Screen Ireland, the government development agency for the country’s screen sector, has launched a €1 million ($1.12 million) COVID-19 Production Fund, designed to partially offset additional production costs associated with implementing the newly published film and TV production guidelines (see link).

Productions funded by Screen Ireland can apply for up to €75,000 ($84,600) per project.

The Irish government has set out a phased return to normalcy in its document “Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business,” under phase three of which production can resume from Monday. The guidance document is published by Screen Producers Ireland with funding from Screen Ireland, in consultation with a wide range of industry stakeholders. It includes information on options for modifying work structures to help to reduce contact, how to implement an effective cleaning and sanitation regime to reduce risk of transmission of COVID-19, and options for minimizing risk for activities such as costuming and make-up. The guidance is separated into two categories – one for live action, including feature film and TV drama, and one for factual and entertainment production.

“Screen Ireland’s priority is to ensure the industry can return to production as safely as possible and to retain the sector’s talented creative workforce,” said Désirée Finnegan, chief executive, Screen Ireland. “We have supported an industry-wide collaborative approach towards recovery and would like to thank Screen Producers Ireland for their work in developing these comprehensive guidelines in consultation with key stakeholders. These production guidelines, together with Screen Ireland’s COVID-19 Production Fund and online training from Screen Skills Ireland, will help support the industry in the return to production.”

“Irish production companies, cast and crew are ready to go back into production,” said Screen Producers Ireland CEO Elaine Geraghty. “While nothing can fully eliminate the risk of COVID-19 transmission, these guidelines have been developed to provide a framework for reducing this risk and allowing those working on productions to do so with confidence.”

On Monday, Screen Ireland also awarded €3.2 million ($3.2 million) in strategic slate development funding across 26 production companies with over 100 feature films and 65 TV series. Past projects that have benefited from this funding include Cartoon Ireland’s Oscar-nominee “Song of the Sea,” and Element Pictures’ Oscar-winner “The Favourite.”