Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Irish Film Board May Close

The blogs on the U.K.'s state of the filmmaking union address apply to Ireland's dilemna as well.

There are two industries at work and the one making the most money is the one working for the yankee dollar...but beyond filmmaking as an industry, there is filmmaking as a lure to tourism, something New Zealand experienced after Lord of the Ring and something Brazil is keen to create...Simon Perry brings this into his argument about keeping the Irish Film Board alive...Sydney

Anonymous 29-Jul-2009 9:04 pm: The three comments below and the article A Tale of Two Industries could also be applied to the Irish Film Industry and the Irish Film Board who claim in the their recent press release that 6000 people work in film and TV. Its about half that and 60% of them dont work much so its all pie in the sky really. Plus budgets are going down and rates are out the window so back to beans on toast again. Hollywood has ruined the Irish Film Industry and left never to return..... Thats Americans for you.

Comment by Anonymous: Good to see that; at last someone has caught on to the Film Council's annual 'wheeze' to keep their quango going. Well observed.While they continue to promote the idea that there is 'no problem' the endemic and perennial problems of the indigenous film industry will continue to grow and suffocate any possibilities of progress.

Comment by brandon footfarmer 29-Jul-2009 11:08 am
It's perhaps time to stop calling it an 'industry' - so few British protagonists seem to view it as such that it hardly fulfills definition. There is nothing wrong with cultural and artistic aspirations, but just nailing them to unrealistic financial expectations seems bound to create a hybrid that fails both. Independent UK producers generally don't seem to comprehend the nature of an 'industry' but are trying to raise money for their creative output - rather than seeing it as how much they can sell a product for.. I know this sits uncomfortably with many but that seems to be the 'industry' model.

Anonymous 31-Jul-2009 12:18 pm
It's very refreshing to see a well thought out piece that provides a key analysis of important dichomites in the UK industry.Having decimated the UK independent sector with the demise of section 48, international co-production and indigenous production - everyone is up in arms at what we are going to do now that there is no more Harry Potter.Perhaps if the legislation and the quangoes were there to serve the taxpaying independent production houses of the UK rather than support the global cultural and economic domination of the US studios + publicy owned UK facilities the UK might have a sustainable film industry not this constant boom and bust nonsense.

Here is the article on the Irish Film Board from Screen Daily:
Ireland's department of finance has recommended shaving €37 million (or $52.6 million) from arts and culture funding, which includes ending the Irish Film Board. IFB chief Simon Perry has noted that the Irish media sector has boomed over the last couple decades, creating thousands of jobs. He says: "Closure of the Irish Film Board would mean that the production of Irish films will stop completely," which will not only end the industry, but hurt tourism as he claims nearly 50% of tourists visit Ireland after seeing it in a film -- a pretty fair estimate I'd say, given the number of people who drool when they see the country on the big screen.

The IFB was closed before, in 1987, but was re-established after a number of big-buzz Irish films found funding outside the country -- My Left Foot, The Crying Game, The Commitments. In recent years, however, you might remember the endearing and unforgettable Once, which was funded by the board.

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