The newest funding source for film-makers is the Sound & Vision Fund, set up in 2005 by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland (BCI). Aimed at Irish film, TV and radio projects, it has an annual budget of $11.6m (EUR9m).

In its first two rounds it has given sums up to $987,000 (EUR600,000) per project to Robert Quinn's Cre Na Cille, Tom Collins' Kings, Marian Quinn's 32A and Leonard Abrahamson's Garage, all of which will premiere this year. The use of the fund for film financing will be re-examined in the first quarter of 2008.

According to 32A producer Tommy Weir, the BCI fund has had a transforming effect. "The BCI was the key to 32A completing its finance. It is significant in the level of investment they can make. It transforms the situation. It's conceivable that a film could raise 50% of a $5.2m (EUR4m) budget out of Ireland alone between the BCI, IFB and Section 481."

The industry received a further boost last month when the Irish government pledged $188m (EUR145m) under the National Development Plan to support film industry infrastructure until 2013.

Sceptics, however, might conclude that the money pledged, in an election year, only amounts to what the Irish Film Board is likely to receive anyway over the years in question.