What does the Arts Council support in film?
The Arts Council’s role in film is distinct and is central to the provision of a national infrastructure for film culture in Ireland. Our focus is on supporting film artists and on providing for and developing audiences for cultural cinema.
Does the Arts Council only support established film-makers?
The Arts Council supports film-makers at all stages of their careers, although your track record will form an important part of your application.
How does the Arts Council provide for and develop audiences for cultural cinema?
The Arts Council provides for and develops audiences for cultural cinema on a national basis through our funding of a range of film programming organisations:
- Funding to the Irish Film Institute supports its exhibition, preservation and education programmes which deliver to audiences of all ages and backgrounds around the country: from its cinemas in Dublin with their curated first run cinema programmes and their special seasons, festivals and events; to its schools programmes and its archive film screenings and cinema development initiatives throughout the country.
- We also support the Cork Film Festival, the Dublin International Film Festival and the Galway Film Fleadh to bring high quality cultural cinema programmes to audiences in their regions. This is complemented by our support for Access Cinema which works to bring its cinema programmes into almost 80 towns and villages around the country through its network of venues and film societies.
It is through the work of these key organisations that audiences all over Ireland are given access to a diverse range of cinema and are provided with opportunities to critically engage with film culture and film as an artform.
How does the Arts Council support film artists?
The Arts Council provides direct support to film artists through film awards and schemes. Our awards are designed to provide artists with an opportunity to make work of an experimental nature, while our film schemes are for the making of highly creative work for dedicated broadcast or festival exhibition.
Arts Council awards and schemes in film:
The Arts Council also provides support to film artists through our funding for a range of film organisations. The film resource centres,
Galway Film Centre
, provide information, advice and learning opportunities to film-makers;
the Irish Film Institute and film festivals (Cork Film Festival, Darklight,
Dublin International Film Festival and
Galway Film Fleadh) provide exhibition platforms and creative development opportunities for film artists. The IFI through its Irish Film Archive also preserves the work of Irish film-makers into the future.
I’m a film-maker and I need money to make my film. Can the Arts Council help?
You may wish to apply for the
Film Project Award
(Strand 1 Film Production).
The purpose of this award is to support the making of high quality and creatively ambitious film work of an experimental nature. The work should be filmic and be made with a view to engaging and challenging audiences. It should be made for public exhibition in cinema settings in the first instance, though secondary exhibition in other contexts and on digital platforms may follow.
The Arts Council does not provide completion funding.
What are the differences between a Film Project Award and a Film Bursary Award?
The Film Bursary Award emphasises the value and benefit to an artist's development that is derived from an extended process of engagement with their practice. The award provides artists with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and engage with their arts practice. The Bursary Award does not support production proposals.
The Film Project Award (Strand 1 Film Production), however, is intended to support the making of high quality and creatively ambitious film work of an experimental nature. The work should be filmic and be made with a view to engaging and challenging audiences. It should be made for public exhibition in cinema settings in the first instance, though secondary exhibition in other contexts and on digital platforms may follow.
I’m a film-maker and I want to travel abroad to undertake a course. Can the Arts Council help me?
The Arts Council does not provide funding for film training/education abroad. However, Screen Training Ireland, the national training and development resource for the Irish screen sectors, offers some supports in this area. Further information is available from
I’m a film-maker and I’ve been invited to exhibit my film and attend a festival abroad. Can I apply to the Arts Council for funding?
The Arts Council does not provide funding for film exhibition or attendance at film festivals abroad. Culture Ireland supports Irish artists and companies to present and promote their work at strategic international festivals and venues. Further information is available from
I’m a film-maker and I want more information about to how to get funding, networking, entering festivals, residency opportunities, etc. Who should I contact?
The Arts Council provides support to the film artist through funding for a range of organisations, including film resource organisations and festivals.
Located in the heart of Dublin is Filmbase, a public space where film-makers can network, hire film-making equipment, take training courses and receive support and information about working within the Irish film industry. You can read more about it here:
Galway Film Centre is a non-profit, members' organisation dedicated to the development of film as an artistic medium in the west of Ireland. It supports film-makers through education and training, equipment provision and information. You can read more about it here:
I’m an arts centre or film society looking for more information on programming regional cultural cinema. Who should I contact?
The Arts council supports
as the resource organisation for regional cultural cinema exhibition in Ireland. Its core activity is the booking and despatching of films on DCP, 35mm and DVD formats on behalf of member groups. Members can be professional arts centres or voluntary film societies and they exist in many different types of venues, both big and small, throughout the country.
Are there EU funding opportunities for film-makers?
The EU's Creative Europe Programme supports the audiovisual and multimedia sector through its MEDIA sub-programme. For further information contact the Creative Europe Desk Media Office: