BCI Increase

17th December 2008 by Maura McHugh

It’s not all cut backs and gloom in recent funding decisions. The Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resource, Eamon Ryan TD, announced last week that he will increase funding for the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland’s (BCI) Sound and Vision programme by 2% on the previous allocation.

This increase will bring total investment in Ireland’s independent television production to almost €15.5m in 2009.

“The independent production sector is an important creative source, as well as a significant employer,” Minister Ryan said.

“This increase in the Sound and Vision fund from 5 to 7pc, combined with the increase in the RTÉ statutory independent production spend to €40m from €32m a year, gives some certainty to this sector in a tougher economic climate.”

The IBEC Audiovisual Federation 2008 Review revealed that 265 audiovisual productions were completed in Ireland in 2007, with a total production value of €195.7m.

Although these figures mark a significant reduction on the overall 2006 production figures of €279.8m, estimated figures for 2008 confirm that the industry has returned to strong levels of production, with an overall estimated value of €246m.

Audiovisual Federation director Tommy McCabe said: “The analysis in the report is divided under three headings: film, television and animation. The 2007 report shows a downturn in feature-film productions, but a continuing strong performance in TV and major TV drama productions, as well as a consistent growth in animation.”

With regard to film, production activity in 2007 declined to €19.3m, a reduction of 77pc on 2006. It is estimated that the level of production activity for feature films will increase to €64m in 2008, but this is still significantly below levels achieved in earlier years, and confirms the overall loss of growth in international feature-film activity.

“It is hoped that the improvements to Section 481 will increase the level of international productions in Ireland next year,” McCabe said.

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