IFB Funding Programmes / Production /


About the funding

This funding is for documentary films originated and creatively led by Irish talents - directors, producers and writers - the practical management of which will be primarily in Irish hands. The emphasis is on feature-length, creative documentaries with high cinematic production values which are capable of reaching an international audience through theatrical and festival exposure and on new platforms. Funding under this programme is generally (but not invariably) provided by BSÉ/IFB for the making of projects predominantly in English or Irish, or a combination of the two.

Please note that documentaries aimed at a one-hour TV slot or shorter, with little or no international appeal, will not be supported. Besides BSÉ/IFB's commitment to cinema, this approach is also designed to respond to the manifest increase in theatrical audiences' desire to see documentaries. BSÉ/IFB is keen to encourage documentary filmmaking that expresses a view of the world - past, present and future - that is both strongly personal and creatively Irish. Further, BSÉ/IFB is determined to find and foster Irish talents capable of presenting non-fiction material in a way that transcends cultures and languages and utilises the aesthetic and emotional techniques of cinema to communicate its meaning.

Please note the following BSÉ/IFB conditions:

  • E&O insurance is required on all BSÉ/IFB supported feature length projects;
  • All music and archive utilised in a project must be cleared worldwide, in perpetuity, across all platforms (failure to comply with this will result in a serious breach of contract);
  • Where Broadcaster support is involved, BSÉ/IFB will require a minimum fifteen month theatrical window from the first theatrical screening of the project.  


Who Can Apply

BSÉ/IFB funding for Documentary Production is available to Irish producers with a feature documentary project they wish to produce, with clear access to the necessary rights in any material and an agreement in place with the director, lead contributors and screenwriter (if applicable).

BSÉ/IFB is committed to growing companies that produce high-quality, internationally recognised documentaries in an efficient and responsible manner. To this end, the role of the producer in documentary filmmaking is considered vital. BSÉ/IFB is also keen to see applications where a clear and realistic plan for the exploitation of the documentary is set out. Knowledge of the marketplace for documentaries is highly important, and producers are encouraged to seek out partnerships with companies from other countries. BSÉ/IFB is open to considering co-productions through this scheme which will follow the principles set out under Fiction: Creative Co-Production.

How to Apply

  • Please ensure to consult the Production Funding Guidelines 2017 (downloadable from this page) in advance of making a submission.
  • Applications can now be made online using the 'Make an Application' button on this page. If you wish to make an application for funding by post, contact 091 561 398 for the relevant application form.
  • A BSÉ/IFB Project Manager must be consulted prior to making an application.
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