The Irish Film Board has proposed a new Irish TV Channel dedicated to broadcasting the best of Irish, European and World Cinema, to the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources for inclusion in the new Broadcasting Bill, to be launched by Minister Eamon Ryan next month.
If given the go-ahead, the new channel will provide Irish audiences with an opportunity to view award-winning independent Irish, European and World Cinema in prime time TV slots. It is envisaged to be a non commercial, free to air service, available to all Irish households and to be included as part of the new multi-channel digital transmission system that will eventually replace the existing 4 channel system.
The channel will provide a platform for Irish films and award-winning European and World cinema that Irish audiences may not otherwise have the opportunity to view or know about. Irish films screening on the channel are likely to have completed their own commercial cycle through theatrical, DVD and mainstream TV outlets before appearing on the film channel.
The channel will also build key strategic relationships with Irish film festivals, local film societies, schools, third level colleges and universities. The morning schedules will introduce students to new Irish and European cinema and will screen a programme of films that will complement the national syllabus and third level studies.
“With the switchover to digital transmission and consequent increase in the number of terrestrial channels the Irish Film Board saw an opportunity to put forward a proposal for a new channel dedicated to the best of Irish, European and world cinema,” said Irish Film Board Chairman James Morris.
“While the opportunity for an Irish film channel came at relatively short notice it was very encouraging that Minister Eamon Ryan saw the proposal as a genuine addition to the proposed new transmission platform, a position enthusiastically endorsed by our own minister for Arts, Sports and Tourism Seamus Brennan”.
Further details of the proposed new channel will be announced later next month.