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Bord Scanni?? n na hi?? ireann is established first and foremost to promote the creative and commercial elements of Irish film-making and film culture for a home and international audience. The Board supports film projects through the supply of development funding and also by providing production finance by way of debt/equity investment. It also encourages the development and training of technical, artistic and production personnel as a process of developing the overall skills expertise within the industry.

In addition, the Board assists in the production and marketing of Irish films within Ireland and abroad as a means of stimulating a non-touristy interest in Ireland, Irish culture and Irish films. Development Loans are advanced on a phased payment basis with approximately 50-60% paid on satisfactory implementation of Development Loan contracts between the Board and the producer, the balance being paid upon observance of certain conditions profiled by the Board. Loans for development are up to a maximum of IRi?? 50,000 (i?? *****) but only IRi?? 25,000 (i??

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*****), (more than one loan can be taken out for development purposes but a maximum of IRi?? 25,000 applies to any one application and all loans cannot total more than IRi?? 50,000). Teams/companies can apply for a development loan, as can individuals (producer/director/script-writer). The producer is obliged to repay the advance on the first day of principal photography. These should be seen as feasibility/development loans; the Board will make every attempt to track these funds and provides information and assistance for independent producers looking for potential production partners.

It should be noted that some projects that have received development loans from the Irish Film Board (IFB) will fail to make it into production and so will eventually be written off. However, all projects that do come to fruition are closely monitored by the Board and the collection of the money owed is keenly pursued. MEDIA Desk Ireland benefits from a significant strategic position within the Irish industry as the interface between the Irish audio-visual sector and the MEDIA Programme of the European Union.

The two-sided effect to this relationship is the ease of inward investment/support from the MEDIA to the Irish industry and in parallel facilitation of the reach of the Irish industry into the European market. This crucial role of the Desk is also displayed from the range of its client base – writers, directors, producers, animators, distributors, new media professionals, exhibitors, festivals and education/training agencies.

It is the breadth and depth of this client base (standing at over 1700) that has launched the Desk as a focal point within the industry and as a significant facilitator for the industry and nationally and, maybe more importantly, internationally into Europe. Those who reflect upon the work of MEDIA II in Ireland can be forgiven for doing so with great pride: one can cite the level of funding into the Irish industry (currently at IRi?? 8.

1million (Ireland on Screen, 2001)); over 240 Irish professionals who have benefited from MEDIA training; and the participation by Irish professionals at the MEDIA supported international markets and festivals. By any standards, these findings are strong and confirm MEDIA finance and training as a critical element in the growth of the Irish cinematic and audio-visual industry. Looking forward into MEDIA+/MEDIA Plus, there is a commitment on the MEDIA Desk’s part to continue this work and to match greater sophistication and scale of the Irish cinematic and audio-visual industry.

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