Death of a Superhero
Production and Development Co-ordinator
IFB Funding Programmes /
Go to the page relevant to the type of funding you are seeking. (If you are not sure which is the relevant page, check the opening text of each possible page until you find the right one for you.) There are the following pages to choose from:
- Fiction: Irish Production
- Fiction: Creative Co-Production
- Fiction: International Production
- Animation Production
- Documentary Production
Note that Short Films are subject to unique procedures which are explained on the relevant section.
There may be other pages from time to time which deal with types of production in which BSÉ/IFB is partnered with other funders, and which also have their own unique procedures.
Consult the appropriate page carefully, paying close attention to any notes at the head of the page, and to the paragraphs under Who Can Apply and Making an Application.
As you will learn from the How To Apply guidelines, before applying it is essential that you make personal contact with a BSÉ/IFB Executive to discuss the state of the project and its readiness for consideration. Initial enquires about submitting a project to a BSÉ/IFB Executive should be made to BSÉ/IFB's Production & Development Co-ordinator, Sarah Dillon.
The relevant Executives are:
Fiction: Irish Production - Rory Gilmartin, Mary Callery, Keith Potter (Project Managers)
Fiction: Creative Co-Production - Rory Gilmartin, Mary Callery, Keith Potter (Project Managers)
Animation Production - Rory Gilmartin, Mary Callery, Keith Potter (Project Managers)
Documentary Production - Rory Gilmartin, Mary Callery, Keith Potter (Project Managers)
Completion - Rory Gilmartin, Mary Callery, Keith Potter (Project Managers)
International Production - James Hickey (Chief Executive), Naoise Barry (Irish Film Commissioner), Teresa McGrane (Deputy Chief Executive)
Unless you already know the Project Manager or Executive you are contacting, and particularly if your initial approach is to explore whether an application is even appropriate, an email is likely to produce a speedier and more satisfactory response than a telephone call. Initial contact should also be made with the Production & Development Co-ordinator (Sarah Dillon) in relation to the project:
Production Funding: Processes
Before making a formal submission for production funding, producers are required to make initial contact by email (copy to the production co-ordinator Sarah Dillon) and have a subsequent discussion with one of BSÉ/IFB's Production Managers - Rory Gilmartin, Mary Callery or Keith Potter. This will allow the Production Manager to gather basic information about the project and give advice with regard to the prospective application - its timing, any further work needed, legal or other obstacles, etc. An application should identify the person contacted and an application will not be accepted (i.e. logged and processed) without this prior contact and discussion having taken place.
If the outcome of your discussion of the project with the Project Manager in question is positive, download the application form from the page relevant to the funding you are seeking, complete the form in full and collate all the additional materials required. Pay close attention to all instructions given on the application form. Incomplete submissions will not be processed.
Post, courier or deliver your application to BSÉ/IFB's head office in Galway, the address of which is given on the application form, and mark it for the attention of the Schemes & Applications Co-ordinator. Applications will not be accepted by fax or email.
Applications can be made on a monthly basis with a recurring deadline of the last working day of every month unless otherwise advertised. The application form requests basic information about the project (title, previous history with BSÉ/IFB if any), contact details of the production company and principal creative personnel (producer, director, writer) and a declaration and signature. It also lists additional materials that should be submitted, relating to the content and scale of the project (e.g. screenplay, CVs, budget information, etc). These vary depending on the type of funding applied for and in every case are essential to the consideration process. A specific level of funding ("specific funding") may be applied for in which case a detailed finance plan will need to be submitted and discussed in detail with the relevant member of the BSÉ/IFB production team before being considered by the Project Group. Alternatively an application can be made for an in principle commitment to a project. Where a project receives an in-principle commitment of support ("initial approval") a further and separate application will need to be made in due course for specific funding.
Each application will be logged by the Applications Co-ordinator (Jill McGregor). Further discussion of the project may then take place between the producer and the Production Manager handling it; in any event the screenplay will be read, and the elements of the project assessed, by members of the Project Group.
Funding recommendations are made by a Project Group comprising all members of BSÉ/IFB Production and Development teams, members of the Legal & Business Affairs team and, on an ad hoc basis, Consultants drawn from a small pool of non-BSÉ/IFB professionals retained for their specific skills. A BSÉ/IFB Board Member may also be present. Each submission will have been given in-depth consideration by individual members of the Project Group. Meetings of the Project Group are held every 4 to 6 weeks.
Recommendations by the Project Group will be expressed as recommendations to the Board of BSÉ/IFB which will then require a decision by the Board of BSÉ/IFB to give effect to them and thereafter be communicated to applicants. Decisions are generally sought from the Board immediately following a meeting of the Project Group and, if forthcoming, communicated to applicants within one week. BSÉ/IFB may decide to award an initial approval to an application or to award specific funding in respect of an application.
Provisional approval of a project by BSÉ/IFB signifies sufficient commitment to enable a producer to represent to other prospective financiers that the project has the full support of the national agency subject to BSÉ/IFB's statutory funding constraints and negotiation of the terms of its investment. BSÉ/IFB is effectively ‘on board'. Once specific funding approval has been given, contract negotiations will start in earnest, in parallel with monitoring by BSÉ/IFB's Production Executives of the project's creative and practical progress towards production.
Following a negative decision by the Board, a project may be re-submitted to BSÉ/IFB only if significant, material changes have been made to the package, i.e. to the screenplay, to key creative elements such as casting, or to the production cost.
A project will be considered for production funding by BSÉ/IFB only if:
- the application is made by a bona fide producer with a production company established in Ireland or another state of the European Union; and
- there is a director committed to making the film.
The procedure described so far is used to assess applications on behalf of documentaries, animation and TV drama as well as features, with certain small variations to take account of the nature of the material being considered. The application form for documentaries does not refer to a screenplay or cast, for example, but to a detailed outline of the content of the film.
Production Funding Options
The general aim is to allow producers two options, the first being to submit a project for specific funding to be allocated to that project and the second being to extend an invitation to producers to propose projects to BSÉ/IFB at an earlier stage and seek an in-principle commitment of support.
This latter process will start a process of discussion between the producer and BSÉ/IFB as to the assembly of the film's creative package and overall financing, with BSÉ/IFB executives ready to provide assistance in the film's preparation to the extent appropriate and useful. Where the film becomes fully financed and can be put into production, this process then results in an application being made under the first option for specific funding.
Where an in-principle commitment of support is not forthcoming from BSÉ/IFB, the producer, having expended less time and resources on preparation of the project so far, is in a better position to decide how next to proceed with it: whether to take BSÉ/IFB's response to it into account and attempt to re-shape it with the aim of re-submitting it; or to move on and seek to finance it from other sources; or to abandon it in favour of other projects on his/her current development slate.
In either event, the aim of the second option will be to foster a mature, interactive relationship between producers and BSÉ/IFB executives, based on dialogue and mutual respect between professionals.
If you require further information that you cannot find on the website, of if anything in the guidelines is not clear, please contact the Production & Development Co-ordinator, Sarah Dillon.