IFB Funding Programmes /


The amount of grant-in-aid made available for 2014 to Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (BSÉ/IFB) by the Department of Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht for capital funding purposes is €11,277,000 (a 5.2% reduction on the 2013 allocation). An additional €2,000,000 of recouped investment will be added to this, bringing the total figure for 2014 to €13,277,000. Of this, the majority will be used to enable the development, production and distribution of new Irish films for cinematic exhibition and/or exploitation of television and/or online. The remainder will be allocated to support training and a variety of ancillary film-industry activities. There is a separate administration budget for the overhead and staff of BSÉ/IFB, which in 2014 is €2.7m.

Funding for development, production and distribution is provided through a range of programmes:


1.     Screenplay Development Loans:
Funding for writers, or writers and directors, to develop a first-draft screenplay for a feature film. 

2.     Project Development Loans:
Funding for producers to commission a screenplay, bring together talent and undertake all of the practical work necessary to prepare a feature film or high-end TV project for production 

3.     Animation Development Loans:
Funding for animation companies to undertake all of the concept, design and story work necessary for the development of an animated feature film or TV series.

4.     International Development Loans:
Funding for Irish producers to participate in the development of high-profile feature films and TV projects initiated by overseas producers.

5.     Documentary Development Loans:
Funding for producers to commission a treatment, produce footage/promos, bring together talent and undertake all of the practical work necessary to prepare a documentary feature film for production.


1. Fiction

BSÉ/IFB provides funding for the production of live-action and animated feature films, high-quality television drama and animated series (but not documentaries, for which see point 2, below) across these distinct categories:

  • Irish Film Production
    Films (live-action and animated features) and in certain limited circumstances high-quality television drama (including English- and Irish-language drama) originated and creatively led by Irish talents - directors, writers, producers. The content will generally express Irish culture in some way, and the practical management will be primarily in Irish hands.
  • Creative Co-production
    Films originated outside Ireland in which an Irish producer is involved as a creative collaborator and provider of a minority of the finance needed. The film must be structured as an official or recognised co-production creatively driven with significant production activity in Ireland. In certain cases, there will be a commitment by a funding body in the principal producer's country to provide reciprocal support for an Irish film.
  • International Production
    Feature films and TV drama originating and principally managed from outside Ireland which use Ireland as a location and involve Irish creative elements, with local services provided by an Irish-based producer.
  • Animation TV Production

Animated TV series originated and creatively led by Irish talents - directors, writers, producers, animators - the content of which will generally (but not invariably) express Irish culture in some way, and the practical management of which is primarily in Irish hands.

2. Documentary

Funding to enable the production of documentary films, with a clear emphasis on feature-length creative documentaries capable of reaching an international audience through theatrical and festival exposure.

3. Completion

Funding to enable the completion of a fiction, animation or documentary film (but not a TV drama or short film) which has reached post-production stage or later without BSÉ/IFB support, shows great promise and is in need of further funding.

4. Short Films

BSÉ/IFB currently has four schemes for the production of short films:

  • Signatures (live-action, max. 12 minutes)
  • Frameworks (animation, 5-6 minutes)
  • Reality Bites (documentary, max. 12 minutes)
  • Gearrscannán (live-action, up to 8 minutes, in the Irish language)

Note: short films for schemes other than Gearrscannán may be made in the Irish or English language.


Distribution Support

Funding for recognised Irish distributors to cover the majority of the marketing and promotion costs (as distinct from the costs of physical distribution and creation of materials) of feature films supported by BSÉ/IFB when released in Ireland.

2. Direct Distribution/Exhibition Support

Funding for Irish producers to help with the cost of a limited theatrical release in Ireland (including Northern Ireland) for feature films already in receipt of BSÉ/IFB production funding that have been unable to secure suitable theatrical distribution by a bona fide Irish distribution company.

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