More than €5.9m allocated to 122 projects under Sound & Vision Scheme

Latest funding round sees significant increase in number of programmes with women’s narratives and women in lead creative roles.

The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) has today (30.09.19) announced details of the latest funding awards under the Sound & Vision 3 Broadcasting Funding Scheme. Following a comprehensive assessment process, €5.9m has been allocated to 122 radio and television projects in Round 33. A total of 27 TV projects received over €5.2m in funding, while 95 radio projects were awarded €642k.

Overall, Round 33 attracted 236 applications, seeking funding of almost €16.6m. Documentary continues to be the most popular category for applications for both radio and television, while projects in drama, animation, education and entertainment were all well represented.

For this round, an additional assessment criterion for ‘women’s stories’ was included for all applications, in a bid to bring more female voices to Irish audiences. Applications across all genres were assessed on their demonstration of women’s narrative. As a result, approximately 70% of radio projects and all television projects recommended for funding included a female narrative to some extent. This represents an increase on previous funding rounds and will lead to more diverse programme content that promotes women’s voices and stories.

Round 33 also resulted in a significant increase in funding awards for projects in which women take a lead creative role, compared to the previous round. For instance, the number of TV projects recommended for funding increased by 67% for those with a female director, by 50% for those with a female writer, by 56% for those with a female director of photography, by 17% for those with a female producer, and by 31% for those with a female editor. The number of radio projects recommended for funding increased by 36% for those with a female producer, by 33% for those with a female writer, and by 25% for those with a female editor.

Notable projects supported in the current round include:

  • “Dochas – A place of hope”, a three-part documentary that features the untold stories of Ireland’s female inmates, for broadcast on Virgin Media One.
  • “Age is A Work of Art”, a bilingual observational documentary for TG4, which reveals what it is like to be old in Ireland in the 21st century.
  • A one-part documentary, “Cold Case Collins”, analyses the 1922 killing of Michael Collins, which changed the course of Irish history and ignited acrimonious arguments that have endured ever since, for broadcast on RTÉ 1.
  • A three-part children’s programme, “A Handful of Women”, in which Great Gran takes viewers inside her memory box and back to her childhood where, as young Peggy, she embarks on a thrilling journey of discovery through the campaign for women’s suffrage in lreland, for RTÉ Junior and Chill.
  • Documentary “The Curragh Wrens”, which offers a posthumous voice to a group of women who lived as outcasts in 19th century Ireland, for broadcast on KFM.
  • “Youthquake 2” from WLR FM, a project which aims to get young people interested in radio by getting them to develop scripts and storylines for radio plays covering topics such as underage drinking, peer pressure and sexuality; and by being part of the recording process.
  • “New Drama Hour”, Near FM’s second series of seven audio dramas – written exclusively by women – which tell women’s stories ranging in content from dark comedy to serious current societal issues.
  • RTÉ Radio 1 radio project “Keywords”, will provide a platform for new and established writers to submit creative pieces.

Commenting on the announcement, chief executive of the BAI, Michael O’Keeffe said: “We are delighted to announce the funding award today for 122 radio and television projects, and congratulate all successful applicants. The current package of recommendations is indicative of the quality, variety and diversity of content being produced under the Sound & Vision 3 Scheme. We are very pleased that the introduction of the new strategic assessment criterion for ‘women’s stories’ has resulted in an increase in applications submitted for both radio and TV with this focus, bringing more women’s stories to Irish radio and television audiences.

“Facilitating media diversity in terms of content is a key element of delivering the BAI’s Gender Action Plan. It is encouraging that this funding round has also resulted in an increase in awards for projects where women take a lead creative role, enhancing the Sound & Vision 3 Scheme as an important initiative which provides creative opportunities to address gender balance issues off-screen.”

The BAI will now commence contract negotiations with all successful applicants. A full list of the projects being offered funding is available to download here.

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Contact: Joanne Ahern / Sebastian Enke, DHR Communications, Tel: 01-4200580 / 087-9881837 / 087-3239496