Frewaka_New Europe Film Sales

Source: New Europe Film Sales


Screen Ireland has introduced a ‘locked box’ system for its development funding process, to further support the development of Irish screenwriters and production companies across Ireland.

Development funding loans are repayable on the first day of principal photography. In the new locked box funding system, this repayment will be held by Screen Ireland for that relevant production company to re-invest in the development of new Irish feature film projects.

The locked box system will apply to any Screen Ireland development-supported Irish feature film projects that have not yet contracted for production.

This re-investment is subject to project eligibility criteria – that is, projects that would normally qualify for Screen Ireland’s Irish feature film development fund – and a maximum allocation of €75,000 per project. This figure has, as unveiled by Screen Ireland yesterday (June 6), increased from €50,000.

For loan awards over €75,000, match funding needs to be in place, and the overall cap of the award has been increased to €125,000, from €100,000. The next deadline for development funding is July 1.

In the UK, Screen Scotland and BFI also offer ‘locked box’ schemes, while Germany and Austria’s national funds offer similar recoupment mechanisms. The BFI is currently undergoing a review of its system.

In April, Screen Ireland also increased its budget and threshold for production funding. The limits are: for projects with budgets of up to €3m, Screen Ireland can provide up to 70% of the budget with a maximum of €950,000. For projects with budgets of over €3m and not more than €7m, Screen Ireland can provide up to 65% of the budget, between €1m and €1.2m. For projects with budgets of over €7m and not more than €20m, Screen Ireland can provide up to 65% of the budget, with a maximum of €1.3m.

Screen Ireland has recently backed films including Aislinn Clarke’s Irish and English-language horror Fréwaka, Brian Durnin’s feature directorial debut Spilt Milk, Babak Anvari’s Hallow Road and Cannes premiere The Apprentice.

Industry funding is now at an all-time high for Ireland’s national agency, with Screen Ireland’s total budget for 2024 at €39.2m, compared to €37.7m in 2023.