Archive for July, 2010

Signatures Deadline Extended

27th July 2010 by Maura McHugh

SignaturesBord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) has extended the deadline for entries for its short film scheme Signatures until Friday 3rd September 2010.

Signatures is a new short film scheme for the making of live-action, fiction films that act as a proving-ground for Irish creative talents aspiring to write, direct and produce films for the cinema.

The scheme aims to encourage strong, original storytelling, visual flair, and production values appropriate to the big screen. The scheme also offers an opportunity for producers, directors and writers to work in a professional environment that will bring their experience up to a higher level.

Films may be made in Irish or English.

Application guidelines and submission forms are available on the web site.

NCFA Day of Action

27th July 2010 by Maura McHugh

National Campaign for the ArtsThe National Campaign for the Arts is organising a National Day of Action for arts and culture on Friday 17 September.

On this day art workers in every constituency around the country will meet their local TD. Amidst a nationwide media campaign, they will discuss with their local representatives the fundamental importance of the arts to Ireland’s economic recovery.

You can get involved:

  • Join the arts workers group on Facebook in the constituency where you are registered to vote
  • As part of this group, write to your TDs requesting a meeting on Friday 17 September
  • Take part in the meetings and events on the day

In addition every constituency is putting together a list of people who are registered to vote in that constituency and who work in the arts (even if your work is based in another constituency).

This is a powerful tool when meeting TDs and Councillors. Jobs in their constituency matter! Be sure to give the constituency organiser your address so we have an accurate constituency database.

One of the more active constituency groups is the Dublin South Central Arts Workers, which has its own blog as well as Facebook page and meets regularly. To join and help make a difference email: dublinsouthcentralartsworkers (at)

Dublin: City of Literature

26th July 2010 by Maura McHugh

Today it was announced that Dublin will become the fourth city to be honoured by UNESCO as a City of Literature. It joins Edinburgh, Melbourne and Iowa City as Cities of Literature within the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Formal notification was received by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Gerry Breen, who said

‘‘I am absolutely delighted about this achievement – which confirms what Dubliners have known for years – this is a city that has always produced – and continues to produce – great writers’.

The sought after accolade was bestowed by the Director General of UNESCO and recognises Dublin’s cultural profile and its international standing as a city of literary excellence.

Detailed application was made to UNESCO last November by a steering and management group led by Dublin City Council’s library service and was subject to a rigorous vetting procedure. Partners in the submission included representatives from literary-related organisations as well as culture, arts, tourism, government, media and educational institutions across the city and country.

The designation as City of Literature, part of the UNESCO Creative Cities network, provides a unique platform for Dublin’s literary community and enables the city to increase its market share as a destination for business and pleasure – and Ireland as a creative, exciting, and vibrant nation. Dublin, UNESCO City of Literature has enormous potential for beneficial cultural and economic impacts not alone in the capital city, but in communities across the country. Fáilte Ireland has steadfastly supported the application from inception to achieving the designation, recognising the importance of Dublin and its literary heritage in promoting cultural tourism.

UK Film Council Axed

26th July 2010 by Maura McHugh

UK Film CouncilShocking news today from the UK as reported first on the Deadline London blog, and repeated on the BBC and The Guardian web sites.

British Culture secretary Jeremy Hunt is due to inform the House of Commons at 2:30pm this afternoon that the UK Film Council will be abolished.

A recently-released statement from Tim Bevan, Chairman of the UK Film Council, appears to confirm the news:

“Abolishing the most successful film support organisation the UK has ever had is a bad decision, imposed without any consultation or evaluation. People will rightly look back on today’s announcement and say it was a big mistake, driven by short-term thinking and political expediency. British film, which is one of the UK’s more successful growth industries, deserves better.

“Our immediate priority now is to press the Government to confirm that the funding levels and core functions that are needed to underpin British film are locked-in, especially at a time when filmmakers and film companies need more support than ever as they make the challenging transition into the digital age. To that end, we will work with the DCMS over the summer to identify how they can guarantee both continuity and safe harbour for British film.”

RTE on Privatisation List

23rd July 2010 by Maura McHugh

The Irish Times reports that Irish broadcaster RTÉ is on a list of State companies that a Government-appointed group will consider selling in an effort to cut the €84 billion national debt.

Minister for Finance Brian Lenihan announced he has appointed economist Colm McCarthy to chair the new Review Group on State Assets. Mr. McCarthy was part of a review group last year which recommended devastating cuts in the Arts.

Department of Finance official Donal McNally and TCD’s Prof Alan Matthews will join Mr McCarthy on the review group.

Mr Lenihan said its initial focus would be commercial State companies. It will look at other assets, such as the radio spectrum, used to carry mobile phone and TV signals, and mining and exploration licences.

The group’s work won’t necessarily stop at establishing if the companies can be sold. It will also consider how best they can be used to boost growth and contribute to the State’s own investment plans.

Where appropriate, the group will be able to scrutinise companies’ investment and financing plans, business practices and regulation.

They will also have to examine any liabilities that the State may have as a result of owning these businesses.

For example, many of the companies involved have pension deficits. Bord na Móna said this week that the shortfall in its staff retirement fund was €20 million at the end of last year.

The group will report at the end of the year. Mr McCarthy said yesterday that it would give an explanation at that stage for its findings and recommendations.