Country Focus: Ireland
IFB responds to threatened closure
by Naman Ramachandran
27/07/2009 - The Irish Film Board (IFB) has responded to the An Bord Snip Nua’s recommendation that the country’s apex film body be abolished.
The response cites a recent Price Waterhouse Cooper report that valued Ireland’s audiovisual content industry at over half a billion euro per annum and argues that the loss of 6,000 people directly in the sector and many more in ancillary industries will cost the country in excess of the perceived savings.
The response goes on to state:
“To be taken into consideration also are the consequences for Ireland if it were to become the only developed country in the world producing no films for the cinema, and thereby losing the most powerful tool available for establishing and sustaining its cultural identity abroad. It is well understood by all countries that the projection of an image of a country, its people and its way of life onto the screens of the world pays direct dividends in terms of inward investment, trade in goods and services, and tourism. Almost one in two US tourists to Ireland now state that their decision to come was triggered by seeing Ireland in the movies.
"If the case for maintaining an Irish audiovisual content industry stands up, then we can demonstrate that IFB, through the accumulated knowledge and expertise of its staff, and their core competence in managing the business of creativity, is fit for today’s purpose. The effectiveness of the agency’s policies and the efficiency of its operation, at a cost of 10% of its total annual funding, compare favourably when benchmarked against similar agencies in other European and English-speaking countries, as well as against other Irish State Agencies.”