Name of Irish Film Board to be changed to Screen Ireland

Decision recognises Bord Scannán na hÉireann’s increasing interests beyond world of cinema

The Minister for Arts, Heritage and the Gaeltacht is to introduce legislation to change the name of the Irish Film Board/Bord Scannán na hÉireann to Screen Ireland. The decision recognises the body's increasing interests beyond the world of cinema and reminds us how, in this digital age, "film-makers" now rarely work in the medium of "film".

“The Irish Film Board is our premier agency for promoting and supporting the audio-visual sector,” Heather Humphreys said. “Its work extends far beyond the traditional realm of ‘film’ and encompasses the domestic and international TV sector, as well as our growing animation sector. The Irish audio-visual sector has been going from strength to strength in recent years and I believe there is huge capacity for growth. I want the agency tasked with expanding the sector further to have a name that easily communicates its responsibilities.”

The Film Board already provides funding for "high-quality television drama" and is responsible for the exploitation of film online. Recent TV series such as Quirke, Ripper Street and Vikings were made with the co-operation of the body.

Dr Annie Doona, acting chair of the Irish Film Board, said: “We very much welcome Minister Humphreys’s initiative in proposing to change the name of the Irish Film Board to Screen Ireland. We look forward to this new phase in the development of the agency and we are grateful that Minister Humphreys has acknowledged the great potential for growth in the audio visual production sector and the expanding role of the agency within it.”

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Dr Doona went on to argue that former chairman Bill O’Herlihy, who died earlier this year, would surely have approved of the scheme.

A press release stressed that costs involved with the name change and associated rebranding would be met from the existing resources of the board. The name will be changed by way of amendment at report stage to the National Cultural Institutions (National Concert Hall) Bill 2015, which is currently before the Dáil.

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke

Donald Clarke, a contributor to The Irish Times, is Chief Film Correspondent and a regular columnist