Fís Éireann / Screen Ireland, formerly known as Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board, is the Republic of Ireland's state development agency for the Irish film, television and animation industry. It provides funds for the development, production and distribution of feature films, feature documentaries, short films, TV animation series and TV drama series.

Screen Ireland
Fís Éireann
Founded1980–87, 1993–present
TypeFilm, television and animation funding
Area served
Republic of Ireland

History edit

The Irish Film Board (IFB) originally operated from 1980 to 1987. During this period it produced or co-produced Eat the Peach, Anne Devlin, The Outcasts (1982), and Angel. After its closure, the success of several externally funded Irish films, such as My Left Foot, The Crying Game and The Commitments, motivated local lobbyists to push for its re-establishment, which occurred in 1993. The board was reconstituted under the chairmanship of Lelia Doolan in 1993 by the Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht, Michael D. Higgins, who said "The whole reasoning behind my decision to develop the industry by means of a two-pronged approach – namely, the reactivation of the Irish Film Board and my proposals in relation to independent television production contained in the Broadcasting Authority (Amendment) Bill 1993 – is precisely to exploit the technical facilities available in Ireland at present and the imaginative and creative skills which exist in that industry which have been underemployed".[1]

Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland edit

On 10 April 2018, at a press conference for the publication of Investing in our Culture, Language and Heritage 2018–2027 (published as part of Project Ireland 2040),[2][3] Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan announced that from 18 June 2018, the agency would become known as Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland. The decision to change the name of the agency was announced in 2015,[4] by Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Heather Humphreys who said that the name-change "recognises the body’s increasing interests beyond the world of cinema and reminds us how, in this digital age, filmmakers now rarely work in the medium of 'film.'"

International recognition edit

From 1993 to 2004, the organisation supported an indigenous industry which produced over 100 feature films. Irish film talent was recognized internationally and industry collaboration of Irish producers, writers and directors was well underway producing such work as Ailsa (1993), I Went Down (1997), About Adam (1999), Disco Pigs (2000), Bloody Sunday (2002), Intermission (2003), The Magdalene Sisters (2003), Omagh (2004), Man About Dog (2004), Adam & Paul (2004), Breakfast on Pluto (2005), The Wind that Shakes the Barley (2006) Once (2007), Garage (2007), The Secret of Kells (2009), His & Hers (2009) The Guard (2011), Albert Nobbs (2012), What Richard Did (2012), The Stag (2014), Calvary (2014), Song of the Sea (2014), The Lobster (2015), Brooklyn (2015) and Room (2015).

Notable Irish box office successes for Irish film include Intermission which grossed over €2 million at the Irish box office in 2003, Man About Dog which in 2004 grossed over €2.5 million at the Irish box office, The Guard which grossed over €18 million at the international box office and Brooklyn which had earned over €2 million at the Irish box office and €11 million at the US box office as of December 2015.[citation needed]

IFB-funded productions featured at major international awards include Six Shooter (Best Live Action Short Film, Academy Awards 2006), The Wind that Shakes the Barley (Palme d’Or, Cannes Film Festival 2006), Once (Best Original Song, Academy Awards 2008), The Secret of Kells (nominated for Best Animated Feature, Academy Awards 2010), Mea Maxima Culpa: Silence in the House of God (Exceptional Merit in documentary Filmmaking, Emmy Awards 2013), Song of the Sea (nominated for Best Animated Feature, Academy Awards 2015), The Lobster (Jury Prize, Cannes Film Festival 2015), Room (People's Choice Award, Toronto International Film Festival 2015), The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and The Breadwinner (Academy Awards nomination).[citation needed]

International production edit

From 1994 to 2004 there were high levels of international film productions choosing the Republic of Ireland as a location for filming as a result of the Irish tax incentive for film and television Section 35, which became Section 481 of the Taxes Consolidated Act in 1999. Ireland introduced a film production tax incentive, making Ireland more competitive for film production than its international competitors.[citation needed] As a result of the high levels of incoming production into Ireland, the craft and skills base of Irish crews improved, and those crews were then also available to work on Irish films.[citation needed] Major international films shot in Ireland during this period include Braveheart and Reign of Fire.

In the 21st century, Ireland has become the base for a number of high-end international TV dramas including The Tudors (2007-2010), Ripper Street (2012 – 2016), Penny Dreadful (2014 – 2016), Vikings (2013 – present), Into the Badlands (2017 – present), and Nightflyers (2018 – present).[citation needed]

Animation edit

The agency did not initially have a policy of funding animation. In 1991, a group of animators and animation students established the Anamú Animation Base, promoting the growth of independent Irish animation. Along with other groups, Anamú successfully lobbied for the film board to support animation projects. From the late 1990s, the film board has provided support to Ireland's animation industry.[5]

Board edit

As of 2017, the board was chaired by Annie Doona,[citation needed] the president of Dún Laoghaire Institute of Art, Design and Technology, where the National Film School is located. At that time, the board also consisted of producer Katie Holly, the managing director of Blinder Films; Larry Bass, founder and CEO of ShinAwil Productions; Mark Fenton, founder and CEO of Masf Consulting; Rachel Lysaght, founder and lead creative producer of Underground Films; Kate McColgan, producer and managing director of Calico Productions and Marian Quinn, writer, director and founder of Janey Pictures.[citation needed]

Funding edit

Screen Ireland operates under the aegis of Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media. Its annual budget is decided by Dáil Éireann and it had a total capital budget of €14.03 million in 2015.[citation needed] Screen Ireland provides funds for the development, production and distribution of feature films, feature documentaries, short films, TV animation series and TV drama series.[citation needed]

Selected filmography edit

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Minister for Arts, Culture and Gaeltacht, Michael D. Higgins, Dáil Éireann – Volume 429". Oireachtas. 29 April 1993.
  2. ^ "Project Ireland 2040". 19 June 2018.
  3. ^ https://www.chg.gov.ie/app/uploads/2018/04/capital_plan_april3.pdf[bare URL PDF]
  4. ^ "Name of Irish Film Board to be changed to Screen Ireland". The Irish Times.
  5. ^ Bendazzi, Giannalberto (2015). Animation: A World History. Boca Racton, FL: CRC Press. p. 91.

External links edit