On Wednesday afternoon (16th November) the Irish Film Board (Amended) Bill 2011 reading of the second stage resumed in the Dail. The purpose of the Bill is to amend the Irish Film Board Act 1980, raising the ceiling on the total cumulative amount the IFB can provide to support the production and development of Irish films during the lifetime of the organisation. If this legislation is passed the ceiling will increase from €200 million to €300 million.
The level of debate on the second stage of this bill was somewhat disappointing but not surprising, good news the Film Board will not be one of those amalgamated or abolished as recommended by McCarthy Report. Lots of clichés comments from TD’s to great Irish film from Ryan’s Daughter to the Guard with some references to:
- The PricewaterhouseCoopers report regarding deficiencies in the section 481 tax relief scheme and found it is open to occasional “abuse”.
- Future development in the industry should be comparable to the best practice procedures that are applied in other industries, (which those of us working in the industry know is far from satisfactory).
- Responsibility by the Government to ensure the systems supports and incentives in this area are not exploited by a small number of well-protected interested parties. Some sort of exclusive elite or golden circle should not be created in the industry
- 98% of freelance workers in the industry have a formal qualification. The Creative Capital report envisages an increased role for the Irish Film Board with regard to determining the creative and technical skills required by the industry and working with the education sector in the development of those skills
- The sector contributed more than €170 million to the Exchequer in 2010
- Lots of praise for the animation sector and its success abroad.
- Stronger relationship between Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland could be forged to work with the Irish Film Board to make a plan to attract foreign direct investment.
No mention by TD of the blight of union stoppages over the past 7-8 years that have resulted in many international productions taking their projects to other countries. Or how the industry is thriving in Northern Ireland and yet 70 miles down the M1 the Republic the industry is on its knees. It would appear the IFB is a star pupil in the Ministers eyes and there is little desire to bring about change management, with the exception to raising the ceiling from 200 to 300 million. The existing IFB model is not working and has done little to develop a sustainable industry.
See the full text of the second stage here
Categories: Film and TV