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30 Years of Screen Ireland Marked at Galway Film Fleadh

Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland, the national agency for the funding, development and production of Irish film, television and animation, was delighted to welcome Minister Catherine Martin TD to the Galway Film Fleadh this year to mark the 30 years of of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland and to launch a new sustainability initiative aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of film and television production across Ireland.

At the Galway Film Fleadh this year, Screen Ireland marked the 30 year anniversary of the re-establishment of the agency (then called the Bord Scannán na hÉireann/Irish Film Board). Minister Martin spoke of the extraordinary journey the Irish screen industry has been on since then in terms of its growth and cultural transformation. The animation sector in particular has quadrupled in size, and 2021 saw record-breaking production levels across Ireland, while Irish film and television has garnered worldwide and domestic acclaim, with 32 Academy Award nominations for Screen Ireland-supported films since 1993.

Minister Martin introduced filmmaker Aisling Walsh at the event, whose landmark film ‘Song For A Raggy Boy’ was released 20 years ago this year. The acclaimed writer/director gave a keynote speech on her personal experience as an Irish filmmaker, and the sense of pride in what the industry has become.

Introducing Screen Ireland and the Screen Greening Coalition’s ‘Greening Our Screen Industry’ panel at the event, the Minister said, “I am delighted to be here at the Galway Film Fleadh, which is right at the heart of the Irish screen industry calendar and a fantastic place to champion Irish film and the cinema-going experience. Meeting with international delegates, as well as screen industry stakeholders, is a wonderful opportunity to emphasise the Government’s support and recognition of the strength of the Irish screen industry. I’m particularly delighted to be at the Fleadh to mark 30 years of Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (formerly the Irish Film Board). The agency was re-formed in 1993 in a decision that showed enormous vision and ambition, and three decades later we have seen what an incredible journey that has been.”

“We also take this opportunity to look forward to the next steps for the sector – and a huge part of that is ensuring that production is as environmentally friendly as possible. In that, I am thrilled to have announced the implementation of new sustainability standards for productions and a new Sustainability Fund that will help support crew to meet those standards and reduce the Irish screen industry’s carbon output.”

There, the Minister also launched the European Sustainability Toolkit with the Screen Greening Coalition, and announced plans for two upcoming Screen Ireland sustainability initiatives that are underway: the introduction of sustainability standards, which will set out a series of minimum sustainability requirements and recommended actions in relation to on-set production, which all Screen Ireland-supported productions will need to ensure to implement; and a Sustainability Fund, which will give additional support to enable productions to implement these new standards, and take action to reduce carbon emissions on individual shoots. More details on both of these initiatives will be released in the coming months.

At the panel, which was chaired by John Gormley (Screen Producers Ireland) and joined by representatives from Screen Ireland and on-set sustainability advisors Stan Nangle and Alex DeValera, gave updates on existing Screen Ireland sustainability initiatives, as well as the implementation of greener production practices across the Irish screen sector.

Minister Martin’s presence at the Galway Film Fleadh was to engage with the Irish screen industry and emphasise the Irish Government’s continued support and recognition of the value of the audiovisual sector. She introduced a Screen Ireland co-production networking event, which brought together Irish producers and festival guests from the international screen industry, across sales, distribution and production. The Minister emphasised the importance of partnerships and engagement with the international industry as a model for the success of Irish film and its connection with audiences worldwide.

Source: Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland

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