Special funding round expected from the BAI

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has announced a special round of the Broadcast Funding Scheme will be advertised within the next week.

The information was announced as the latest round was announced, with 90 radio projects receiving their share of €650,000.

In contract, €6.41 million will be given to 36 TV projects from the same pot.

Overall, Round 34 attracted 229 applications, seeking funding of almost €19.8m. Documentary proved to be the most popular category for applications for both radio and television, while projects in drama, animation, education and entertainment were all well-represented.

In more recent rounds under the Sound & Vision Funding Scheme, the assessment of applications has included consideration of the number of women in key creative roles, as a measure to support greater gender equality in the industry. All except two of the TV projects receiving funding indicate that – at least – one of the creative production roles will be undertaken by women. More than 80% of the successful TV projects identified between one and four women in lead creative roles.

Funding allocated in this round of the Sound & Vision Funding Scheme will facilitate the production of 126 projects based on Irish culture; heritage and experience; global affairs that affect the Irish State; media literacy; and adult literacy. Projects will be broadcast across 45 different channels, including community, commercial and public service broadcasters. Funded applications include:

  • “Bringing Home the Bacon Factory” for Claremorris Community Radio, which documents employees of a rural bacon factory recalling the work, social life, and economic and environmental effects of a once huge local industry.
  • “Start the Song Slowly,” produced by John O’Shea and broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM. The programme is an exploration of the life, songs and music of the renowned traditional musician and singer in Connemara, fisherman Colm Ó Caodháin (1893-1975).
  • “Flix”, produced by Pictor Productions to be broadcast on RTÉJr, a children’s animated comedy that follows the life of FLIX, the only dog growing up in Cat Town.
  • “Vintage” for KCLR 96FM, a documentary exploring vintage fairs, motor shows and auctions to trace local and national history through cars, clothes, agricultural equipment, photographs and furniture.
  • “Walk and Talk” for UCC 98.3FM, a series looking at life in UCC from the perspective of former students who went on to become major players on the national stage.
  • “A Fiver for a Tenor” for LMFM, a documentary that will transport listeners back to May 1963, when a then unknown tenor took to the stage of the Town Hall, Dundalk for his first ever solo concert outside of Italy. His name? Luciano Pavarotti.

Commenting on the announcement, chief executive of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe said: “Once again, the level of funding sought in this round of Sound & Vision significantly exceeded the money available. Given the quality, variety and diversity of the projects proposed, assessors were faced with difficult choices.

“The funding award today for 126 radio and television projects represents an increase of more than €1m on the previous round and we congratulate all successful applicants.

“Allocating funding under the Sound & Vision Scheme helps the Authority in achieving its objective to increase the production and availability of culturally relevant content for Irish audiences. It is also a crucial source of support for independent programme-makers and broadcasters.

“Without the funding from Sound & Vision, which comes from revenue provided by the licence-payer, many of the funded programmes would never be produced.

“It is especially important that the broadcasting sector continues to be funded and develop during this difficult period. Many people are turning to broadcasting at this time for information and entertainment and to remain connected. The BAI is pleased to be in a position to support the request, by the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Richard Bruton, to ringfence funding to provide further support under the Sound & Vision Funding Scheme to the independent commercial radio sector.

“Details of this special round of the scheme will be announced in the coming week, along with the announcement of further rounds to support the community radio sector and the television and public service radio sectors,” added Mr O’Keeffe.

A full list of the projects being offered funding under Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme Round 34 is available to download here.

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