13 July 2020 The Irish Film & Television Network
BBC Gaeilge Seeking Programme Ideas for NI Screen's ILBF
05 Jan 2017 :
The deadline for submission of ideas to Editor, BBC Gaeilge Friday 10th February 2017 at 12pm.

BBC Gaeilge is currently seeking programme ideas from independent television companies who have experience in producing the following content which will be considered for submission to Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF). The deadline for submission of ideas to Editor, BBC Gaeilge Friday 10th February 2017 at 12pm.


This commissioning round offers producers an opportunity to add to the strong portfolio of 60’ Irish Language documentaries for broadcast on Sunday nights at 2200 on BBC 2 NI.

Documentaries which re-examine historical events in a contemporary tone such as Mary McAleese & An Chéad Eorpach, Eoin Mac Néill – Fear Dearmadta 1916, Faoi Gheall ag Éirinn, Cú Chulainn: Laoch Uladh have been appreciated by our audiences.

There is an opportunity to discuss and propose other documentaries of this ilk in this commissioning round, but more particularly focusing on documentaries with contemporary storylines and themes. Budget: Up to £75,000 per episode (including non-contributable broadcaster overheads).


It remains a priority to create a portfolio of 30’ singles or series across a variety of genre and topics. Producers should consider submitting proposals on subjects and topics that will engage and be relevant to as wide an audience as possible.

Ideas should reflect the normal, the extraordinary and the surprising elements of contemporary life in NI and beyond. As such, proposals should not rely on historical contexts and events to tell the story. The ambition is to schedule this newly-commissioned content in Autumn / Winter 2017.

The regular broadcast slot for 30’ programming is at 2200 on Monday nights on BBC Two NI. Opportunities exist to commission single 30’ documentaries in particular, made by skilled film-makers, telling the stories of what is really going on in their worlds.

These films will explore and reflect contemporary local life in all its varieties, forms, people and places. They will provide new perspectives on and challenge our perceptions of life in Northern Ireland today. Real people and real experiences are at the heart of these films. These will be human interest stories that the audience will care about; they will thrill us, make us laugh, make us cry, and make us think. The strength in these films will be their ability to stimulate emotion for ordinary people who have a unique story to tell. Contemporary tone, universal themes, thought provoking questions, debate, inspiration and revelation are all key elements to the construct of these films.

For reference, consider those films commissioned and produced for the BBC NI ‘True North’ strand. Single documentaries and series commissioned previously include Múinteoirí, Píobairí Ard Mhacha, Taobh Thiar den Gheansaí, Tóchair an tSaoil. Budget: Up to £35,000 per programme (including non-contributable broadcaster overheads).


Lifestyle and factual entertainment series should be energetic and ensure a loyal audience returning week after week.

Series which involve people participating, contributing and experiencing, as opposed to presenter-led exploration, are preferred in this commissioning round. Series commissioned previously include Ar Scáth na Sléibhte, Ar Bhealach na Gaeltachta, Ar Mo Bhealach Féin.

Topics to consider: travel, sport, natural history, science, the arts, hobbies. We are looking for new formats, faces and ideas.

Budget: Up to £35,000 per episode (including non-contributable broadcaster overheads)


BBC Pitch is the established tool for submitting ideas to BBC NI. All proposals should be discussed with Editor, BBC Gaeilge ahead of the deadline for submission on BBC Pitch on Friday 10th February, 2017 at 1200 midday.

BBC Gaeilge will communicate all outcomes for your ideas should they be shortlisted for further development, for pitching to the commissioning team, or rejected. Any queries about submitting ideas on BBC Pitch should be directed to linda.mccarter @ bbc.co.uk.

Alan Maher on Producing
Fiona Graham on Cinematography
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