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BAI announces funding of €2m to Irish language programming under Sound & Vision Scheme
02 Dec 2022 : Nathan Griffin
BAI's Sound & Vision
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has announced funding of just under €2m under the Sound & Vision 4 Broadcasting Funding Scheme.

A total of 15 radio and TV projects have been successful in Round 46 of the Scheme, which was specifically for projects that would support the development of new radio and television programmes in the Irish language. The round also included a requirement that applications demonstrated gender equality of at least 50% in the leadership roles amongst performers and within the creative production team.

Overall, the round attracted a total of 35 applications, seeking funding of approximately €5.6m. The proposed package of recommendations will facilitate the production of 10 radio projects and five television projects in the Irish language, relating to Irish culture, heritage and experience, adult and media literacy, and programmes dealing with global issues, primarily for Irish audiences.

The proposed funding package of €2m is in addition to the BAI’s commitment to ringfence 20-25% of funding to support Irish language / bilingual content in open funding rounds.

Speaking about the announcement, Minister Martin said: "Earlier this year, I announced a significant increase in the resources available to support broadcast projects with a particular focus on a number of areas, including Irish language and bi-lingual productions. The radio and television programmes which will be made possible by today’s announcement will provide even more opportunities for audiences to engage with Irish productions."

Five of the projects approved for funding are bilingual, with the remainder fully in the Irish language. In line with the BAI’s definition of bilingual programming, at least 30% of the broadcast output must be in the Irish language.

“I particularly welcome the enhanced emphasis in this funding round on the BAI’s ‘women in a creative lead’ criteria. The voices and input of women will be significant across all the programme productions, including featured performers and producers,” added The Minister.

The five television projects funded include: 

Foclóir Bhrille (1x50”) from Animo TV Productions received €100,000. Award-winning bilingual stand-up Bláithín de Burca will bring viewers on a journey into the Irish language in search of wild and wanton women’s words to unlock a uniquely Irish experience of womanhood. This documentary will be broadcast on RTÉ One.

Grá ar an Trá (5x46”) from Macalla Teoranta received €500,000. Grá ar an Trá sees 12 singletons couple up to try and find love and learn the Irish language, all with the ultimate aim of being crowned ‘Couple with the most Focail’. This bilingual series will be broadcast on Virgin Media Two.

Saor Sin Ó Olc (6x55”) from Meangadh Fibin received €495,000. This crime drama sees a rich vein of dark comedy running through the story, with a tapestry of odd-ball characters and an incompetent police force who lift the dark drama to moments of high farce. This Irish language drama series will air on TG4.

Na Féilte Tine (4x5”) from ROSG received €270,000. The series explores how long ago, the Irish had four Great Festivals welcoming the seasons, February (Imbolc), May, August & November. In this series, Billy Mag Floinn will comprehensively explore these central festivals - as they were, as they are, and as they will be.

Naíonra (3x50”) from Tyrone Productions received €311,791. Filmed over a school year, we will bring to screen the real-life stories behind two diverse Naíonra, one based in the Galltacht and one based in the heart of the Gaeltacht. We have secured exclusive access to two Naíonra schools to bring to TG4 a fully immersive observational, heart-warming and enlightening serious ideal for family viewing.

Commenting, Chief Executive of the BAI, Celene Craig said: “The BAI included this specific Irish language round under the Sound & Vision Scheme at the request of Minister Catherine Martin, and I would like to thank her for securing the additional funding. We are very pleased with the variety and standard of applications received in this round, which help to further the BAI’s strategic aims of promoting diversity and plurality, enhancing innovation and sectoral sustainability, and empowering audiences. The projects recommended for funding will increase the availability of quality culturally relevant content in the Irish language and the inclusion of the gender equality requirements will provide greater diversity in terms of those involved in its production and on-air presentation.”

To date, the BAI has awarded more than €39m in funding under the Sound & Vision 4 Scheme to support the production of high-quality television and radio programmes since the scheme came into operation in 2020.

Click here for a full list of the projects being offered funding under Round 46 of the Sound & Vision Scheme.

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