Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Sound & Vision

The BAI has announced the latest funding decisions of Sound & Vision II – the Broadcasting Funding Scheme which (like the equivalent Radio scheme) is financed from a levy on the national TV licence.

Grants amounting to about €7m have been awarded, in principle, to support the production of 38 television projects meeting the scheme's remit to deal with themes of Irish Culture, Heritage and Experience.

This is the first round of television funding to be approved by the BAI, which was established in October 2009, succeeding the BCI, and the ninth round of television funding to be operated since the commencement of the Broadcasting Fund in 2006.

The funding was approved, in principle, by the Authority at its meeting on 28th June "following the consideration of recommendations from the assessment process which involved the input of industry and thematic experts."

In total, 106 applications were received by the Authority in April requesting grants of €22.6 million. The BAI will now begin the process of contract negotiations with all successful applicants.

Since this is a blog about film I'll touch only on those 'programmes' which are of feature length, or correspond to known film projects. It was notable, about three years back, that the Sound & Vision awards were having a very positive impact on the financing of Irish feature films - Hunger, Garage, Kings and others.

In recent years, however, there has been a marked reduction in the number of feature films supported by the fund, perhaps because there has been a reluctance on the part of some broadcasters to give those projects their backing.

The BAI (and the BCI before it) are to be commended for the transparency of the funding information they make available. Stating the amount of the grant and the maximum percentage of budget makes it very clear for all concerned what the financial parameters for each project are.

The fact that the money is a grant, rather than a loan, also simplifies matters for the producers and, theoretically at least, should give them a stronger negotiating and recoupment position with regard to other sources of finance.

Harvest Films, Bi-lingual, Drama, Contemporary Society, RTE,
Up to a maximum of: €165,000; Max.% of total budget: 25%; 1 x 80 mins

Stella Days
Newgrange Pictures, English, Drama, History/Heritage, RTE,
Up to a maximum of: €270,000; Max.% of total budget: 10%, 1 x 90 mins

A Glacier Beneath
Image Now Films, English, Docum, Science/Nature/Environment, RTE
Up to a maximum of: €140,000; Max.% of total budget: 25%; 1 x 100 mins

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