30 September 2008: The Cultural Cinema Consortium announces Cinema Digitisation Scheme

The Cultural Cinema Consortium, a strategic partnership between the Arts Council and Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB), is launching a new scheme to provide capital funding grants towards the cost of purchasing and installing digital projection equipment.

The purpose of the scheme is to ensure that audiences have access to a range and choice of cinema programming that is more diverse than the mainstream and that Irish cinema operators, offering such programming, have an opportunity to install digital projection equipment at a cost that is compatible with their turnover and operating costs.

Capital grants towards the cost of purchasing and installing digital projection equipment will be made available to full-time cinema operators who can demonstrate that they currently provide a clear majority of diverse programming on a year-round basis.  The scheme will offer grants to cover 85% of installation costs for up to ten cinema screens, subject to a maximum contribution of €75,000 per screen. 

Simon Perry, Chief Executive of the Irish Film Board, said "It is vital that public funding intervenes to ensure that cinemas offering Irish audiences a wider choice of film, than that available in mainstream commercial cinemas, are not left behind in the digital race".

Fionnuala Sweeney, Head of Film and International Arts at the Arts Council, said "The Arts Council is delighted to be offering this grant scheme in partnership with the Irish Film Board, through the Cultural Cinema Consortium.  It will help arthouse cinemas play their part in the digital age and ensure that Irish audiences have access to a diverse range of cinema programming."

The deadline for receipt of applications for the Cinema Digitisation scheme is 17:00 on Friday, 24 October.  Further details on the scheme are available on the websites of the Irish Film Board www.irishfilmboard.ie and the Arts Council.

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Yelemba dance troupe from the Ivory Coast - Clonmel Junction Festival.

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