Screen Ireland Gives $4.6 Million to COVID-19 Support Measures

THE HOLE IN THE GROUND Still 1 - Sundance Publicity-H 2019
Courtesy of Sundance Institute

Ireland's national screen body has boosted the budgets of several support initiatives in the midst of the coronavirus crisis.

Screen Ireland has unveiled an enhanced round of support measures totaling 4.25 million euros ($4.6 million) to assist the Irish film and TV industry during the coronavirus crisis. 

"The Irish creative screen industries have grown significantly over the last 10 years in terms of employment and economic contribution," Ireland's national screen body says in a statement. "Our key priority is to support the sector during this critical time, to ensure that Irish creative screen talent can continue to play a key role within Irish cultural life and make a critical contribution to rebuilding the economy when this crisis is over."

Among the new stimulus measures is the 3 million euro ($3.25 million) Strategic Slate Development Fund, aimed at empowering successful applicants to build a slate of creative screen projects. Focused on diversity and inclusion, the fund will support production companies, working closely with screenwriters and directors to help develop their own IP. While it was originally announced earlier this year, the fund's budget has been increased by 2 million euros ($2.2 million) due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

An additional 1 million euros ($1.1 million) has been allocated for enhanced development support across film, TV and animation and available to Irish production companies working with writers on a project-by-project basis, where the Strategic Slate Funding Scheme does not apply. Ninety percent of this funding will be made upfront. 

Elsewhere, the Screenplay Development and Spotlight writing schemes have been given a boost of 100,000 euros ($110,000). The Spotlight scheme, aimed at discovering and developing diverse new screenwriting talent in Ireland, is intended as an opportunity for new writers to develop a feature film screenplay, with guidance and mentorship from leading industry figures at the very beginning of their careers. Screenplay Development supports experienced writers-directors to write a live-action or animated feature film from initial idea stage in the form of treatments or early script draft to a viable first draft screenplay.

Screen Ireland will also be making a line of funding available for companies in need of urgent financial planning support as a result of the challenges caused by this pandemic. This new initiative will provide funding to enable production companies to develop a financial plan with the advice of a financial consultant. The fund is worth up to 150,000 euros ($163,000), with companies able to apply for a maximum of 5,000 euros ($5,400).