IFB Funding Programmes / Short Film Schemes /


SIGNATURES is a short film scheme for the making of live-action, fiction films that act as a proving-ground for Irish creative talents aspiring to write, direct and produce films for the cinema.

The scheme aims to encourage strong, original storytelling, visual flair, and production values appropriate to the big screen. The scheme also offers an opportunity for producers, directors and writers to work in a professional environment that will bring their experience up to a higher level.

Films may be made in the English or Irish language. 

The deadline for the 2013 Signatures scheme has passed. A new deadline for the 2014 will be announced mid 2014.

Parameters of the scheme

- Number of films:              up to 4 per year

- Duration:                            8 - 10 minutes maximum

- Budget per film*:              Maximum €65,000

- Format:                              Origination on Hi-Def
                                             Delivery on digi-beta, HD Cam and DCP



When preparing your submission applicants should carefully consider the production timeframe. Producers will have a short window from January to April in which to bring the projects to rough cut stage and delivery must then be completed by the end of May 2014.  

*Please note that this scheme is delivered on HD Cam, Digi-beta and DCP and the application budget should reflect the costs required to deliver on these formats

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

Producers - must have previously produced at least one short film*
Directors - must have previously directed at least one short film*
Writers - must have previous writing experience eg. screen, published or online work (links to online work should be provided on their CV)

For the avoidance of doubt, the above individuals must be attached at application stage.

Directors - may produce more than one SIGNATURES film but not more than three in a 10-year period.

Producers and Writers - there is no limit to the number of SIGNATURES an individual may apply to make

The scheme is not open to full-time students

* SIGNATURES is not a wide-open scheme in terms of the talent it aims to attract: it is designed to enable the making of short films by producers and directors with new creative voices but also with some measure of professional experience. Accordingly a short film made as part of college work will not be considered eligible in this context, though a graduation film that has achieved significant festival exposure might be.

Submissions will be examined, with consideration given to the screenplay and the creative team, by a group of assessors put together by BSÉ/IFB from in-house and externally. A shortlist of around 8/10 teams will be drawn up, who will then be invited to attend an interview.

Awards will be made to up to four teams, the number of SIGNATURES 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.

Sales and Distribution Rights
The IFB 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 filmmaker 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 distribution rights for films contracted prior to 2010 have not changed.

Promotional Rights
BSÉ/IFB have a policy, through an appointed company of submitting all SIGNATURES films to twenty international film festivals, after they have been premiered in Ireland.  The appointed company for 2012 / 2013 is Network Ireland Television Limited.

Important Features of the Scheme

  • As a general rule SIGNATURES films should be originated and creatively led by Irish talent or talent resident in Ireland, and their production should be practically managed from Ireland.
  • For selected projects, producers must acquire all rights worldwide in perpetuity in all forms of media.
  • 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:

- Producer: €2,000

- Director: €2,000

- Writer: €1,300

- Writer-Director: €3,000

- Daily rate for all cast and crew (as agreed annually with the
Film Group of Unions): €120

- Insurance: 1.2% of budget

- Contingency: 5% of budget

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


- Shooting script (and BSÉ/IFB may appoint a script editor in certain cases)

- Budget

- Shooting Schedule  

- Casting

- Key technical crew

- Rough Cut





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