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THE Irish Film Board and Anglo Irish Bank Corporation have released details of the successful production companies who have been selected for the first Company Development Initiative.
The successful applicants are as follows: Octagon, Treasure and Little Bird (with production partners: Comet, Fubar and Wildfire). Further discussions are taking place with two other companies.
The fund, which was officially announced by Minister of Arts, Heritage, Gaeltacht and the Islands, Sile de Valera at the Cannes Film Festival in May, was established in partnership with Anglo Irish Bank and subject to criteria set forth by the Irish Film Board. It takes the form of a three-year cycle of money intended to allow the selected companies to develop new projects as well as attract co-production deals and access funding from other sources. It is intended to help a number of Irish companies, which have demonstrated they have the ability to develop a slate of productions to reach defined goals. It provides them with significant funds to operate with greater continuity and autonomy.
Michael O'Sullivan, Senior Manager with Anglo Irish Bank, said: "We are pleased to be working with the Irish Film Board on the Company Development Initiative. This represents an important extension to our involvement in the development of Irish production companies and is an excellent opportunity to build on our film financing activities."
The successful recipients were assessed on the following criteria: the development and production track record of the principals, the editorial strength and commercial potential of the proposed slate and each company's business plan. Details of the Selection Panel, including externals will be published once the process is concluded.
Whilst this initiative enables successful companies to consolidate and expand, the Board will continue to work with those who prefer to engage on a single project basis. The funding of single project development will continue to be a primary focus of the Board both in terms of manpower and financial resources. Given the Board's increased resources, it plans to introduce continuous assessment for single project applications from January 2002 to further facilitate those producers who do not avail of slate funding. (CD)

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