Actor Brendan Gleeson was one of number of figures from Irish arts who appeared in front of Parliamentary Joint Committee on Arts, Sport & Tourism on state funding for arts and culture on October 14.

The group hope to convince the committee to maintain support for agencies such as the Irish Film Board (IFB) and the Arts Council.

Gleeson used his directorial debut, a $16.4m (€11m) adaptation of Flann O’Brien’s novel At Swim Two Birds, as an example of the projects under threat from possible government cuts.

Explaining the critical issue of timing in film financing, Gleeson said, “Everyone needs to jump [together] at the right time.”

He said the film probably would not go ahead if the IFB was unable to commit to co-financing the project with other partners next spring.

Gleeson also referred to a forthcoming Ridley Scott project, a story about a knight in the 12th century, which, he believed, could be shot in Ireland. “Certainty and dynamism will seal the deal,” he said.

On the wider benefits of the film industry, he pointed to the contribution made by In Bruges, in which he co-starred with Colin Farrell, to the local economy, which contributed a 30% increase in tourism.

Last week, Fianna Fáil and the Green Party sealed a coalition deal that promised to maintain the Irish Film Board as an independent body despite expected cuts in public services next year.
Given that a commission on taxation has recommended the retention of the film tax break, Section 481, local industry efforts are now concentrated on lobbying to minimise the cuts suffered by the IFB next year.