17 July 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Screen Ireland announce recipients of pilot Audience Development Fund
06 Feb 2024 : News Desk
Audience Development Fund
Screen Ireland has announced the 20 recipients of the pilot Audience Development Fund. The objectives of the fund are to increase visibility of Irish films nationally while promoting cinema-going and access to a diverse range of audiences.

Screen Ireland has awarded funding worth over €340,000 to a wide range of projects which aim to build a larger and more diverse audience for independent Irish film, animation and documentary. 

“We were delighted to see such a wide and exciting range of proposals with the common goal of building greater audiences for Irish film, animation and documentary in this first iteration of the Audience Development Fund,” said Louise Ryan, Head of Marketing and Communications at Screen Ireland. “Screen Ireland is committed to the sustainable growth of audiences for Irish stories. As audience habits change, it is more important than ever to ensure that all audiences have the opportunity to enjoy culturally rich Irish stories and feel empowered to tell their own. We would like to warmly congratulate the successful recipients and look forward to seeing these ambitious initiatives come to fruition this year.”

Applicants included a variety of stakeholders and independent organisations which were assessed on the innovative qualities of their proposals. The successful projects include new film events which aim to drive audiences to Irish films, new engagement opportunities with the industry for young audiences and students, research studies examining distribution and audience behaviour and original screening programmes highlighting diverse talent. Particular attention was paid to applications with a clear commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and sustainability.

“Screen Ireland recognises that there are many different audiences, and that for every individual filmmaker there should be a particular audience for that film,” added Emma Scott, Head of Distribution at Screen Ireland. “Whether it's comedy, romance, horror or action, finding those audiences and connecting them with incredible Irish films is a vital part of Screen Ireland. This pilot Audience Development Fund is an important step in discovering new and diverse audiences, while also providing greater access and visibility for our existing network of Irish film fans.” 

The successful applicants are: 

  • aemi for a two-day event presented in partnership with THE COMPLEX Dublin comprising screenings, workshops, and talks, celebrating new and underrepresented voices in artist film.
  • Carlow Arts Festival for an extension of their outdoor cinema of two nights with screenings specifically focused on contemporary independent and family-friendly Irish film. 
  • Catalyst International Film Festival for additional events to their festival, including a programme for students, a Ukrainian cinema event, and a school short film initiative. 
  • Century Cinemas for an Irish language cinema club and a school programme in Donegal. 
  • Dublin International Comedy Film Festival for marketing costs of the 2024 edition of the festival, introducing audiences to Irish comedy talent. 
  • Dublin International Film Festival for the Irish Film Curators programme and an Audience Development Research survey. 
  • Film Ireland for Screen Sessions, a series of podcasts inviting the next generation of creative voices to connect with key talent from Irish’s cinematic history, culminating in a live event. 
  • Generation Fleadh for a new audience engagement plan providing opportunities for young people to engage with Irish film. 
  • GAZE for the 2024 edition of the festival, with various activities and screening for Irish films and filmmakers, ensuring Irish film as a key strand of the festival.  
  • GORM for GORM Gathering, a 5-hour event that unites filmmakers, creatives of colour, and industry leaders to celebrate and promote diversity and inclusion in Irish screen. 
  • Happenings for an environmentally conscious outdoor screening series that celebrates iconic Irish artists  
  • Independent Irish Film Distributors Ireland (IFDI) for the establishment of a formal body of Irish distributors which will conduct audience research, reach out to new audiences, and organise an exhibitor and press day for Irish cinema. 
  • IMC Cinemas for a strategic marketing endeavour that seeks to revitalise the Irish film industry by increasing audience engagement with homegrown cinematic content. 
  • Kerry International Film Festival for the development of audiences for Irish film in regional areas through festival activities. 
  • OFFline Film Festival for a series of outdoor screenings of classic Irish films in Birr, followed by audience research and data analysis from these events. 
  • Pálás for Séasúir Shorts, a quarterly Irish short film programme, curated to reflect the breadth and diversity of filmmaking. 
  • Showtime Analytics and Break Out Pictures for a study analysing Distribution and Exhibition Data for the benefit of Irish Film with a focus on audiences outside Ireland. 
  • Stranger Than Fiction, a brand for Irish documentary presentation that will encompass a series of cinema events, training workshops, online content including podcasts, TV screenings and social accounts.
  • The GALPAL Collective for Directed By Her, a weekend event celebrating the works of women behind the camera with a focus on short filmmaking. 
  • Wildcard Distribution for a deep dive into how audience insights can be applied strategically in distribution by using ‘AI-enhanced anthropology’.

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