In the wake of the news regarding the closure of Filmbase, and after the statement made by the Arts Council in that regard, Scannain reached out to RTÉ for comment on the news and on some concerns within the Irish film industry.
RTÉ and Filmbase had a long history of collaboration on short films, going back to their first joint award of funding in 1990. More than 100 short films were financed under this scheme including early work from Stephen Burke, John Moore, Kirsten Sheridan, Orla Walsh, Shimmy Marcus, Ian Power, Emer Reynolds, Brendan Muldowney, Liz Gill, Rob Burke and Ronan Burke, Simon Fitzmaurice, David Freyne, Claire Dix, Colm Quinn, and Dave Tynan to name but a few.
In response to our query regarding any potential shortfall to filmmakers awarded funding under the Filmbase/RTÉ scheme they advised that they “haven’t yet got the full information on what films have been financed in part and what films may be left short of funds by [the liquidation of Filmbase]”.
They reaffirmed their commitment to short film. RTÉ currently invests in Frameworks a joint animated short film initiative with the Fís Éireann/Screen Ireland (FÉ/SI) is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation industry.; the Short Film Commission Scheme, a partnership scheme with the Galway Film Centre, and in Storyland, the award-winning commissioning project that gives emerging Irish drama support in association with Northern Ireland Screen. “No other decision on funding has been made since Filmbase has closed.”
When asked if they had received any indication of the potential financial issues at Filmbase they responded that they were “not aware that Filmbase was in financial trouble.”