Archive for December 6th, 2007

Irish at Sundance ‘08

6th December 2007

IFTN reports that two Irish writers will have their work screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival from the 17-27 January 2008, in Park City, Salt Lake City, USA.

‘The Sound of People’, written and directed by Simon Fitzmaurice, and produced by Noreen Donohoe, is the only Irish short among the19 titles chosen for the Dramatic Shorts selection, and was shortlisted from over 5,000 entries. The film stars Irish actor Martin McCann as eighteen-year-old Stephen, a young man who connects with his past and future and stares into the face of his own death. Fitzmaurice said: “I am absolutely over the moon about getting into Sundance. Everyone worked heart and soul on this film and this is a wonderful response.”

Ken Wardrop will showcase two films in the Documentary Shorts selection: ‘Farewell Packets of Ten’ and ‘Scoring’. ‘Packets of Ten’ is about two ladies discussing the pros and cons of their addiction to cigarettes, while ‘Scoring’ reveals the true power of a kiss.

Other Budget Increases

6th December 2007

Under yesterday’s budget the Irish Arts Council didn’t obtain their goal of €100m in funding, but they did achieve an increase of €5m, which brings the body to €85m overall. Olive Braiden, Chair of the Arts Council, said:

I welcome today’s allocation to the Arts Council. I am pleased with the outcome especially in the circumstances of current public finances. I congratulate Minister Brennan in maintaining the Government’s existing significant commitment to the arts. The Arts Council looks forward to working with the Minister in the year ahead to build on this year’s provision.

Culture Ireland also saw an increase of 6% in its funding for marketing Irish artists and art abroad.

WGA thanks Guilds

6th December 2007

The IPSG received letters of thanks from the WGA East and West for our contribution to the International Day of Support last week for the WGA strike:

Letter from the Writers Guild of America West:

Dear Members of the International Writers’ Community:

We at the Writers Guild of America extend our heartfelt thanks to members of the international community for your unprecedented and robust outpouring of support for our cause on International Solidarity Day on November 28. We were moved and inspired by the hundreds of scribes who marched in front of the Eiffel Tower in France, at the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, and on the streets of Canada, England, Australia, Spain, Portugal, The Netherlands, Wales, and Mexico. Clearly, our fight to win fair compensation from global media corporations has struck a chord with writers everywhere.

The scope of the protests was truly impressive: In Berlin, over 100 German writers carried WGA picket signs at the Brandenburg Gate. Hundreds of writers marched in freezing temperatures in Montreal and Toronto. In Amsterdam, an auditorium full of writers cheered our cause. We have heard from the Portuguese Screenwriters Guild, the Writers Guild of Great Britain, the International Affiliation of Writers Guilds, the Writers Guild of Canada, the Screenwriters Guild of Germany, and the Federation of Screenwriters in Europe. Members of the Irish Playwrights and Screenwriters Guild marched for our cause dressed as leprechauns!

At home, WGA members with international backgrounds marched at NBC Studios in Burbank, California. Jean-Yves Pitoun, a French native and WGA West member, stressed that the fight in the U.S. has an impact abroad: “Europeans are very carefully watching the writers, actors, and directors in the U.S. because Rupert Murdoch is everywhere.”

We thank you for reinforcing that fair compensation for writers is a worldwide cause. Together our voices will be heard.


Board of Directors
Writers Guild of America West

Letter from Michael Winship, Writers Guild of America East:

Subject: Thank You So Much for the International Day of Solidarity

Dear Friends of the IAWG:
I am on a short break from the negotiations in Los Angeles, and have a chance to send you this note.

First, I am so sorry that I was unable to see all of you in Montreal, but strike duty prevailed. It sounds as if it was a productive and enjoyable meeting and it would have been great to be there. Next year!

Second, and more important, I want to express my profound gratitude to all of you for invoking and then so effectively implementing the International Day of Solidarity on November 28. Your support means so much to our members. It was an inspiration to see our strike signs held high all over the world. Your steadfastness and willingness to spread the gospel were above and beyond the call of duty.I am proud to count all of you among my friends.

Thank you so very much!
In solidarity,

Michael Winship
Writers Guild of America, East

Film Board Budget Increase

6th December 2007

The Irish Film Board, Ireland’s national film agency, has announced that the Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, Seamus Brennan, announced a 18% increase in the Film Board’s funding in yesterday’s budget.

The agency’s budget has been increased from €19.6 in 2007 to €23.2 million in 2008, which indicates strong government support for the Irish film sector.

These figures reflect what has been a successful year for the Irish film industry. IFB funded projects and the Irish film industry have picked up over 20 international awards during 2007. Major triumphs include Once winning the Audience Award for World Cinema at the Sundance Film Festival. Once went on to be released in the US to universal critical acclaim and has gone on to take almost $10 million at the North American box office. Garage was selected for the prestigious Cannes Film Festival, scooping the CICAE Art and Essai Cinema Prize. Consolata Boyle received an Oscar nomination for Best Costume Design on The Queen, Joan Bergin won an Emmy for her work on the US TV series The Tudors and Kings was selected as the Irish film to be submitted for the Best Foreign Film Academy Award. Irish films have also been selected for other A-list festivals Toronto, Venice and Pusan.

‘We welcome Minister Brennan’s decision to implement a substantial increase in the Board’s direct funding at this time. It is an endorsement of the IFB’s policies for promoting and developing Irish filmmaking talent and Irish film enterprises. We are confident that Irish films will continue to grow in success and international recognition with all the wider benefits to the economy that flow from this” said James Morris, Chair, IFB.

“This extremely welcome uplift in the IFB’s funding will enable us to respond to pressing needs in Irish filmmaking. We aim to provide more support for the sustained development of Irish stories with international reach, well funded schemes for the production of short films to reveal new Irish talent and to invest in new production at a level that will stimulate the making of bigger-budget films with potential to compete in the world market” commented Simon Perry, Chief Executive, IFB.