The IFTAs have become known for ironically poor production values, a list of no shows longer than your Dad’s Facebook posts and (for those who do actually tune in) “how come that chancer won an award?” moments.
However, Cardboard Gangsters star John Connors, in one or two sentences spoke real truth on the nature of Irish film and TV. Here’s what he said, while accepting the award:
“I want to thank our funders, Eggpost Production, Filmbase, TV3, BAI, and the Film Board, Oh wait, the Film Board didn’t fund us. They turned us down. They didn’t understand our approach. Well, I suppose we just won awards all across the world and were the biggest box-office hit of the year, not that it matters to me, but it matters to you and you can’t take that”
Here’s what you might know about the IFTAs. It’s generally seen as a backslapping night, where usually ignored RTE dramas rotate awards among themselves, while interesting looking smaller productions you think you might like to have seen loose out.
John Connors has highlighted the puzzling conundrum of how the most successful Irish Film of 2017 was ignored by the Film board, and blown open the whole issue of who gets funding, and for what, in Irish film and TV.
And he dropped the speech in the same week as the GMB union highlighted the shocking conditions experienced by workers in Irish film and TV workers in the industry. Their report is here.
It’s about time we started looking under the hood of film and tv funding in Ireland, and asking the right questions behind some very wrong decisions.