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Over €7m in funding under Sound and Vision Scheme announced by the BAI
01 Jun 2021 : News Desk
Round 38 of Sound and Vision
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has announced details of the latest funding awards under the Sound & Vision 4 Broadcasting Funding Scheme.

Following a comprehensive assessment process, funding amounting to €7.2m has been allocated to 104 radio and TV projects in Round 38.

The funding allocation includes €1.4m for eight projects (four radio and four TV) under a separate funding stream for the live music sector, following the provision of funding support by Minister Catherine Martin to specifically support this sector.

“In December last year, I provided funding of €1.4m to BAI to support our live music sector, which the COVID-19 crisis has so greatly impacted,” Minister Martin said in a statement welcoming the funding announcement. “Musicians need to be able to perform and I am very pleased that the BAI has completed its first ever Live Music Sector funding round alongside this general round for the audiovisual sector.”

“A total of eight live music projects will be funded, including ‘Foster & Allen – Lost in Music’, ‘Irish Music Month’ and ‘Séisiúin sa Black Gate’. These projects will allow us to listen to a diverse range of artists perform, both established and new, with a wide variety of styles,” Minister Martin added. “I am also happy to note that so many female artists will be supported.”

Overall, Round 38 of the scheme attracted 247 applications seeking approximately €22m in funding. The proposed package of recommendations will facilitate the production of 104 projects based on Irish culture, heritage and experience, global affairs that affect the Irish state, media literacy and adult literacy.  

In total, projects will be broadcast across 32 different channels that include community, commercial, and public service broadcasters. 

Some notable projects supported in the open round include:

  • A Finglas Story – scheduled to be broadcast by DCTV, this community television project tells the modern history of the Dublin suburb through first-hand accounts.
  • Redemption – scheduled to be broadcast on Virgin Media One, this six-part crime drama follows the life of DCI Colette Cunningham who uproots to Dublin to raise her teenage grandchildren following the death of her estranged daughter.
  • The Glorious Heresies – scheduled to be broadcast by RTÉ, this six-part drama series based on the award-winning novel by Lisa McInerney is aimed at young adults.
  • Atom Town – scheduled to be broadcast by RTÉJr, this science animation aimed at young audiences teaches through soft learning about the periodic table.

Under the separate Live Music Sector funding stream, a wide mix of music genres are included in the funded projects, providing the opportunity for new, upcoming and renowned artists from a diversity of backgrounds and styles to participate in programmes across local, regional, and national TV & radio stations. 

Funded applications included Foster & Allen – Lost in Music – scheduled to be broadcast by RTÉ. This project will explore a collaboration between the longstanding successful partnership of Foster and Allen and emerging musicians from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds including hip-hop, spoken word, pop, folk and traditional, from working class, islander, traveller, musical, and non-musical backgrounds.   

Another project to receive funding is Séisiúin sa Black Gate – scheduled to be broadcast on TG4. This is a 12-part live music series combining intimate live performances with candid, behind-the-music style interviews shot on location in Galway city and county featuring a diverse mix of new and high-profile talent, and strong representation from Irish-speakers, Irish tradition, cultural, and musical diversity. It pairs musicians from a range of different backgrounds, traditions, and cultures, and also at all levels of experience, providing them a platform to perform their own music as well as collaborate on something new.

In recent rounds of the Sound & Vision Scheme, the assessment of applications has included consideration of the number of women in key creative roles – producer, director, writer, director of photography and editor – as a measure to support greater gender equality in the industry. 

Of the 22 funded projects to which the “women in a lead creative role” criterion applied, nine projects had four of these roles filled by women, and a further four projects had women filling more than half of these roles. A number of projects funded under the Live Music Sector funding stream also strongly feature female artists, including a significant level of female artists and/or lead roles, including scripting and presentation.

“The Sound & Vision scheme assists the BAI in achieving its mission to ‘regulate, foster and support a financially sustainable broadcasting industry’ and to ‘foster diverse and culturally relevant content for Irish audiences’. We were delighted with the standard of application across TV and radio. The funded projects provide a strong mix across formats, genres, and audiences to be served,” said outgoing CEO of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe.

“Once again, the funding sought under this round of the scheme far exceeded the level of funding available and indeed the allocated funding exceeds the indicative budgets by close to €500,000. This additional funding is within the overall funding available to the scheme and we are happy to allocate it now, as it provides additional support to the AV and audio sectors at this difficult time, when the industry continues to experience the adverse impacts resulting from COVID-19 restrictions,” O’Keeffe continued. “This is the first time we have run a Live Music Sector stream under the Sound & Vision scheme and I would like to thank Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin for her continued support for the broadcasting sector through the Sound & Vision scheme.”

The Minister also welcomed the promotion of women in lead creative roles, noting that of the 22 projects funded under this category, nine had at least four key roles filled by women, and a further four projects had over half of the creative roles filled by women. 

“Diversity and gender equality are topics that I am passionate about and, in this regard, I am pleased to see the BAI has included specific projects under their Gender Action plan ‘Women in Lead Creative Roles,’ which gives consideration to the number of women in key creative roles – producer, director, writer, director of photography and editor - as a measure to support greater gender equality in the industry,” Martin added. “This is a welcome development and we can see how this is bearing fruit in the large number of high quality productions with women in key creative roles, with projects such as ‘Our Unique Tales’, ‘Irish Women in Harmony’ and ‘The Glorious Heresies’.”

Click here for a full list of the projects being offered funding under Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme Round 38.

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