13 April 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
NITV Welcomes IFB Shorts Distribution Policy Change
01 Apr 2010 :
Granny O'Grimm short -
distributed by NITV
The Irish Film Board (IFB) this week announced changes to its policy for the distribution of short films produced under the Signatures, Short Shorts, Frameworks and Reality Bites schemes. Previously these distribution rights were maintained by the IFB for five years and a distributor, NITV, was appointed to distribute the shorts internationally, the films’ producers are now invited to appoint their own sales agent.

The change will see each filmmaker retain the distribution rights for their projects meaning they will be in charge of employing a sales agent or distributing the film themselves. In its official release the IFB states that it feels that the move will “empower filmmakers and enable them to build direct relationships with distributors.”

Derry O'Brien, Managing Director of Network Ireland Television (NITV) responded to the statement telling IFTN: “Over the years, there has been no suggestion, implied or otherwise, that BSÉ has had anything but support and appreciation for my company's sales and marketing efforts, in respect of their Short Film Schemes. However, the Film Board advised us recently that, from now on, they wished to pass over the distribution rights to these films, to the individual production companies and NITV acceded to this request.”

O’Brien sees the change as a positive step, saying, “I am optimistic that this arrangement will ultimately work to my company's advantage, because we can now concentrate on those films from the BSÉ Schemes that we feel can best generate sales internationally. Indeed, as our business has developed, particularly over the past five years, we have judiciously expanded our short content catalogue, to the extent that over 50% or our short film titles are now non BSÉ funded films, sourced from independent production companies both in Ireland and overseas.”

He continues by pointing out that NITV’s experience in the field is likely to see it emerge as the top choice for upcoming filmmakers looking to distribute their work: “I also believe that NITV's track record in this sector in the past fourteen years, where we have accumulated unique experience in short film distribution and sales, is a major advantage both to NITV as a company and to our producer clients.

“I imagine that this will prove impressive enough to encourage most Irish short filmmakers to automatically consider NITV, in terms of representing their films internationally. We are locally based and have a reputation of working well with and on behalf of Irish producers.”

O’Brien concludes on an optimistic note, stating: “Our understanding of the Irish film and TV production industry and the contacts which we already have there, gives us a decided advantage over our competitors in the short film distribution business. Competition in any business is healthy and, if anything NITV will now become even more proactive in acquiring those new BSÉ funded short films which have the necessary commercial appeal to interest our overseas buyer clients.”

The policy for the submission of Signatures, Short Shorts, Frameworks and Reality Bites films to international festivals will remain as it always was.

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