The Irish Film Board will see a 5% reduction in funding next year despite swingeing cuts to public sector pay and services announced by the Irish Government in its 2010 Budget. Having survived a recommendation in the infamous McArthy Report that it be abolished, the 5% cut is seen by the Board as “clear affirmation of the economic importance of Ireland’s content production industries in the context of the emerging Smart Economy in Ireland and the key role the IFB plays in developing this sector“.
With public sector workers facing cuts of between 5% and 10% and child benefit to be cut by 10%, the IFB’s settlement is much better than the industry feared.
The Scottish Government could do worse than take a look at the Irish experience in considering the future of film policy within Creative Scotland. For complex reasons, not the least of which is they simply make more films than we do (See lecture for part of the explanation), it remains the case that Irish indigenous films generate audiences four times as large as in Scotland while also making a bigger economic impact.