The Irish Film Board is in Jeopardy
by Monika Bartyzel
There's a rather surprising and worrisome piece of news that's popped up over at The Hollywood Reporter (here and here). It seems that Ireland's department of finance is looking to save some cash and have recommended shaving €37 million (or $52.6 million) from arts and culture funding, which includes ending the Irish Film Board.
IFB chief Simon Perry has noted that the Irish media sector has boomed over the last couple decades, creating thousands of jobs. He says: "Closure of the Irish Film Board would mean that the production of Irish films will stop completely," which will not only end the industry, but hurt tourism as he claims nearly 50% of tourists visit Ireland after seeing it in a film -- a pretty fair estimate I'd say, given the number of people who drool when they see the country on the big screen.
The IFB was closed before, in 1987, but was re-established after a number of big-buzz Irish films found funding outside the country -- My Left Foot, The Crying Game, The Commitments. In recent years, however, you might remember the endearing and unforgettable Once, which was funded by the board.