7 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network

Mary Callery Appointed Development Officer at IFB
03 Dec 1998 :

Sile deValera, Minister for Arts, Culture, Gaeltacht and the Islands, has announced an increase in next year's allocation to the Film Board of £750,000 which represents an increase in 20% on the board's capital provision of £4.15 million. The board has earmarked the additional money for development loans allowing for an increase in the maximum development loan allowable towards projects from £25,000 to £50,000.

The Film Board recently issued a new policy statement which indicated a much tighter and more focused approach to its activities which placed an emphasis on Irish control of projects funded and also on development activities with the creation of a new position of Development Officer to which the board has just appointed Mary Callery, currently with RTE's independent production unit in drama development, who will take up her post in the New Year.

The Development Manager's role will be to manage the development of film scripts submitted to the board and to support the packaging of selected projects with the appropriate creative elements. Rod Stoneman, chief executive of the board, has clearly stated that the job is as a development manager and not as a script editor and the role of the new officer will be to make sure Irish production companies receive the support they need to acquire rights to intellectual property and to develop them to the stage where they have significant value in the international marketplace.

Film Makers Ireland, the representative organisation for independent film and television producers, warmly welcomed the initiative which was one of the points it raised in its policy document released in October. Under the heading of 'Strategic Development of Production Companies', FMI stated it was keen to develop a cohesive policy for the strategic growth of Irish production companies with a particular emphasis on development finance saying "In a world of co-financing, co-production and licensing, development means ownership - if it is your idea and you can put together the financing from different sources then you will have rights. If you have rights you have an asset".

With Callery moving to the Film Board only a few weeks after the departure of David Blake-Knox to the BBC, two people strongly associated with independent drama production at the station have left and FMI hopes the station will take the opportunity to get more involved in development as well. The Film Board itself intends to target its resources more carefully and in the direction of the indigenous film industry where a little funding could be the difference between whether a film is made or not and the support of the struggling filmmaker ensures a growth in the skill base for the film sector.

Michael McMahon 03/12/98

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