IFB Funding Programmes / Short Film Schemes /

Reality Bites

About Reality Bites

Reality Bites is a scheme to enable the making of short documentaries.

The scheme aims to encourage experimentation and the realisation of fresh approaches to non-fiction filmmaking. Projects selected for support may be journalistic or creative, observational or aesthetic, objective or personal, but they will all contain something new in their use of the documentary form. Short sketches of subjects being considered for longer-form treatment may also be appropriate to this scheme.

Films may be made in Irish or English (if produced in the Irish language, subtitling will be necessary for festivals & sales worldwide).

The deadline is strictly 1pm on Tuesday, July 1st, 2014, when the online system will close down.

Parameters of the Scheme

 -  Number of films: Up to 3 per year

 -  Duration: Maximum 12 minutes

 -  Budget per film: Maximum €15,000

 -  Format: Origination on any digital format

 -  Delivery: Digi Beta & HD Cam

Who Can Apply

Applications are invited from producer/director teams (where the producer and director are not the same person) subject to eligibility guidelines as follows:

Producers - must be able to prove their ability to produce documentary.

Directors – must show ability to direct documentary material or have directed at least one short documentary film. Where a director plans to act as camera operator, the showreel should provide evidence of this ability also.

Writers – must have previous writing experience e.g. screen, published or online work (links to online works should be provided on their CV.

Producers, Directors and Writers may apply to make more than one Reality Bites film but may not receive funding through the scheme more than three times in a 10-year period.

The scheme is not open to full-time students.


Submissions will be examined, with consideration given to the detailed story treatment and the creative team. A shortlist of around six teams will be invited to attend an interview.

Awards will be made to up to three teams, the number of Reality Bites to be funded being dependent upon the overall standard of submissions. Teams selected must attend an information day in order to be entitled to claim their funding.


The IFB will retain non-exclusive rights in all media in Ireland and non-exclusive promotional rights for the rest of the world.  The rest of the distribution rights will remain with the film maker who can choose to appoint a sales agent or distribute the film themselves.  The IFB feel this will provide vital training in the area of distribution and will enable filmmakers to build relationships with distributors directly. 

The IFB have a policy of submitting Reality Bites films to a list of approved international festivals after they have been premiered in Ireland

Important Features of the Scheme

  • As a general rule, Reality Bites films should be originated and creatively led by Irish talent or talent resident in Ireland, and their production should be practically managed from Ireland by a production company registered in the Republic of Ireland.

  • Producers must provide evidence of their ability to acquire all rights worldwide in perpetuity in all forms of media now known and to be invented.

  • One producer only may be approved and credited for selected projects.

  • The following rates will apply to the production budgets of all films made under the scheme:

    - The Writer, Director and Producer fees should be in line with the budget, the
    overall cost of the project and the intentions of the scheme. Fees deemed excessive will be adjusted should projects be selected.

    - Insurance:  Allow 1.2% of the budget

    - Contingency:  Allow 5% of the budget (a production fee should not be included)

  • BSÉ/IFB will have approval rights over the following elements of all films made under the scheme:

         -  Shooting script
         -  Budget
         -  Production Schedule
         -  Key technical crew – requires pre-approval
         -  Rough Cut

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