FF would "nurture Irish film industry"


A FIANNA Fail government would nurture an indigenous film industry and consider establishing a dedicated film and television school, to ensure a constant stream of young talent, the party's spokeswoman on the arts, culture and heritage, Ms Sile de Valera, said yesterday.

Introducing a new document, Planning for the Film and Television Industry, Ms de Valera said Fianna Fail would not maintain a dominant bureaucracy in the sector, but would act as a facilitator for the industry.

An artist must never be expected to be part of the establishment, she continued: "Under the current Government, that does not appear to be tolerated. I see a fear of stepping out of line by many in areas of arts, culture and heritage."

Ireland was currently experiencing a downturn in medium and large film projects, but there were no structures in place to address such a cycle, she added.

When the Government changed the rules of the Section 35 initiative, there was no Irish film commission in the international marketplace to explain that investment was still attractive.

"The Minister eventually went to the US, but by then some doors had already been bolted," Ms de Valera said.

Fianna Fail would develop a new training and education, plan, examine the development of a dedicated film and television school that would attract national and international students, establish a film and television commission and encourage more cooperation between RTE and new producers.

The party also promised to introduce a new tax break for script and project development, as well as a possible extension of the Section 35 scheme.