Channel 4 U.K. has inked a deal with Network Ireland Television (NITV) for the acquisition of 33 short films from the Irish distributor’s library of 850 titles. The film package represents independent productions from British, Scottish, Irish and American directors, as well as films funded by the Irish Film Board, Scottish Screen and various U.K. regional funding agencies.
Derry O’Brien, Managing Director of NITV said: “We are delighted, as are our producer clients, to have secured this licensing deal from Channel 4, one of Britain’s major terrestrial broadcasters.
“While Channel 4 is known for having pioneered the short film genre for U.K. broadcast since its start-up, it primarily has commissioned its own Shorts Strand. This is the first time in over 8 years that this broadcaster has sought to acquire independent quality short content on this scale.”
The deal was brokered with Channel 4 reps at the MIPCOM market in October 2009. With regards to the choosing of the shorts, O’Brien explains that “this selection of films, which will play primarily in off-peak times in the Channel 4 schedule, will maintain the high standard of excellence in the short film genre, for which Channel 4 are already noted.”
The chosen short films include many award winning Irish projects such as IFTA winner Ken Wardrop’s ‘The Herd’, Undressing my Mother’ and ‘Farewell Packets of 10’, Conor Ferguson’s ‘Atlantic’ and ‘A Film From My Parish: 6 Farms’ from Tony Donoghue.
O’Brien says he is “quietly optimistic” this deal will lead to further acquisitions from Channel 4 in the future.