RTÉ drama Clean Sweep, Virgin Media Television series Eating with the Enemy and a documentary titled Lady Gregory – Ireland's First Social Influencer are among the latest batch of programmes to have received licence fee funding under the Sound & Vision scheme.
Animo TV received the highest single sum in the €5.9 million round of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) scheme, with the production company awarded €450,000 to make a second series of Eating with the Enemy, an Irish format in which people with opposing views are paired together for a meal to see if they can find common ground.
ShinAwiL, the production company founded and led by Larry Bass, received the highest funding overall in this round. It was awarded €400,000 to help finance Clean Sweep, a six-part drama for RTÉ One, and €384,000 for Celebrity Chef Supper Club, an entertainment series for Virgin Media One.
Clean Sweep, which ShinAwiL is making with Los Angeles-based Element 8 Entertainment, is a thriller set in the west of Ireland in which a Garda detective hunts for a murderer, never suspecting that his wife is actually the guilty party.
The second-highest single award was a sum of €425,000 to Danú Media for Saol Ella, a six-part children's drama for TG4 and the broadcaster's first drama aimed at young people since Aifric, which aired 14 years ago.
Vision Independent Productions was awarded about €394,000 for The Clinic for Well People, a four-part documentary series for Virgin Media One, while Martina Niland's Port Pictures – the Irish producer on Wild Mountain Thyme and the forthcoming ITV/Virgin adaptation of Graham Norton's novel Holding – was awarded €350,000 to part-finance a film titled Four Mothers.
Animo TV also received about €252,000 for three-part RTÉ One documentary Face the Music, while Kite Entertainment was awarded €178,000 for a two-part RTÉ One series about Lady Gregory.
Lady Gregory – Ireland’s First Social Influencer will see actor Miriam Margolyes and politician Lynn Ruane team up for a road trip exploring the life of the playwright and Abbey Theatre founder.
Other notable documentary titles included Hell for Leather: The Gaelic Football Story, a three-part Crossing the Line production for RTÉ; Appetite Media’s Donal’s Feasts, Fasts & Festivals, an RTÉ two-parter featuring Donal Skehan, and Inside the Hospice, a three-part series from Carnegie Hill for Virgin Media One.
Radio projects awarded funding included a documentary for Clare FM about the late HPV vaccine campaigner Laura Brennan; a Red FM series about musicians from migrant backgrounds called Black on Red; and RnaG50, an Aniar-produced series for RTÉ One marking the 50th anniversary of Raidió na Gaeltachta.
The producers of 26 television and 40 radio projects were awarded funding under the round. The scheme, which is typically oversubscribed, attracted 118 applications seeking a total of €12.87 million. Documentary was the format most often recommended for funding, followed by drama and entertainment, while contemporary society was the biggest genre.
“The BAI is committed to fostering diverse and culturally relevant content for Irish audiences and also to helping support a sustainable broadcasting industry,” said its deputy chief executive Celene Craig.
“With this year being another difficult one for the sector, the Sound & Vision Scheme continues to provide crucial support for the industry, making available funding for quality projects that might not otherwise be made.”