With as many as 15 ultra low- and no-budget features being made without official funding 'below the radar' in Ireland each year the Irish Film Board held an information session at the Cork Film Festival to address producers' expectations of receiving completion funding from the agency.

Calling it a 'reality check' for producers, Film Board CEO Simon Perry said the agency was receiving several applications each month for completion funding but that it had only offered this backing three times in as many years - to Pavee Lackeen, Speed Dating, and The Englishman, a UK film written by an Irish writer.

Where the agency does involve itself in completion funding it does so on the basis of a production's creative achievement, the transparency of its financing and costs to date, and a guarantee of a 'last in, first out' position for its investment.

Perry reminded the audience that the Board's low-budget funding parameters are still in place, that the Board prefers to be involved in projects from the outset of development, and that it will only 100% fund films up to a budget ceiling of $141,500 (Euros 100,000).

Later this week, the Film Board will announce the shortlist for the Catalyst Project, a development scheme and production process mentoring three features with budgets of $353,715 (Euros 250,000) each. The Catalyst Project is backed by the Film Board, Screen Training Ireland, The Broadcasting Commission of Ireland, Film Base and TV3.

The Film Board has also renewed its commitment to short film production with an annual budget of $1.4m (Euros 1m) spread across five schemes for different genres and formats.