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Charlie Haughey TV Drama Offered €1m in BAI Funding
10 Oct 2012 : By Steve Cummins
Former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey
Element Pictures has been offered €1m from the BAI Sound and Vision Scheme to make a three-part RTÉ drama about former Taoiseach Charles J Haughey

‘Citizen Charlie’, a 3 x 90-minute historical drama has been offered 27 per cent of its €3.7m budget with the offer of €1m constituting the largest made in this round of funding.

‘Citizen Charlie’ is described as "a trilogy of 90-minute dramas charting the emergence of modern Ireland through the mesmeric figure of Charles J Haughey and his pursuit of power, wealth and glamour."

Element Pictures will co-produce the series with London-based producers Touchpaper for RTÉ Television. Touchpaper's recent TV credits include 'Being Human' while Element recently co-produced 'Ripper Street' for the BBC.

‘Citizen Charlie’ is written by Colin Teevan (Single-Handed, Vera) with production due to get underway in 2013. No casting or crew decisions have yet been announced.

RTÉ commissioning editor for drama, Jane Gogan said, “We are very pleased that the BAI has agreed to finance the project with RTÉ. Charles J Haughey is a figure in Irish life on which everyone has a point of view, but this drama will be as much about Ireland as it is about one man.”

In total, 15 television productions have been offered funding of more than €3.9m from the BAI in what is the fourth allocation of funding offered this year and the 15th since the scheme was introduced.

A similar amount of funding was offered under the scheme in July but to 21 projects

‘Citizen Charlie’ is one of three dramas that have been made an offer. A second season of four-part TG4 drama ‘Corp & Anam’ has been offered €775,000 – 46 per cent of its €1.7m budget. The crime series is produced by Magamedia Teo.

‘Now We’re Hurling’, a drama from Dublin Community TV (DCTV), has been offered €53,000 - or 90 per cent of its budget.

Two TV3 documentaries have been offered funding, the biggest budgeted of which is Sideline’s six-part series ‘Tales of Irish Castles’, which will get €350,000 – or 85 per cent of its budget.

Circle Films has been offered €123,000 for its TV3 doc ‘The Kennedy’s Irish Mafia’.

Other documentaries offered funding are Cleona Ní Chrualaoí’s ‘An Ceoldráma’ for TG4; Athena Media’s ‘Get Off The Couch!’ for Setanta Sports; Frameworks Films’ ‘Mother Jones and her Children’ for CCTV; and Imagine Media Productions’ ‘Aistear Na nGael’ for BBC Northern Ireland.

Magpie 6 has been offered €400,000 for 26-part animated series ‘Inis Spraoi’, which will be broadcast on RTÉ’s new Saorview channel RTÉjr.

The remaining productions offered funding are educational series ‘In Your Shoes’ by Yellow Asylum for RTÉ 2; and Animo’s ‘The Writing Estate’ for RTÉ One.

Speaking about the announcement, Michael O’Keeffe, chief executive of the BAI said: “This round was particularly noteworthy for the high level of qualifying applications that were received.

“In order to partly address this, the BAI made an additional €1m available in the round. However, given the competitive nature of the Scheme, it was inevitable that some very worthy projects did not make the final cut on this occasion.

“The allocation again represents a significant investment of funding, financed by the television licence fee, directly to the broadcasting and audiovisual production sectors in Ireland. To date in 2012, funding totaling €13.4m has been offered by the Scheme to 185 radio projects and 60 television projects.”

Meanwhile, the BAI has received over 200 applications for funding under Round 16 of the Scheme which closed in September. It is envisaged that the outcomes of this round will be announced before the end of the year.

The BAI expects to announce details of closing dates for 2013 in November.

A full list of the projects being offered funding is available here:
Applicant Project Name Format Genre Lang TX Max Funding # of Progs Max %
Element Films Citizen Charlie Dra Hist/Herit English RTÉ 1 €1,000,000 3 27%
Mind the Gap Films Glaoch an Cheoil Ent Arts/Cult Bi-lingual TG4 €260,000 8 85%
Sideline Productions Tales of Irish Castles Doc History/Heritage English TV3 €350,000 6 85%
DCTV Now We're Hurling Dra Contemporary Society English DCTV €53,000 3 90%
DCTV Storyteller Season 2 Ent Arts/Culture English DCTV €72,000 21 90%
Cleona Ní Chrualaoi An Ceoldráma  Doc Contemporary Society Bi-lingual TG4 €115,000 4 85%
Circle Films Limited The Kennedy's Irish Mafia Doc Contemporary Society English TV3  €123,000 2 89%
Magpie 6 Inis Spraoi Ani Children's Bi-lingual RTÉjr €400,000 26 32%
NEAR 90fm/Near TV Equal Billing (working title) Ent Adult/Media Literacy English DCTV €48,900 9 95%
Frameworks Films Limited Mother Jones and her Children Doc. History/Heritage English CCTV €27,500 1 90%
Athena Media Get Off the Couch! Doc Contemporary Society English SETANTA €160,000 6 90%
Yellow Asylum In Your Shoes Edu Children's English RTÉ 2 €250,000 6 80%
Imagine Media Productions Ltd. Aistear na nGael Docu History/Heritage Irish BBC NI €62,649 1 40%
Magamedia Teo Corp + Anam 2 Dra Contemporary Soc. Irish TG4 €775,000 4 46%
Animo Television The Writing Estate Edu Adult/Media Literacy English RTÉ 1 €220,000 6 80%

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