Archive for May 20th, 2009

New Irish Cinema

20th May 2009

Variety recently wrote an article on the “coming of age” of Irish cinema, which should be of interest to those working in the industry. Here’s a highlight:

Following in the footsteps of Sheridan and Jordan comes a generation that includes such directors as Lenny Abrahamson, Conor McPherson, John Crowley, Martin McDonagh, John Carney, Kirsten Sheridan, Lance Daly, Paddy Breathnach and Damien O’Donnell, and writers such as Mark O’Rowe, Enda Walsh and Mark O’Halloran.

“We now have a list, whereas we didn’t before,” says Alan Moloney of Parallel Pictures, one of the small band of Dublin-based producers who have worked closely with the Irish Film Board to nurture this rising tide.

Carney’s “Once,” Abrahamson and O’Halloran’s “Adam and Paul” and “Garage,” McDonagh’s “In Bruges,” Daly’s “Kisses” and the Crowley/ O’Rowe collaborations “Intermission” and “Boy A” have redefined expectations about the range and quality of work that Irish talent is capable of delivering.

Carney’s sci-fi comedy “Zonad” and O’Rowe’s latest riff on the Dublin gangster scene “Perrier’s Bounty” are among the most anticipated upcoming Irish movies. There’s also another wave of talent coming, including Margaret Corkery, Ken Wardrop and “Perrier” helmer Ian Fitzgibbon.

It’s easy to forget that for most of the 20th century, Ireland had no film industry at all, just a few determined independent spirits such as Joe Comerford and Cathal Black working in glorious isolation.

The refounding of the Irish Film Board in 1993, along with the introduction of a tax break targeted at film production, provided a turning point. It coincided with the modernization of the Irish economy and culture, and the rise of a cine-literate generation as eager to pick up a camera as a pen.

IFB Budget Safe, But Funds Low

20th May 2009

ScreenDaily has reported that Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has had confirmation of its budget for the coming year.

It was cut by $4m (€3m) at the beginning of the year, from $27.2m (€20m) back to $23.1m (€17m) . Further cuts were expected but just before Cannes, the Board has just learned that the 2009 budget will not be reduced further.

Speaking in Cannes, Simon Perry, IFB’s chief executive, said: “The 15% cut if difficult to handle but not as bad as we had thought.”

Perry aims to spread the cuts evenly and it has escaped without job losses. He added: “We got away very luckily. Other areas of the economy are being far more fiercely cut. It’s brutal in Ireland.”

The article also notes that the cuts are coming after a record year for production: in 2008 25 new live action features, not including documentaries, were shot in Ireland.

As a result the IFB dipped into its reserves, which are now almost gone. Therefore the money available for new film production in 2009 is down 30% on last year.

My Favourite Scene

20th May 2009

Filmbase and are running a competition in which the entrants can re-enact a favourite movie scene. It can be from any film and acted out in any style or method.

Once the scene is shot it can be uploaded (if it is less than 40MB) using an online form, or the DVD containing the movie can be mailed in.

The closing date for the competition is 24th July 2009.

1st prize
A digital filmmaking production equipment package worth up to €1,000.

2nd prize
A Training Course of the winner’s choice from the scriptwriting, directing, producing, or camera & lighting courses available from Filmbase (to a maximum value of €400).

3rd prize
1 year’s Filmbase membership for Producer and Director.

4th and 5th prizes
1 year subscription to Film Ireland magazine.

Further information on the competition is available on the web sites.