24 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Making an Impact: Creative Europe MEDIA's Investment in the Irish Industry (2014-2020)
28 May 2021 : Nathan Griffin
Creative Europe
The MEDIA programme has invested €48 million in the Irish audiovisual industry since 1991 celebrating its 30th anniversary this year.

There is no doubt that the MEDIA programme has been instrumental in the growth of Irish companies both nationally and on a European level. Ahead of the next cycle of funding, which begins next month, we take a look back over the MEDIA funding cycle (2014-2020) and its contribution to the development of the industry.

Between 2014 and 2020, over €13 million was awarded to Irish companies through Creative Europe MEDIA. This direct funding went to Irish companies across the film, documentary, animation, TV, and video games sectors. It’s clear that Irish companies have earned the MEDIA seal of approval in the last programme leading to the international success of projects like Wolfwalkers, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, The Favourite, Handsome Devil, The Day Henry Met, and many more. 

MEDIA funding awards helped the Irish audiovisual sector to grow and internationalise by investing in the creation of international projects through the Producer Support Schemes and by giving Irish professionals access to international markets and training. 

Irish films have also been seen across Europe thanks to MEDIA distribution support. European Distributors received support to distribute Irish Films across Europe including: Float like a Butterfly; Katie; Without a Name; The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Herself, The Breadwinner and Halal Daddy. Irish stories have also reached new audiences because MEDIA invests in companies with strong creative vision.  

As the audiovisual sector in Ireland changed and developed over this period, so too did the type of funding offered by MEDIA. Funding for areas such as video games and innovative business models were introduced alongside Producer Support, Festivals, Markets, Distribution, and Training. 

Another great way for companies to build partnerships and meet investors is to sign up for the MEDIA umbrella stands at the major markets. MEDIA offers discounted rates to participate at major markets such as Cannes, the Berlinale, and the Annecy International Animation Film Festival Market (MIFA). 

Usheru is an example of an Irish company with a strong vision who has seen the benefits of MEDIA investment. Their Eurofilm Platform (Movie Voyage) was awarded over half a million euros since 2018. Movie Voyage helps film fans discover great European films to watch at film festivals, in cinemas and at home. The platform also provides data for industry players on the performance of European film to help improve the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

“It has been a very strong seven years for the Irish audiovisual industry,” Orla Clancy, Manager, Creative Europe Desk Ireland – MEDIA told IFTN. “We’re honoured to be in a position to be able to help the industry tell their stories to audiences across the world. It’s wonderful to see so many strong creative projects coming to life with the support of MEDIA. We look forward to the next Creative Europe programme and to supporting the Irish audiovisual sector for years to come.” 

View From The West 

Between 2014 - 2020, MEDIA invested almost €2 million in the audiovisual and Video Games sectors in the West of Ireland. Half a million was invested in Gaeltacht companies representing 3.8% of the total Creative Europe MEDIA funding to Ireland.

“Creative Europe MEDIA has invested almost €2 million in the audiovisual and Video Games sectors in the West of Ireland with half a million invested in Gaeltacht companies. We hope to build on this strong foundation in the next Programme,” Eibhlín Ní Mhunghaile, MEDIA Office Galway told IFTN.

The majority of funding received was for the development of Film and TV projects and Video Games. 

Slate Funding support worth a total of €585,000 was awarded to three companies: Telegael Teo, Moetion Films and Soilsiú Teo.

A total of €285,000 was awarded to seven companies for the development of Single projects: Magamedia Teo, Soilsiú Teo, Aliceway/Bandit Films, Léirithe Rúnda,  South Wind Blows, Lunar Pictures, and Magpie 6 Media. 

Four companies received a total of €566,077 for the development of 6 Video games: Tribal City Interactive, Isometric Dreams, Psychic Games, and Timeslip Software.

Over the 2014-2020 period, Galway Film Fair received annual funding totalling €371,750 for the international market at the Galway Film Fleadh, while Gaeltacht company Abú Media was also a co-beneficiary with an Austrian company for a project supported under the TV Programming Scheme.

Media In Ireland highlights

Screen Leaders was funded throughout the last programme with €1,183,985 in Creative Europe Funding. 60 companies from 19 countries, gender balance over the 7 year period is 55/45 male/female closer to 50/50 in recent years.

All four of Cartoon Saloon’s animated features were MEDIA supported and all 4 were nominated for Academy Awards. The Secret of Kells, Song of the Sea, The Breadwinner and Wolfwalkers

Crossing The Line’s projects funded since 2014 include Cuba’s Wild RevolutionBig Bend - America’s Wild Frontier and Transylvania’s Wild Side (in production now). A major moment for the team was in 2019 when Wild Ireland beat David Attenborough’s Blue Planet to win the coveted Grierson Award for documentary. Emer Reynold’s The Farthest also won the Emmy for outstanding science and technology documentary.

Cuba’s Wild Revolution, which broadcast on PBS, ORF, France TV, DR, SVT, was another major success. The show was also expanded into a two-part version called Wild Cuba, presented by Colin Stafford Johnson on BBC and RTÉ, and it has also been re-versioned for NHK in Japan and ORF Content Sales are handling the international distribution. The show was the winner of the Best Presenter-led Award at Jackson Hole Wildlife Film Festival 2019. 

The new Creative Europe programme will be launched next week when all funding calls go live.

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