November 2018 marked the 15th anniversary of the first Irish Film and Television Academy Awards in 2003 and IFTA’s new Academy Board has taken this milestone as an opportunity to pause, take stock and identify the key objectives for the next phase of growth and development across 2019 – 2023, in consultation with key stakeholders in the industry.
The strategic Plan will be prepared over the coming months and launched in March 2019, when schedules will be announced for key tent-pole events including new dates for the 2019 annual IFTA Awards, and further changes to the 2020 Awards in line with recent changes to the international Awards schedule.
Strategic 5-year Development Plan
The Strategic Plan will focus on new structures and funding across the Academy’s 12-month Educational Programme – Inspiring Excellence; expanding Membership to 3,000 professionals; Establishing an Academy Building & housing its Archive; growing the John Ford Ireland Symposium; working with BAFTA and identifying strategic partners, Government funding and commercial sponsorship to deliver high-calibre annual Award Ceremonies to showcase the industry.
15 Years of IFTA
Over the past 15 years, IFTA has played an role in supporting, growing and nurturing the Irish industry and rewarding and inspiring excellence. IFTA has built an Academy of 1,240 Members/industry professionals; established a 12 month Learning Programme (over 450 events since 2003; Masterclasses, Lectures, Workshops, Discussions (with people such as Martin Scorsese, Liam Neeson, Michael Moore etc) & the John Ford Ireland – Film Symposium; IFTA has held 18 Awards Ceremonies; presented 694 Irish Academy Award statuettes; has honoured 23 Veterans of the Irish industry; IFTA’s Rising Star award has been the first to acknowledge new talent such as Saoirse Ronan, Michael Fassbender, Tomm Moore, Domhnall Gleeson, John Michael McDonagh, Jamie Dornan, Sarah Greene etc; IFTA has developed the Academy Archive of ‘legacy’ material, photography, film/TV footage, interviews, tributes, papers, letters & John Ford Ireland material.
The Irish Government recently launched its Olsberg-SPI Report produced by international consultants, which states that “Ireland could double its employment in the sector within five years and that Ireland can become a global hub for the production of film, TV drama and animation with the right support in place”.
Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry. also launched its 5 Year Strategic Plan, seeking increased budgets from Government, outlining that Screen Ireland needs to be resourced both in terms of additional funding and personnel. Their report highlighted that their investment in Irish production had “witnessed the most extraordinary success in Irish film, television, and animation; when IFB-supported films received eight Academy Award nominations (Oscars)” in 2016, which they stated was “an extraordinary achievement”.
IFTA acknowledges the importance of Awards from international Academies but stresses that ‘recognition and encouragement’ of Irish talent and achievements must always be firstly supported and recognised at home, as this builds confidence within the industry and builds the home audience support. It is clear from testimonials that, winning an Irish Academy Award (IFTA) opens doors internationally to agents, investors, distributors and casting directors, as the recipients are recognised amongst the best in the world. Ireland is well-placed as the only English-speaking European country (besides the UK) to showcase its industry, its superb talent and skills to the world at large. At a time of great change and possibility in the world of film and television, and as we look to the opportunities and challenges that undoubtedly lie ahead, it is only proper that the Academy invests time and resources in the development of a new and far reaching strategy for the future.
The Academy represents an important and dynamic creative industry in Ireland and we are very excited about this 5-Year development Plan with our new Board and the opportunities that lie ahead. A lot has been achieved in our first 15 years and we are very proud to be part of this great movement of Irish creative talent and skills, as we help to nurture and grow this industry amongst the best in the world.
Áine Moriarty, CEO – IFTA
The new IFTA Board is committed to building the Irish Film and Television Academy and helping it to develop its full potential. This will include ambitious plans to further establish the organization as central to the industry as a whole and as a focal point for the Academy membership. In undertaking this 5-year Development Plan we will be consulting closely with key Government bodies in tandem with stakeholders, broadcasters and commercial sponsors, to ensure that the Academy can deliver this important vision for the Irish industry as a whole.
Alan Moloney, Chairperson – Academy