Irish Film Institute warns of increased costs as it runs up deficit

IFI says there has been no increase in funding in over eight years to cover rising costs

The IFI reported incoming revenues of €3.45 million versus €3.14 million a year earlier

The IFI reported incoming revenues of €3.45 million versus €3.14 million a year earlier

 

The Irish Film Institute (IFI) has warned it is struggling to deal with rising costs after slipping back into the red again, having returned to profit in 2015.

The Temple Bar-based centre, which recorded a €15,000 deficit in 2016, said there has been no increase in funding to allow for significant rises in core costs over the last eight years.

It costs the IFI approximately €3.5 million to run the centre each year, of which 23 per cent of financing is provided via a €801,500 grant from the Arts Council.

Approximately €1.23 million in income is derived from programming activities with a further €1.7 million coming from voluntary income, which comprises largely of grants.

Overall, the centre reported incoming revenues of €3.45 million in 2016 versus €3.14 million a year earlier. Expenditures rose to €3.46 million from €3.10 million leading to a €15,000 deficit compared to a €32,242 surplus the previous year.

“Overall there have been several areas where costs have increased including film distributors terms which have reduced net income, and increased costs of festivals and special events,” directors’ said in a note attached to recently filed accounts.

Directors also said the establishment of its digital archive had given rise to annual maintenance and licensing costs, while bad debts had incurred due to the liquidation of its DVD distributor or its Cinemobile.

“None of these core cost increases have as of yet been funded by government agencies,” the directors’ said.

In addition, the directors added that as the IFI operates from a heritage building, it is faced with “unique challenges” in terms of insurance, repairs, maintenance and security.

The centre earlier this year secured a capital grant from the Department of Arts of €149,801 to allow it to proceed with essential works to the roof and cinemas at the Eustace Street premises.

“The IFI continually explores ways to maximise its own income generation; however there is limited scope to do this,” the centre’s directors said.

In 2016, the IFI, which has about 7,000 annual members, held over 5,000 screenings, with an average of just over 30 films a month screened. Overall attendance figures approached 170,000, versus 173,000 a year earlier.

The centre ran four flagship festivals last year, a schools project and a 1916 centenary commemoration programme. It also launched the IFI Player, a new online resource providing access to archive content dating back to 1910.

IFI employed over 70 staff in 2016 at a cost of over €2 million.