30 September 2022 The Irish Film & Television Network
RTÉ In-House Format Farm Aims for International Market
17 Oct 2013 : By Kevin Cronin
RTÉ In-House Format Farm deadline this 28th Oct.
A new RTÉ in-house Format Farm initiative - separate but ‘complementary’ to the Format Farm for independent producers - will see RTÉ staff internally submit format ideas before 28th October, with a view to developing ideas marketable to the international market, and ultimately build RTÉ international sales.

Ms Tonyia Dowling, RTÉ Head of Format Development, confirmed to IFTN that the in-house pitching round was not a replacement for the Format Farm aimed at the independent sector – which will announce another round early next year.

‘They are complementary initiatives and not competing. In much the same way as the first Format Farm was rolled out to the independent sector in 2012 - which raised the profile of the Irish independent sector in global markets - RTÉ wishes to afford the same opportunity to our in-house staff and to enable them to come up with ideas which can potentially be sold internationally,’ Ms Dowling said. ‘It’s very much in keeping with practices with other broadcasters like BBC Worldwide and ITV Studios who do the very same.’

Successful examples of programmes which began life as RTÉ Format Farm pilots before being commissioned for full series include ‘The Hit’, ‘The Takeover’ and ‘Six in the City’ – all drawn from the independent sector.

‘The two Format Farms are running side-by-side; One does not displace the other. We’re looking for a wide expanse of great ideas, but that can equally come from the independent sector and in-house.’

Ms Dowling confirmed that RTÉ would make a decision on which formats to green-light for the broadcast pilot stage before the end of the year.

‘The whole idea of Format Farm was to sponsor innovation in the Irish independent production sector and to give seed capital. For example, RTÉ would give €25,000; an international distributor would give €25,000; and sometimes the producers themselves would put in some money. We could then test the concept on air, see what the audience was like and then potentially commission a series,’ she added.

The RTÉ in-house deadline for Format Farm submissions is 28th October, and the next Format Farm for the independent sector will be announced in early 2014.

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