19 September 2019 The Irish Film & Television Network
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Second Round of the Celtic International Fund Announced
07 Jun 2019 : News Desk
Celtic International Fund
BBC ALBA (with funding from MG ALBA), S4C, TG4 and Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF) have announced the second round of the Celtic International Fund, a yearly joint-commissioning round between the indigenous Celtic language television broadcasters and funders of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.

The aim of the ‘Celtic International Fund’ is to promote co-development and then co-production through Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Irish, and to encourage a broader European and worldwide internationalisation of productions which are originally conceived in those Celtic languages.  The Celtic International Fund hopes to provide filmmakers with an opportunity to co-develop and coproduce distinctive, ambitious works to enrich primetime programme schedules, to have a national impact with audiences in the territories of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland and seek to reach audiences worldwide.

This call-out encompasses four genres, Factual, Formats, Children’s (Factual and Drama) and Drama. For all projects, we envisage a development phase where funding would be provided to develop ideas but also to develop the co-production framework which must have a production element in Scotland, Wales and either Ireland or Northern Ireland.   Feedback from producers regarding genres to be included in ensuing Celtic International Fund callouts is welcome.

The Celtic International Fund will be administered by a joint commissioning team drawn from the Celtic language broadcasters and funders who are partners in this scheme.  Submissions must be made electronically using a single pdf document for ideas and visuals and a single excel document for budgets.  The ‘lead’ company in a co-development project must first register with the TG4 ecommissioning portal http://update.tg4.ie/ecomm/login.php and upload their submissions by the relevant submission deadline into the relevant section, ‘Celtic Factual 2019’‘Celtic Formats Entertainment 2019’  ‘Celtic  Factual 2019’‘Celtic Children’s Factual Entertainment 2019’‘Children, Young People’s Drama 2019’ and ‘Celtic back-to-back Precinct Drama’ .

Development funding will be re-payable if the submission progresses to production, re-payment due on commencement of production. Intellectual Property will reside with the co-developing production companies in a co-sharing manner to be agreed between themselves.


Factual – Development of Ambitious Projects

  • We welcome factual ideas of high ambition to create substantial popular and critical impact with audiences in Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland and be distributed in worldwide territories.
  • All genres of factual will be considered, from human interest to sports, music, history, arts and crime.
  • We encourage contemporary or historical ideas that have a contemporary relevance and projects that offer continuous unfolding and dramatic narratives rooted in engaging characters.
  • Factual projects should have the ambition to create noise on primetime TV and reach global audiences (broadcast, theatrical and online) on our respective online services and through distribution.

Projects can be:

  • Single hour or feature-length documentaries.
  • Factual series of 3 to 6 hours.
  • Drama documentaries – singles or series.
  • Level of development funding available: depending on project.
  • Who can apply: Production companies who have expertise in working in factual programming in at least one of the relevant Celtic languages and who can identify international partners in the other Celtic territories.

What to submit:

  • Editorial:  Short summary (up to 30 words) and synopsis (up to one A4 page) of the idea, the characters, the unfolding narratives, the tone and how this story will garner attention on primetime TV.
  • Development plan to include editorial and business detail on how to bring the project to a standard that will contest substantial global funding.
  • The Team: Notes on production strengths in lead company and co-producing company and how this creative and business collaboration will work for this project and beyond.
  • Detailed development budget and finance plan.

Format – Factual/Entertainment

S4C, TG4 & ILBF are inviting original unscripted factual entertainment or factual format ideas with must see, compelling and surprising content that will appeal to intergenerational audiences across the Celtic nations and beyond.

The ambition is to discover a refreshing, distinctive and authentic format that the Celtic Nations can be proud of and that will be talked about across the three nations. The ideas should show creative ambition and heart that will take us on an emotional journey in some way, be it laughter, tears or surprise yet shouldn’t feel overly formulated or forced.

With the aim of developing a value for money format that has the potential to create a successful, adaptable and returnable series which can be produced independently or back to back in all the Celtic regions and beyond.

Proposals should include:

What to submit: A logline, format treatment and an indication of how the development funds would be used to produce a worthwhile pilot. One idea will be selected for development funding to create a pilot for delivery by March 2020.

Drama – back-to-back precinct drama

2 x 60’ (reversionable as a 90’-110’ feature)

BBC ALBA in Scotland, TG4 in Ireland and the ILBF in Northern Ireland are looking for proposals for an innovative mainstream drama that can work in a single, limited location or cluster of sets.

The aim is to simplify the process of back-to-back production on a low to mid-range budget. So, we’re looking for a shareable, contained world within which the same story can be told separately but seamlessly in Gaelic and Irish.

Design detail needs to be generic or easily adaptable for each national context. But the concept also needs to be cinematic in scope – it can’t become too stagey or theatrical.

The ambition is that we reach the broadest possible audience – in Scotland, Ireland and internationally.  Heart, authenticity and relatability are crucial. Our audiences need to feel instantly at home in the story.

We’re open to most genres – period, thriller, crime, mystery, comedy etc – but we don’t want to go too niche with our audience, so no Sci Fi or horror, thanks.

Level of development funding available: depending on project.

Who can apply? Production companies who have expertise in working in drama in Gaelic or Irish and who can identify international partners.

What to submit:

  • Logline, short summary (up to 30 words) and synopsis (up to four A4 pages).
  • Notes on key talent.
  • Development budget and finance plan.

Children’s Factual Entertainment (BFI Young Audiences Content fund (YAC) Celtic Co-production) 

BBC ALBA in Scotland, S4C in Wales and TG4 in Ireland are looking for a factual entertainment format for children. This co-production will be for children aged 7-13 years old and the content will be relevant to all Celtic nations.

As several broadcasters do not dub live-action content and subtitles are not always accessible to children, the approach will need to be innovative.

The ideas may be based around a fixed rig, a strong format, or a shared studio set, for example. We are particularly interested in history formats, living history or an adventure show based on our shared cultural history and landscape.  We will consider any period, location or approach. The series will be big, ambitious, fun and engaging enough to compete with the best children’s brands available on other platforms.

The format will need to cross-linguistic boundaries i.e. either that there are separate Irish, Gaelic and Welsh versions of the same series; or if the format includes the three indigenous languages, then the multi-lingual approach is truly innovative and works for all nations.

The Young Audiences Content Fund is now open, and the aim is to develop an International Celtic Nations brand that is eligible for the fund. More details about the fund can be found here


Programmes – possibly 8 x 30’

Audience – 7-13

Children’s and Young People’s Drama (BFI Young Audiences Content fund (YAC) Celtic Co-production Drama.)

BBC ALBA in Scotland, S4C in Wales and TG4 in Ireland are looking for a drama series for children. This co-production should be suitable for children aged 7-13 and should reflect the world in which they live.

Quality drama appeals to this age-group and this series should be ambitious, relevant, innovative and contemporary. The drama will compete with the best children’s scripted content available on other platforms.

As several broadcasters do not dub live-action content and subtitles are not always accessible to children, the approach will need to be innovative.

The format will need to cross linguistic boundaries i.e. either that there are separate Irish, Gaelic and Welsh versions of the same scripts; or if the drama includes all three indigenous languages, then the multi-lingual approach is truly innovative and works for all nations.

The Young Audiences Content Fund is now open for applications and the aim of this call out is to develop scripted live action content that will be eligible.

More details about the fund can be found here:


Programmes – possibly 6 x 30’ (Length of series and duration of drama is open for discussion.)

Audience – 7-13

For queries regarding the submission process to the Celtic International Fund, please contact Anna Marie Nic Dhonnacha Anna.Marie.Nic.Dhonnacha@tg4.ie

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