talent and skills through training initiatives and that this needs to increase to meet the growing needs of the sector.

Strong Foundations

The IFB stressed that the immediate restoration of €20 million in state funding is critical to the success of the strategy and to ensure that “the talent and opportunities that exist within the sector can be fully nurtured and supported”.

Brooklyn actress, Saoirse Ronan, won several Best Actress awards for her performance as Eilis and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actress in a Drama Motion Picture as well as a Screen Actors Guild Award. 

Chairperson Designate of the IFB, Dr Annie Doona, said: "In the last 18 months alone, Irish filmmakers and animators have achieved worldwide success and, by setting ambitious targets for ourselves in this Strategy, we will deliver the necessary foundations to build on that success. Central to us being able to do this is the full restoration of IFB funding to its pre-recession levels."