Northern Ireland gets low budget film fund

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ONDON -- First-time, micro-budget filmmakers in Northern Ireland received a potential funding boost as the territory's Northern Ireland Screen agency launched a cash-backed program.

The organization said Monday that it is setting up a low-budget fiction production fund (LBFP) which aims to finance one television drama or low-budget movie to be produced between June 2008 and March 2009.

Fund organizers said that television drama projects "will be prioritized" but successful applicants "must provide evidence of interest in transmission from a broadcaster."

Likewise, wannabe moviemakers must show evidence of distribution interest from either a sales agent, distributor or broadcaster to secure the cash backing.

A project's budget must be no more than £200,000 ($395,000), and Northern Ireland Screen said it will invest up to 75% of that amount, or £150,000 ($296,000).

The other stipulations for movie hopefuls include that the creative team live in Northern Ireland and all production from pre to post must take place there.

The deadline for treatments to the organization is March 31.
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