4 December 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
Film Board launches two new feature film initiatives
11 Jul 2002 :
Low Budget and Micro Budget/Digital Development initiatives designed to encourage indigenous filmmaking and promote emerging Irish talent.

The Low Budget Feature initiative has been designed to address the changing international environment and proactively encourage the development of the film industry in Ireland. Rod Stoneman, CEO of the Irish Film Board explains, “The landscape for feature film production has changed dramatically in recent years. There has been a polarization in the market place with €10m and higher budget films at one end of the spectrum and low budget films at the other. The mid-range of €3m to €5m film has become very difficult to finance and therefore we have decided to initiate a new approach to encourage low budget feature filmmaking”.

The Low Budget Feature initiative will work as follows; the budget level must be no more than €1m with producers providing at least 40% and The Irish Film Board proposing to provide up to 60%. The Film Board will recognize cast and crew deferrals and facilities deals, which include deferrals as part of matching finance.

Kevin Moriarty, CEO of Ardmore Studios says, “Ardmore welcomes this initiative and indeed any contribution to promoting Irish talent and increasing production activity in this country”. Tim Morris from Windmill Lane adds, “This approach fits perfectly with our recently opened high definition production suite and we are enthusiastic about participating in the new initiatives”. Films supported by the Film Board at this level will have a strong cinematic vision and a clear audience in view and will be made on digital formats for the most part.

The Low Budget Feature initiative is intended to consolidate and bring forward a range of low budget films currently at different stages of production. These include Liz Gill’s Goldfish Memory, The Halo Effect by Lance Daly, Dead Bodies to be directed by Robert Quinn and John Simpson’s Straight to Video.

Commercial partners in this initiative include Xtravision who have committed to video and DVD rights on a number of titles, RTE on Goldfish Memory and TV3 on The Halo Effect.

The central impetus for the Micro Budget/Digital Development initiative is ‘high risk – low levels of funding’ and the development of projects using a digital camera rather than just on paper. Loans of between €25,000 and €100,000 will be available for innovative filmmaking and experimental work. Seamus Duggan, Manager of Filmbase, comments, “This new Micro Budget initiative is a fantastic chance for talent to express themselves and supports a multiplicity of voices in the Irish film industry”.

The initiative aims to extend the micro-budget level of production that has already taken place over the past 8 years with previous films like, November Afternoon, Flick, How to Cheat in the Leaving Cert, Crooked Mile and Silent Grace.

The Film Board will continue to support all levels of filmmaking and also focus on the development of the industry as illustrated by its recent Company Development Initiative (CDI), which is a slate funding scheme for 5 companies. These two new low budget initiatives are targeted at a new generation of filmmakers. Rod Stoneman concludes, “We are looking for creative bravery and indeed we expect and desire the unexpected. We want a new generation of practitioners to add imaginative and irreverent voices to the Irish film industry.”


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