Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. (IFB) is supporting International Women’s Day and is committed to . As part of the IFB’s artistic leadership role in Irish film and screen content, it is vitally important that Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) represents a contemporary Ireland with all of its uniqueness, originality of voice and cultural diversity. Achieving 50/50 gender equality across all our funding schemes remains a key goal and it is one to which we remain steadfastly and unreservedly committed.
This morning (8 March), the IFB has launched a brand new Gender Equality and Diversity section on the IFB website, which includes information on IFB policies, female-focused funding schemes, statistics and related news in an attempt to increase awareness and visibility.
The Rise of Irish Female Talent
Over the last number of years, the IFB has witnessed a host of female creative filmmakers breaking through on the international stage. Irish director Nora Twomey led Kilkenny’s Cartoon Saloon to their third Oscar nomination with The Breadwinner, while Emer Reynolds achieved global critical acclaim with her NASA Space Voyager, The Farthest, following its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival. Neasa Ní Chianáin’s School Life became a festival favourite with major screenings at IDFA and Sundance, and Aoife McArdle’s Kissing Candice received its world premiere at TIFF followed by a European premiere at the Berlinale.
Leading Irish cinematographer Kate McCullough was listed as one of ten Irish filmmakers to watch by (alongside Twomey, Reynolds and McArdle) while actresses Seána Kersake and Jessie Buckley featured in ’s Stars of Tomorrow alongside producer, Farah Abushwesha. Irish female talent was further acknowledged at this year’s Academy Awards® with Saoirse Ronan and costume designer Consolata Boyle both receiving their third nominations, following on from Boyle’s nod at last year’s ceremony, wherein Ruth Negga received her inaugural Best Actress nomination.
In celebration of both International Women’s Day and the incredible wealth of Irish female creative filmmaking talent, the IFB has placed a special focus on Irish female filmmakers who made an indelible mark on the domestic and international industry over the last couple of years. Read here.
Female-Focused Funding Schemes
In response to the gender imbalances which exist in the Irish film, TV and animation industry, the IFB announced a suite of measure to tackle this inequality. As a funding agency, the IFB can only ever fund what it receives and it is imperative for the agency to be the guiding light for the sector. To ensure the continued and sustained rise of female talent as mentioned above and in an attempt to achieve 50/50 gender parity, the IFB undertook the following measures to support established and emerging voices:
- : A funding and training scheme aimed exclusively at female talent.
A speed networking event specifically for female writers and directors to meet with an interest in collaborating on the POV scheme will take place with SDGI and WGI. Further details to be announced.
- for female initiated and driven feature films.
- Development Focus for female initiated feature films.
- Promotion and dialogue focused on female talent.
- A new Gender Equality and Diversity Subcommittee has been appointed by the IFB board, who are consulting with external bodies. The Subcommittee will establish ongoing policies and guidelines in relation to the application process and funding arrangements, and will be responsible for their implementation and delivery.
Investing in Irish talent, creativity and enterprise is a key remit of the IFB and they strive for this showcase of Irish creative talent to be as equal and diverse as possible from application stage to realisation and funding.