Tomorrow, Government have the opportunity to begin a process of repair and re-investment in our cultural and arts communities. As a party spokesperson for the arts, I have had the pleasure of partaking in the preparation of Sinn Féin’s alternative budget submission.
A key part of Sinn Féin’s arts proposal is investment in the film industry.
Investment in the Irish film and television industry provides multiple economic and cultural benefits, far beyond the direct employment of on-set cast and crews.
Ireland has provided the subject and scene for some of the world’s best loved cinema, and tourism Ireland estimate that 35% of people visit a location as a result of its appearance and introduction by way of screen.
Yet Irish Film has taken a disproportionate cut in funding when compared to other sectors.
Bord Scannán na hÉireann, alongside TG4 and RTÉ can support a rich indigenous film, drama and television sector and alongside that, Sinn Féin will seek to strengthen the Irish language remit of the IFB.
The Danish Government have invested heavily in developing a successful film and television industry. The Danish equivalent receives almost €50m more than the Irish Film Board annually.
The audio-visual content production sector in Ireland itself is estimated to be worth over €550 million and employs over 6,000 individuals, with over 560 small and medium enterprises operating in the sector as well as the added value that the industry can bring to tourism.
Sinn Féin’s allocation to the Irish Film Board represents an initial increase of €3.75 million for 2017, raising state support levels by one third.