Today, the recently established Cultural Cinema Partnership called for an urgent need for the Arts Council’s film budget to be increased for 2023. This new partnership, comprising Irish Film Institute, Galway Film Fleadh, Dublin International Film Festival, Cork International Film Festival and access>CINEMA is requesting that the Arts Council’s film budget for strategically funded organisations be increased from €1.65m in 2022 to €2.72m in 2023.

A spokesperson for the Cultural Cinema Partnership said: “Covid has had a devastating long-term impact on the film sector. Ireland has always prided itself on having one of the highest cinema-going audiences in the world. However, audiences have not yet returned in the same numbers  as pre-Covid. The strategically funded film organisations need urgent and additional investment in order to be able to continue to support artists and deliver their film programmes to audiences right across Ireland.” 

While audience numbers and box office income have reduced, other costs have escalated including staffing costs and energy. This marriage of escalating costs and dramatically reduced income means that the Arts Council’s strategically funded film organisations are unable to continue to operate at current levels of output without additional subvention from the State. Compared with 2019, national cinema admissions are down 25%. 

Lending support to the campaign today were Colm Bairead (director of the Oscar long-listed An Cailin Ciuin), Neasa Hardiman (director of Sea Fever) and Aisha Bolaji (visual artist and filmmaker, and co-founder of The GALPAL Collective).

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Arts Council of Ireland