BAI announces funding of €7.2m under Sound and Vision Scheme

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland has today (31.05.21) announced details of the latest funding awards under the Sound & Vision 4 Broadcasting Funding Scheme.  Following a comprehensive assessment process, funding amounting to €7.2m has been allocated to 104 radio and TV projects in Round 38. The funding allocation includes €1.4m for eight projects (four radio and four TV) under a separate funding stream for the live music sector, following the provision of funding support by Minister Catherine Martin to specifically support this sector.

Overall, Round 38 of the scheme attracted 247 applications seeking approximately €22m in funding. The proposed package of recommendations will facilitate the production of 104 projects based on Irish culture, heritage and experience, global affairs that affect the Irish state, media literacy and adult literacy.  In total, projects will be broadcast across 32 different channels that include community, commercial and public service broadcasters.  Some notable projects supported in the open round include:

  • ‘A Finglas Story’ – scheduled to be broadcast by DCTV, this community television project tells the modern history of the Dublin suburb through first-hand accounts.
  • ‘Our Unique Tales’ – scheduled to be broadcast by Spin South West, this documentary shares the experience of high profile Irish LGBTQIA+ figures.
  • ‘Irish Women in Harmony’ – scheduled to be broadcast by Newstalk, this documentary tells the story of how a collective of more than 40 Irish female artistes came together to record one of the most successful musical collaborations of 2020 and raise over €215K for domestic abuse charity Safe Ireland.
  • ‘Redemption’ – scheduled to be broadcast on Virgin Media One, this six-part crime drama follows the life of DCI Colette Cunningham who uproots to Dublin to raise her teenage grandchildren following the death of her estranged daughter.
  • ‘The Glorious Heresies’ – scheduled to be broadcast by RTÉ, this six-part drama series based on the award-winning novel by Lisa McInerney is aimed at young adults.
  • ‘Atom Town’ – scheduled to be broadcast by RTÉJr, this science animation aimed at young audiences teaches through soft learning about the periodic table.

Under the separate Live Music Sector funding stream, a wide mix of music genres are included in the funded projects, providing the opportunity for new, upcoming and renowned artists from a diversity of backgrounds and styles to participate in programmes across local, regional and national TV and radio stations. Funded applications include:

  • ‘Foster & Allen – Lost in Music’ – scheduled to be broadcast by RTÉ, this project will explore a collaboration between the longstanding successful partnership of Foster and Allen and emerging musicians from diverse musical and cultural backgrounds including hip-hop, spoken word, pop, folk and traditional, from working class, islander, traveller, musical and non-musical backgrounds.   
  • ‘Irish Music Month’ – scheduled to be broadcast by independent commercial radio, this project demonstrates a partnership approach between Hot Press and the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland to run a talent search in each county and then network a live broadcast of a grand finale, all run over a month late summer /early autumn.  This is the first collaborative application that the Independent Broadcasters of Ireland has submitted to the scheme.
  • ‘Séisiúin sa Black Gate’ – scheduled to be broadcast on TG4, this is a 12-part live music series combining intimate live performances with candid, behind-the-music style interviews shot on location in Galway city and county featuring a diverse mix of new and high-profile talent, and strong representation from Irish-speakers, Irish tradition and cultural and musical diversity.  It pairs musicians from a range of different backgrounds, traditions and cultures, and also at all levels of experience, providing them a platform to perform their own music as well as collaborate on something new.

In recent rounds of the Sound & Vision Scheme, the assessment of applications has included consideration of the number of women in key creative roles – producer, director, writer, director of photography and editor – as a measure to support greater gender equality in the industry. Of the 22 funded projects to which the ‘women in a lead creative role’ criterion applied, nine projects had four of these roles filled by women, and a further four projects had women filling more than half of these roles. A number of projects funded under the Live Music Sector funding stream also strongly feature female artists, including a significant level of female artists and/or lead roles, including scripting and presentation. 

Commenting, chief executive of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe said: “The Sound & Vision scheme assists the BAI in achieving its mission to ‘regulate, foster and support a financially sustainable broadcasting industry’ and to ‘foster diverse and culturally relevant content for Irish audiences’. We were delighted with the standard of application across TV and radio. The funded projects provide a strong mix across formats, genres, and audiences to be served.

“Once again, the funding sought under this round of the scheme far exceeded the level of funding available and indeed the allocated funding exceeds the indicative budgets by close to €500,000. This additional funding is within the overall funding available to the scheme and we are happy to allocate it now, as it provides additional support to the AV and audio sectors at this difficult time, when the industry continues to experience the adverse impacts resulting from COVID-19 restrictions. This is the first time we have run a Live Music Sector stream under the Sound & Vision scheme and I would like to thank Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin for her continued support for the broadcasting sector through the Sound & Vision scheme.”

A full list of the projects being offered funding under Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme Round 38 is available to download here.

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Media contact: Joanne Ahern / Tony Heffernan, DHR Communications, Tel: 087-9881837 / 087-2399508.

All other queries: BAI, 01-6441200.