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.
The Arts Council supports film artists at all stages of their careers, although your track record will form an important part of your application.
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 special seasons, festivals and events, schools programmes and its archive film screenings and cinema development initiatives throughout the country.
- Funding to AEMI, a resource organisation for moving image artists that advocates, supports and exhibits work by Irish film artists through curated screenings and touring programmes.
- 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.
The Arts Council provides direct support to film artists through film awards and schemes.
- Film Bursary Award - An award that provides artists with the time and resources to think, research, reflect and engage with their arts practice.
- Film Project Award - An award for ambitious experimental films.
- Reel Art Award - An award for creative experimental documentaries on an artistic theme.
- Authored Works - A new initiative for artist-led authored films.
- Travel and Training - An award for film artists seeking to develop their practice abroad.
- IlDÁNA - A Joint initiative with TG4 and the BAI to support creative documentaries on the arts in Irish.
Please note, the Arts Council does not provide completion funding.
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, 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.
You may be eligible to apply for the Travel and Training Award. This award enables professional film artists to undertake international travel to develop their practice. Details of the award are available here.
The Arts Council does not provide funding for 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
The Arts Council provides support to the film artist through funding for a range of organisations, including film resource organisations and festivals.
AEMI is a resource organisation for moving image artists that advocates, supports and exhibits work by Irish film artists through curated screenings and touring programmes. aemi.ie
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: www.galwayfilmcentre.ie.
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.
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: