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IFB Regional Fund A Success In The West
30 Aug 2004 :

Liam Cunningham

Reports from the Irish Film Board reveal a successful start for the new BSÉ/IFB Regional Support Fund funding scheme with principal photography on Ian Fitzgibbon’s ‘Showbands’ near completion.

‘Showbands’ is the first project to go into production with funding from the new BSÉ/IFB Regional Support Fund. Directed by Ian Fitzgibbon (Paths to Freedom, Spin the Bottle) and scripted by John Moloney (The Clinic), the five week shoot began at the end of July, in a variety of locations in Co. Galway including Loughrea, Woodford, Athenry, Corrofin and Gort.

‘Showbands’ is a 2 x 1 hour drama set in the 1960s infused with the music of the showband era. The story follows down-at-heel ballroom owner, Tony (Liam Cunningham - A Love Divided) as he attempts to save his ballroom from arch rival, Rendell (Denis Conway - Intermission). All Tony's hopes are pinned on young unknown singer, Denise (Kerry McFadden). It is produced by Alan Maloney (Intermission) and is a Parallel Films production for RTÉ in association with Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board.

The aim of the Regional Support Fund is to encourage BSÉ/IFB-backed film and television productions to utilise the full range of locations in regional Ireland. This is done by providing funding to cover a proportion of the additional production costs incurred by shooting outside of the Wicklow/Dublin area. The ‘Showband’s’ production is estimated to spend approx €714,000 in the local area. 33% of its crew are local and has spent approx €219,000 on local goods & services.

"We are delighted that the first project with Regional Support Funding has chosen to shoot in the Galway region and I wish the SHOWBANDS team the best of luck with this exciting project" says BSÉ/IFB Chief Executive Mark Woods. "The interest from the film community and the take up of this new fund has been very strong and we look forward to seeing a number of production companies utilising the spectacular film locations available in the regional areas of Ireland."

For further info see the Irish Film Board Website.

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