WGI Welcomes Screen Ireland Additional Funding

27th April 2020 by admin

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, last week Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland announced a series of measures to support the screen industry at this difficult time. To directly support screenwriters, Screen Ireland committed to an enhanced investment of an additional €100K in the Screenplay and Spotlight Development Schemes. Further details about this enhanced investment are now available, allocated evenly between the two existing funds:

  1. An additional €50,000 will be allocated to the Screenplay Development Scheme (Established Talent). The current deadlines for submissions, application process and assessment criteria remain as before, but this increased investment will allow for budget flexibility in the remaining rounds for 2020.
  2. An enhanced investment of €50,000 into the 2019 Spotlight Development Scheme will facilitate an additional five awards in the current round of selections. There will now be 15 participants on the scheme instead of the original 10. All 15 writers will also be offered the opportunity to apply with new project ideas to the Screenplay Development Scheme for up to a period of 12 months after completion of the Spotlight scheme.

The Spotlight scheme is a structured development scheme aimed at discovering and developing diverse, fresh and exciting new screenwriting talent in Ireland, with guidance and mentorship from leading industry figures at the very beginning of their careers. Screenplay Development for Established Talent supports experienced writers/directors to write a live action or animated feature film from initial idea stage in the form of treatments or early script draft to a viable first draft screenplay.

WGI welcomes the additional funding. It is an important first step in reforming the development funding model.

This initiative guarantees a greater proportion of awards for screenwriters who wish to develop a first draft or a treatment before seeking a producer. Hitherto the Screenplay Development Loan had accounted for only 22% of total development funding disbursed by Screen Ireland.

We welcome the very constructive engagement with SI staff and expect to have further discussions when the suite of measures to alleviate the economic blow due to the Covid 19 crisis have bedded in.

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