Monday, February 21, 2011


The tenth round of funding for independent TV production from the BCI Sound & Vision fund has just been announced. Full details here. Would that the Film Board were equally transparent in the manner in which it announces its funding decisions.

Only one single, feature-length drama has been funded - Vico Films' Grooskill which has an award of €250,000, or 23% of its total budget, with backing from TV3. There are a few interesting feature documentaries, one a biography of the late Nuala O'Faolain.

A first, I think, is a successful application from RTE Cork - as an independent producer?! - for two natural history programmes.


Anonymous said...

One wonders what TV3 thinks of the BAI funding the independent production company RTE Cork? I would surmise that a wildlife cameraman/producer has a pal in RTE Cork, through which he/she has managed to gain a commission from RTE to make a nature series. This genre is normally sewn up by Crossing the Line and GMTV. The series in question has the grandiose title of Irelands Natural History. Can this massive topic be covered with a budget of less than half a million Euro and in two episodes?

irish film portal said...

I have heard stories of RTE Cork operating 'independently' but I thought it pretty unusual for the BCI to buy into the notion too.

I am a huge fan of natural history programming and there are, as you suggest, very few expert programme-makers in the area in the country. The irony is that the very first independent programming in Ireland, going back to single channel days, was the nature programmes made by De Buitléar and Van Gelderen for RTE.

This project almost sounds like a double DVD gift-set idea for the sell-through market, using archive material rather than newly shot footage. And who would (morally) own the existing archive footage anyway?

So yes, I'm inclined to agree, the money and two TV hours hardly seem sufficient to cover the subject. Unless there's some angle we don't know - like BBC Bristol is making a four-nations series and RTE, typically, has done a make-two-episodes-get-six-free deal.