An Interview with Clare Creely of Film Base

Nicholas Fitzgerald

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Filmbase- Image Credit:
Filmbase- Image Credit: Gabri (Flikr) 

Clare Creely has worked for Filmbase for ten years now. Clare is Filmbase’s Marketing & Development Manager.

For anyone who is unaware, Filmbase is an organisation which aids Irish people who wish to start a career in film-making. The company is a necessary resource for someone who is producing one of their first short films. It is a not- for- profit agency and is located on Curved Street, Temple- Bar in Dublin.

Questions that were put to Clare were as follows; Why does Filmbase not fund more projects?, What criteria do you look at when funding?, Can you give a description of some successful projects you’ve funded? And What do you think of the talent pool in this country?

Filmbase is unable to fund more projects down to the simple fact of them being only able to fund what they can afford “We would love to but we don’t have the money”. Along with RTÉ, Filmbase award €10,000 each to four of the best short films per year. This is part of The Sunbase Scheme and is divided up into two rounds annually.

Clare also mentioned a scheme that Filmbase do every four years with TG4.  Filmbase receive their budget annually like every other company and only fund what they can afford.

The criteria that Filmbase look for when funding all depends on each individual scheme. There are a variety of schemes and Filmbase is completely versatile “We are open to animation, drama, dance etc”. “Reel Art” is an “Art funded reward” and is in association with The Art Council and Jameson Dublin International Film Festival. The criteria for this scheme includes “highly creative, imaginative and experimental documentaries on an artistic theme”.

Claire also mentioned that it was impossible to pin down one or two successful projects as there were too many to choose from. “Filmbase have funded a wide and varied range of feature films”. “We have been in operation for over twenty years” and “along with RTÉ have funded around 140 successful projects”.

One successful project through the “Lasair” scheme has been Daniel O Hara’s “Yu ming is ainm dom”.

The Lasair scheme looks for short films in the Irish language. “Yu ming is ainm dom” is a short film about a Chinese boy who comes to Ireland. He expects everyone to speak the Irish language upon arrival and wishes to learn Irish. It has received over fourty international rewards.

Filmbase worked with a range of partners on their infamous “Catalyst Project” filmmasters.ie. Partners included the BAI and FAS Screen Training Ireland. The projects aim was to provide training for filmmakers working on their first feature films suitable for low budget production.

The last question brought about a very positive reaction from Clare regarding the talent pool in Ireland. She immediately said that she had found an enormous amount of positive talent within this country and the quality of projects are extremely impressive due to Film base’s “shoestring budget”. She has also found that on an international scale the talent has been successful as well “There are a lot of talented and creative people”.

If you wish to find out anymore information on Filmbase and what they have to offer, their website is filmbase.ie. Filmmakers such as John Moore and P.J Dillon started off their careers in film through the aid of this not-for-profit organization. If you think you’ve got what it takes to produce movies then you should definitely check out Filmbase today. Consider it, it could open many doorways.

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Nicholas Fitzgerald