Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Culture Ireland... and film

The Irish Times has today devoted its junior editorial (they used to call it the Pup in the old days) to the subject of Culture Ireland, one of the agencies that is due to be absorbed into the bosom of the Department under whose aegis it functions.

The editorial refers to the loss of autonomy in an area that had only recently evolved from the Cultural Relations Committee of the Department of Foreign Affairs. It also raises the 'arms length principle', a sort of buffer between decision-making and political influence.

The presumption here is that all funding through government departments, especially areas of discretionary funding, is open to political interference. This is all too true as any applicant for, for instance, Lottery funding, can tell you.

The system there seems to ensure that any successful application is used for local political capital, as if your local government back bencher had secured the money for you by going cap-in-hand to the Minister on your behalf. It makes it appear as if your application didn't quite succeed on its own merits.

Can we be sure that no political influence was brought to bear on any of this Departmental funding, some of it for film bodies, such as Ardmore Studios, in 2009 and 2010? The manner in which this funding is disbursed by the Department could be made a lot clearer.

This is supposedly why we have agencies like the Film Board, the Arts Council and Culture Ireland - to ensure that applications which merit support are successful, not because of influence or pressure of any kind.

When one hears of film projects proceeding without production funding from the IFB, although developed with the agency's support, one has to wonder about the basis on which they were refused while other projects were successful. It's all about clarity of purpose and criteria, and transparency around decision making.

Here is a list of film-related grants offered by Culture Ireland over the last year. I had put together this list a while back and I'm aware that there are some date inconsistencies and other gaps in the data, some of which may be down to a delay between approvals and later payments. It is a principle of Culture Ireland funding that the applications be made in advance of the activity to be undertaken.

Culture Ireland - Film Grants

Winter 2011
Summary Description Amount Approved (€)
Promoting Irish Film internationaly through the project "Reel Ireland" in various countries in 2007 100,000
Desperate Optimists presenting "Civic Life" at film festivals in England and Rotterdam in 2008 15,000
A four day festival of Irish Film and Music to be held in New York, 4th - 11th March 2007 12,000
Organising the Craic film and music festival in New York from the 11th - 14th March 2009 12,000
Organising the Craic Festival at the Mercury Lounge and Tribeca cinema, New York from the 10th - 14th March 2010 12,000
Participation in a four day Music Festival in New York, in March 2007 12,000
Holding a 4 day Irish music festival at Tel - Aviv Cinemateque, 30th January - 2nd February 2008 10,000
The 5TH Irish Film Festival,Moscow to take place in late March 2012 in the 35MM CINEMA, Moscow, Russia. 10,000
Organising the 3rd Irish Film Festival, Moscow, Russia from the 18th - 21st March 2010 10,000
Irish Film Festival (Moscow) being held at 35mm Cinema/Formula Kino in Moscow Russia from March 16th - 23rd 2011. 10,000
The 13th Annual Irish Film Festival, Boston, organized by BIFF Productions, to screen Irish film in Somerville and Cambridge Massachusetts, March 22nd - 25th, 2012. 9,000
Participating in the International Short Film Market at Maison de la Culture, Clermont Ferrand, France from 4th - 12th February 2011 8,000
Presenting of Irish film programme in Margenes festival of experimental film and art, Spain, from the 23rd - 29th May 2009 in Spain, Spain 8,000
Screening the musical "Once" in the U.S.A from 19 - 25 January 2007. 8,000
Presenting the London Irish Film Festival in various London venues from the 7th - 15th March 2009 7,000
Presenting a showcase of Irish cinema at the Festival International du Cinma Mditerranen du Tetouan, Morocco from the 29th March - 6th April 2009 6,000
Organising the 2nd Irish Film Festival, South Africa in Johannesburg, Cape Town from the 17th - 31st March 2010 6,000
Cork Film Festival presentation at the Irish Short Film Stand, at the 27th Clermont Ferrand Short Film Market and Festival January 30th to February 3rd, at the Maison de la Culture, Clermont Ferrand, France. 6,000
Irish participation and presentation of Irish cinema in the IndieLisboa Film Festival, Lisbon from the 23rd April - 3rd May 2009 5,500
The screening of the film 'Kings' in L.A, Palm Springs, N.Y, Boston, 4th Jan - 21st Jan 2008 5,000
Irish participation in IndieLisboa Film Festival, Lisbon from the 22nd April - 2nd May 2010 5,000
The Fleadh Foundation presenting the Craic Festival including Irish music and film in New York City 9-12 March 2012. 5,000
Organising the 11th Annual Boston Irish Film Festival at the Brattle Theatre and The Somerville Theatre from the 25th - 28th March 2010 4,000
Presenting feature documentary "Seaview" in Berlin and to tour ten cities in February - March 2009 4,000
Participating in the European Union Film Festival, Chicago, in March 2007. 4,000
A festival "IndieLisboa" which is a film festival held in Lisbon, Portugal in April 2007 4,000
Participating in the European Union Film Festival, Chicago, in March 2007. 3,000
Presenting "Eamon" at the Cannes Film Festival in May 2009 3,000
Presenting a selection of short films at the Mint Gallery, New Delhi from the 13th - 29th March 2009 3,000
Irish filmakers to participate in IndieLisboa International Independent Film Festival in Lisbon, Portugal from May 5th - 15th 2011. 3,000
The Toronto Irish Film Festival (TIRFF) presenting Irish films in Canada to be held on March 9 -10, 2012 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox building, Toronto. 3,000
The Beirut Irish Film Festival to take place at the Metropolis Empire Sofil Cinema in Beirut from Feb 29 to March 4, 2011 3,000
Cinemagic International Film and Television Festival presenting a series of festival events in New York City in early October 2012. 3,000
Presentation of Irish films at IndieLisboa - International Independent Film Festival organised by the cultural association Zero em Comportamento take place from 26th April to the 6th May 2012 in Lisbon, Portugal. 3,000
Roots Reel Films presenting the second Irish Film Festival to be held in Johannesburg and Cape Town, South Africa, in April 2012. 3,000
Gene Siskel Film Center presenting Irish films at the European Union Film Festival in March, 2012. 2,000
International Film Festival Tofifest presenting Jim Sheridan Retrospective from the 11th to 31st of May 2012 in cinemas in Torun, Bydgoszcz, Warsaw, Cracow, Poznan, Lódz and Gdansk. 2,000
Organising the European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel film Center from 1st - 30th March 2010 2,000
Screening of A Film from my Parish 6 Farms at the Sundance Film Festival, in Utah, USA from 15 25 January 2009. 2,000
Presenting the annual European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, Chicago in March 2009 2,000
Irish films to be shown at the European Union Film Festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 7th - 27th March 2007 2,000
Holding an Irish Film Festival in London at a number of theatres and cinemas, 11th - 15th March 2007 2,000
Irish participation in IndieLisboa - International Independent Film Festival, Portugal, 24th April - 4th May 2008 1,500
Presentation of programme of recent work by Moira Tierney at Polygone Etoile/Film Flamme Cinema in Marseille March 2011 and at EDV in Toulouse April 2011 1,500
Screening of selected Irish films in 'Ireland in Film: Beyond Well-trodden Paths' in Dusseldorf. 1,500
Promoting Irish Short film at the Sundance Film Festival, January 2009 1,500
Screening 12 Irish features and shorts at 'Irlanda en Film..un festival' at La Candelaria, Bogota, Colombia, February 2011. 1,000
Presenting "Bernadette" at the Ambulante Documentary Film Festival, Mexico from the 6th - 10th March 2010 1,000
Attending the 11eme Festival National du Film, Morocco to present own work and that of Solus Collective from the 23rd - 30th January 2010 and Presenting porgramme of own film work at 25th anniversary of Spazio Arka, Sardinia 1,000
Screening of films by Moira Tierney with artists talk and screening of films by the SOLUS Collective, programmed and presented by Moira Tierney, at Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center in New Orleans, February 2012. 800
Presentation of Irish film at EPOS, the International Art Film Festival to take place 1-4 February 2012 at the Tel-Aviv Museum of Art, and in Jerusalem & Haifa cinematheques.

Film Grant Total: 356,900 [of €4,543,774 Winter 2011 Round total]
Autumn 2011
Summary Description Amount Approved (€)

Producing a DVD of the entire Druid Synge project from a live audience show in August 2005 90,000
Screening a film at the Festival au Desert in Mali, West Africa from the 4th - 15th January 2008 24,000
Orginising Alcine short film festival Spain, showcasing all Irish films from the 9th until 17th November 2007 20,000
Irish artists' participation in Solas Nua 2009-10 season, including US premiere of "Danny and Chantelle" in November-December, two outdoor theatrical events by the Performance Corporation, presentation of a public art piece and DC Irish Writers Festival i 20,000
Participating in the Market of the Clemont - ferrand Short Film Festival in France from the 2nd until 10th February 2008 12,000
Organising a 2nd Irish Film Festa "Casa del Cinema" Rome from the 8th - 11th December 2008 10,000
Promotion of Irish short filmmaking at Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival, France from the 31st January - 7th Feb 2009 9,000
Participation in the 8th Festival in Tel Aviv in 2007. 9,000
Participating in the 9th Annual Boston Irish Film Festival from the 9th - 12th of November 2007 8,000
Promoting Irish short film-making at the International Short Film Market, Clermont Ferrand, France from the 1st - 6th February 2010 8,000
Presenting Irish Film Festa, the third annual Italian Festival dedicated to Irish Cinema at the Casa del Cinema, Rome from the 27th - 29th November 2009 8,000
Delivery by Cinemagic of a series of events in Los Angeles and San Francisco in February/ March 2012. 8,000
Presentation of IrishFilmFesta, annual Italian festival dedicated to Irish Cinema at “Casa del Cinema" in Rome from 1st to 5th December 2011. 8,000
Presentation of Irish short films at the Short Film Festival Leuven from December 3-10th 2011. 7,500
Organising the 4th Irish Film Festa as part of the Archimedia Cultural Association, Rome, Italy from the 24th - 28th November 2010 7,000
Presentation of the first Irish Film Festival of India in the Habitat Centre, New Delhi 16th - 18th, 20th and 21st February and at the NCPA Centre, Mumbai, 23rd, 24th and 26th February 2012. 6,000
Organising the 10th Annual Boston Irish Film Festival from the 9th - 12th November 2008 6,000
A stand and screenings at the Clermont Ferrand Short Film Festival in France in January/February 2007 6,000
Irish participation in the 46th Thessaloniki Film Festival in November 2005 5,000
Screening Irish films with Arabic subtiles at a numbe rof venues in Syria from the 7th - 18th December 2010 5,000
Organising a showcase of Irish film, including 3 features, 6 shorts and 9 animation films in Damascus, Syria from the 31st October - 6th November 2009 5,000
Encounters Festival screening 4 Films and Directors Q&A sessions at the Encounters International Film Festival at the Watershed Media Centre and Arnolfini Theatre, Bristol, UK from the 16th - 21st Novemebr 2010 4,000
Irish participation at the 7th Annual Boston Irish Film Festival in November 2005 4,000
Hosting, in association with the Directors Guild of America, the Annual Directors Finders Series in October 2006 and screening of the selected film in Los Angeles in November 2006 4,000
Showing irish films at the 5th Annual San Francisco Irish Film Festival on San francisco Bay from the 2nd - 18th March 2008 4,000
Irish participation in the Festival in November 2006 4,000
Irish filmmakers attending the Short Film festival Encounters Festival 09th-22nd Nov 2008 3,500
Presentation of 2011 Irish Film Festival London at venues including ICCH, Riverside Studios, Tricycle & Rio Cinema from November 2nd - 6th 2011. 3,000
Presentation of contemporary Irish films at the 27th Haifa International Film Festival, Israel 13-22 October 2011 3,000
Presentation of Irish films in New York in 2006-2007 3,000
Irish participation in the Cherbourg-Octeville Film Festival in France in March 2007 3,000
An exhibition of the "BURN Project" in Mexico and two screenings of "Sugar" at the International Independent Film Festival in Argentina in October/November 2006 3,000
The cost of participation in the sixth edition of the Algerian film festival, Festival du Film Amazigh, in December 2005 3,000
Irish participation in the 4th Annual S.F. Irish Film Festival in San Francisco in March 2007 2,500
Screening of Fairytale of Kathmandu in the Best of Input event in Taiwan from the 5th - 7th December 2008 and at the Adelaide Film Festival from the 19th February - 1st March 2009 2,500
Irish participation in the 10th Black Nights Film Festival in Estonia in November/December 2006 2,300
"Best of Cork" touring programme of recent Irish short films in various locations from October 2005 to October 2006 2,000
Showcasing Irish films to professional international audience in New York and Los Angeles from the 26th February - 4th March 2010 2,000
Orla Murphy attending the Rhode Island Film Festival USA August 2009 2,000
Presenting Irlanda en Film..un Festival in Multiple Venues in Cartagena, Colombia from the 29th - 31st October 2010 2,000
Presenting "Focus on Ireland" at Interfilm International Short Film Festival at the Babylon Mitte Theatre, Germany, Germany from the 16th - 21st November 2010 2,000
Samson for film Sunflower being shown at the Palm Spring International Shortfest June 2009 1,500
Kilburn Festival towards bringing in 3 directors present at the screening of their films at the Kilburn Festival 1,500
An international conference on contemporary Irish cinema at the University of Limoges, France, in November 2007 1,500
Participating at the Sundance Film Festival in January 2008 1,500
Representing Irish Animation and screening of films at the prestigious Fiae Film Festival at Rio De Janeiros Museum of Modern art, Brazil from the 6th - 14th November 2008 1,500
Showing the short film "Recoil" at the International Short Film Festival in Drama, Greece in September/October 2005 1,440
Screening two Irish Documentary films at the Sheffield International Documentary Film Festival from the 5th - 9th November 2009 1,350
Mary Keane showing her film 'Together' at the Danca Em Foco International Dance Festival in Brazil from June 29th - July 12th 2009 1,300
Screening "Puppy Love" at the Irish Film Festival in Boston, 8th - 12th November 2007 1,300
Participating in the Manhattan Short Film Festival New York in September 2006 with his short film "Last Night" 1,200
Fastnet Films to attend Toronto Film Festival Sept 2009 1,200
Katie Holly, Blinder Films screening their film 'Lowland Fell' at the Edinburgh International Film Festival from 17th - 28th June 09 1,200
Participating in the 11th Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin Film Festival in Paris in November- December 2006 1,000
Showing the video work "Walk" at the Recontres Paris/Berlin Festival in Paris in November/December 2006 1,000
Showing video works "Gravity Loop" at the Recontres Paris/Berlin Festival in Paris in November 2006 1,000
Film festival celebrating women in film called "Amharc Eile: Women Directors in Irish Cinema" in Washington in October 2005 1,000
Participating in the Trinidad Film festival from the 23rd - 27th October 2007 1,000
Declan Cassidy film being shown at the Palm Spring International Shortfest June 2009 750
Conor Ferguson attending Sapporo Film Festival 14-18 October 2009 with film 'Atlantic' 750
Towards the screening of ' The Secret of Kells' at the Icon International SF Festival, Isreal, 4-10 October 2007 700
Treasure Entertainment to attend LA film festival for screening of 'Eclipse' on 23rd September 2009 650
Tom Collins to attend LA Film Festival 650
John Fleming attending Los Angeles Film Festival with film 'Guest of another nation' September 2009 650
Colette Farrell to attend the Short Film Golden nights Tour event in Paris on June 30th 2009. 600
Lenny Abrahamson, director of "Garage" attendence at "Around the World in 14 Films" festival in Germany, Germany from the 28th November - 06th December 2008. 600
Kate McCullough to attend Cannes Film Festival to promote her short film'Signifigant Others' from 19th-22nd May 2009 500

Film Total: 367,640 [of €4,417,690 total for Autumn 2011 round]
Summer 2011
Summary Description Amount Approved (€)

The Reel Ireland Programme, a touring package of Irish film aimed at bringing Irish cinema to a large worldwide audience 30,000
Presenting a two-day film festival of Irish films and workshops in five venues in Palestine in August/September 2006 15,000
Irish participation in the Summer Film School Festival including film, music and literature in the Czech Republic in July 2005 12,000
Performing in association with the Directors Guild of America, the Annual Directors Finders Series in September 2007 and screening of the selected film in Los Angeles on September 14th. 7,000
Inviting 5 international film curators and programmers to Cork Festival to view new Irish shorts and film works from 14 - 21 Oct. 2007 7,000
Performing at the Seoul International Youth Film Festival, Korea from the 16th - 22nd July 2008 6,000
Organising the 1st Irish Film Festival in conjunction with Metro Cinemas in Hyde Park, Johannesburg from the 26th - 30th August and V&A Waterfront Cape town from the 2nd - 6th September 2009 6,000
Presenting film programmes at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, Egypt, El Teatro, Tunisia and La Maison Des Cineastes, Mauritania between September - November 2009 5,000
SoGo Dublin Arts Festival presenting Irish Film Festival in Kas, Turkey 15th-18th September, 2011. 5,000
Premiere screening of 2 Films in London, October, 2006. 5,000
REEL, the First Ireland-Scotland Film Festival to be held in Scotland in October/November 2006 4,000
Inviting international festival programmers to the Galway Film Fleadh, July 2007 4,000
Inviting ONCE film director John Carey to the Melbourne International Film Festival 25 July - 12 Aug 2007, Australia 4,000
Attendence at the Galway Film Fleadh, July 2006 3,500
Irish participation in Arcipelago, the 13th Festival of Short Films and New Images in Rome in June 2005 3,150
Participation at Beckett-an Exhibition, Film Series and Symposium, in Toronto from November 8 to December 22, 2006. 3,000
A showcase of Irish film and music and a workshop series at the Festival du Film Amazigh in Algerie in December 2006/January 2007 3,000
Performing "New Boy" at the 16th International Kodomotachino Kinder Film Festival in Tokyo from the 9th - 17th August 2008 3,000
Participation in a one-day- festival of film by Irish women in the Irish Cultural Centre in France, France from 28 -30 Sept. 2007 3,000
Participation in the 9th Seoul International Youth Filmmaking Camp in South Korea from 19 - 24 July 2007 3,000
Showing "Damb - The Mali Project" in Meeting House Square, Temple Bar on the 23rd July 2008 3,000
A screening of the current programme in Anthology, New York, 2 - 4 Oct and in the Cairo Film Festival, November, 2008 3,000
Presenting "Watching & Waiting" at the Melbourne International Film Festival, August 2010 3,000
Showcasing Irish film at the San Francisco Irish Film Festival, USA from the 9th - 12th September 2010 3,000
Presenting Irish films through "Irish Sidebar" at the 38th Norwegian International Film festival, Norway from the 21st - 26th August 2010 3,000
screening an Irish small Animation movie at the Prestigious "Prehilidka Animovaneho Filmu" film Festival, Czech Republic, 11th - 14th December 2008 3,000
Screening arthouse and experimental Irish short films and animation at the ISAFF Open Cinema Festival in St. Petersburg, Russia on 19 Aug. 2007 2,800
Showing Irish films by Jim Sheridan in the Cinemateca Portuguesa, Museu Do Cinema, Lisbon from 12 -17 Oct. 2007 2,500
Attending the Film Market at the Venice Film Festival 2007 from 3 8 Sept. 2007 2,000
Presenting a retrospective of John T Davis films in Sao Paulo and Curitiba, Brazil from the 26th August - 1st September 2010 2,000
Organising the Irish Short Film Season at the Liverpool Irish Festival 2010 at Fact - Foundation for Art and Creative Technologies, Liverpool from the 15th-31st October 2010 2,000
Cork Film Festival presenting Irish Film Showcase at the Liverpool Irish Festival, 27th and 28th October, 2011 2,000
Presenting own short animated films and documentary feature at the International Animation Film Festival Hiroshima 2010 from the 6th - 12th August 2010 1,500
Presentation of her films and discussion on her work at the Versmidjan Hjalteyri Arts Centre Iceland from the 20th-27th August 2009 1,000
Screening of film "Fileacn" at the 13th Rhode Island International Film Festival from the 4th - 9th August 2009 1,000
Presenting the Irish Short Film Festival in Ukraine from the 26th August - 14th September 2010 900
The ICON-TLV SF Festival presenting Irish filmmaker Conor Horgan at Screening of '100 Mornings' in Tel-Aviv Cinematheque Israel, 15th-27th October, 2011. 850
Showing "Till Every Motion, Pulse and Breath Be Over" at the Brick Lane area in London's East End, August 2008 700
Programme of regular screening of Irish films and associated events at the London Irish Centre in 2009 600
Screening "Split Lip" at the Straight 8 Film Festival in London in August 2009 200
Producing a film project in collaboration with Travel Queeries documenting the Copenhagen Queer Festival in July 2007
Showcasing "the best of Ireland" at the Irish Film and Television branches in New York and Los Angeles from Aug. 2007 - March 2008

Film Total: 169,700 [Total for Summer 2011: €3,693,213]
Spring 2011
Summary Description Amount Approved (€)

The 2nd phase of Reel Ireland programme, which is to promote and co-ordinate Irish feature films on an international level in various venues throughout 2006. 90,000
Screen Directors Guild of Ireland hosting the annual General Assembly of the Federation of European Film Directors in Dublin Ireland from the 14th - 15th June 2008 8,000
Screen Directors Guild of Ireland hosting the annual Director Finders Series to enable Irish Directors to present their film to the American Film industry on the 26th September 2008 7,000
Motovun Film Festival - "Made in Ireland" to be held in the town of Motovun, Croatian region of Istria, July 25-29, 2011. 6,000
Performing the "Small Engine Repair" Film at the Nashville Film Festival from the 19th - 26th April 2007 6,000
Towards the cost of showing their film Eden at the Tribecca Film Festival, New York, USA April 2008 5,000
Performing a play "Eyes of the Docks" in Canada, Lebanon, Holland and Jordan 4,000
Participation at the 3rd Annual San Francisco Irish Film Festival, March 2006. 3,813
Irish participation in the Centre's European Union Film Festival in March 2006 3,000
International film programmers to attend the Galway Film Fleadh from the 8th - 13th July 2008 3,000
A market screening of Irish short films at the Festival du Court from January 29th to February 3rd, 2006. 2,876
Cinematheque Tel Aviv presenting Irish films as part of the Docaviv - Tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival at the Tel Aviv Cinematheque, Israel from the 12th - 21st May 2011 2,400
Participation in the Short Films From International Festivals 2,350
Irish participation in "The Craic" Festival in New York in March 2006 2,000
Performing a concert with Liam Clancy at the Whitehorse Tavern, Greenwich Village, New York on the 30th June 2008 2,000
Ross McDonnell presenting his movie "Colony" at the 12th Docaviv tel Aviv International Documentary Film Festival from the 6th-15th May 2010 2,000
Irish participation in the Films @ Kilburn Festival at the Tricycle Cinema, London in July 2009 1,500
Attending Toronto documentary for which their film the Trial has been selected for attendence from 22 23 April 2008. 1,500
Associazione Amici del Future Film Festival: Focus on: Contemporary Animation in Ireland at Future Film Festival, Bologna 20 - 23 April 2011.
Showing "1897-1979" at the Portland Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, US from the 6th - 10th May 2009 750
Organising the 6th Directors Finders Series Award at the America Theatre, Los Angeles, USA on the 24th September 2010

Total: 154,189 [Total for Spring 2011: €4,537,091]


Anonymous said...

Great piece IFP, invaluable information there.

It is important that there is diversity of funding and subsuming Culture Ireland back into e.g. the Department would indeed be a retrograde step.

It clearly ain't broke, so no need to fix it - the mandarins should leave well enough alone. Wonder whose bright idea this was anyway?

irish film portal said...

It might have been better, with appropriately transparent strictures on application procedures, to have split the funding on a 'ring-fenced' basis between the Arts Council and the IFB.

Although that would also diminish the diversity/plurality of sources and might tend to consolidate the funding around those agencies' existing clients, unless admin and decision-making were kept entirely separate.