Irish Film Industry / About Bord Scannán na hÉireann / Irish Film Board /

Objectives, Policies and Operating Procedures


(i) Statutory Remit

The Irish Film Board Act 1980 Section 4 States that "the Board shall assist and encourage by any means it considers appropriate the making of film in the State and the development of an industry in the State for the making of films".  BSÉ/IFB has a dual mandate and it fulfils that mandate both through the provision of funding for film production on the one hand and the fostering and developing of policies and relationships with the stakeholders in film production on the other hand.

(ii) Vision

Our vision is to enable a sustainable, successful, and expanding Irish based filmmaking through the development and employment of Irish creative, artistic and technical skills, and the development of strong Irish based companies capable of producing, financing and distributing Irish films on an international scale. 

(iii) Mission Statement:

TALENT, CREATIVITY, ENTERPRISE.  Placing Irish film talent at the centre of the Irish creative knowledge economy. 

2.  GOALS 

1.    To enable the development of distinct Irish cinematic voices through a wide and innovative support system;

2.    To enable the making of film in Ireland working continuously to improve the filmmaking environment through fiscal measures and on-the-ground support to enable the growth and exposure of Irish film talent through development and production initiatives, short film schemes and talent promotion through local and international film festivals, networks and partnerships;

3.    To grow the audience for Irish film in Ireland and abroad through the strengthening of the domestic marketplace and promoting the export of Irish film internationally;

4.    To promote an integrated government policy for the audio-visual/digital content sector, with film at its centre through an integrated approach to creativity, enterprise and technologies;

5.    To deliver value for money to the key stakeholders and all those who benefit from the BSÉ/IFB- audiences, Irish filmmakers and Irish talent, key partnerships and to Government and the Irish public justifying continued support.


(i) Expanded Vision:

The Creative Capital" Report* adds to this as follows:

"It is recommended that the organisational structure and funding responsibilities of the BSÉ/IFB are adapted to enable the organisation to act a specialist development agency for the entire audiovisual industry alongside its current remit of developing the industry for the making of Irish film and television.

A partial or full rebranding of the BSÉ/IFB may be required to better reflect this new role and the related functions as a development agency for the whole audiovisual industry providing seamless support and leading advocacy and policy.

It should be stressed that these proposals to enhance the mandate of the   are intended to provide additional remit and functions.  The existing legislative purpose of the BSÉ/IFB to build an indigenous creatively-led Irish film industry that is culturally and artistically distinct should continue as BSÉ/IFB core purpose."

(ii)  Implementation of Expanded Vision:

The implementation of these recommendations for an expanded vision will form part of the discussions of the Inter-departmental Steering Group set up to examine the feasibility of the implementation of the Creative Capital Report. What the expanded vision does emphasise is that BSÉ/IFB should, in addition to focusing on films for cinema release, also be developing the industry for all audiovisual content and, to give effect to this, also should furthermore be focusing on audience access for film and audiovisual content generally including cinema exhibition broadcast television and online and on strategies for the development of audiovisual content production and its dissemination generally.

The expanded role of BSÉ/IFB extends therefore to developing and expanding the audiovisual production sector in Ireland by assisting in improving the opportunities for Irish talent and creativity in audiovisual works and by providing supports which will expand and increase the scale and capacity of the film and the wider audiovisual production sector both through the development of strong companies and the enhancement of opportunities for individual producers and other creative personnel in that sector.


The headings of the aims and objectives as set out in the Creative Capital Report are as follows:

  • Develop the audiovisual production sector in Ireland.
  • Develop skills and talents of the people in Ireland working in audiovisual production.
  • Develop a strong domestic market for audiovisual work including cinema distribution and exhibition, television broadcast (including an Irish film channel) and online exploitation.
  • Mobilisation of the audiovisual production industry in Ireland through working with government and other stakeholders.
  • Build strong companies in the audiovisual production sector.
  • Build exports of Irish audiovisual works.

*Creative Capital: Building Irelands Audiovisual Creative Economy. A report prepared for the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht by the Audiovisual Strategy Review Group - April 2011.  The report was launched by the Minister for Arts Heritage and the Gaeltacht Jimmy Deenihan in July 2011.


The aims and objectives of BSÉ/IFB will continue to include a strong focus on the development of audiences of Irish audiovisual works across all platforms including cinema exhibition, retail rental and sale, television broadcast and online availability.  This is particularly  important for domestic audiences but also applies to international audiences.  Included in the goals of BSÉ/IFB therefore must be a close working relationship with the  operators of the various platforms so that exploitation across all platforms is co-ordinated in an effective fashion developing synergies between cinema exhibitors, DVD distributors and broadcasters and also recognising the opportunities available for accessing audiences and monitoring content in an online environment.


(i) Feature Films:

The primary target for funding by BSÉ/IFB is the funding of feature films (including animated feature films and documentary feature films) originated and creatively led by Irish talents, being Irish directors, writers, producers, 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. Funding will also continue to be devoted to Creative Co-productions where an Irish producer is involved as a creative collaborator and provider of a minority of the finance needed and where the film is an official or recognised co-production.  Funding may also be provided to international film and television productions in Ireland where the investment enhances the development of an industry for the making of films in Ireland.

(ii) Other Audiovisual Works:

As part of fulfilling the aims and objectives outlined above and in addition to its primary target of funding feature films, funding will now also be provided by BSÉ/IFB for certain other audiovisual works.  BSÉ/IFB has been providing funding for Irish language drama series and animation television series as well as in exceptional circumstances other forms of audiovisual works made for television broadcast.  As part of its role as development agency for audiovisual production, BSÉ/IFB will in future provide funding for high quality live action television drama and animation television series with a focus on the domestic audiences and the export market which are creatively driven by Irish talent and production of which takes place wholly or to a materially significant extent in Ireland.  As part of developing strong companies, funding will be provided to production companies which are permanently established in Ireland and the practical management of which is in Irish hands. 

Because of the other sources of funding available for television production in Ireland including in particular from public service broadcasters and from the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, the principle of additionality will be applied to BSÉ/IFB funding decisions in relation to high quality live action drama and animation television production, with these sources of funding in mind, in addition to the normal principles of additionality as applied to feature films and market driven funding. 

Given the existing funding arrangements for public service broadcasting, BSÉ/IFB will not be providing funding for news programmes, current affairs programmes, sports programmes, religious affairs programmes, music programmes, reality and other entertainment television programmes. BSÉ/IFB will however be working with the audiovisual production sector generally and public sector stakeholders in particular on strategies for the development of an expanding sustainable audiovisual production sector in Ireland.

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