Today (Monday 15th) at MIPCOM, to mark their new strategic alliance, the partners in the ‘Celtic International Fund’ are launching ‘The Wall’, a six-part documentary series for Welsh broadcaster S4C, Irish broadcaster TG4 and Korean broadcaster JTV.
The series, due for broadcast in early 2019, is co-produced by Rondo from Wales and Rosg from Ireland.
The ‘Celtic International Fund’ runs an annual joint-commissioning round between the indigenous Celtic language television broadcasters and funders of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland.
It has been set up by BBC ALBA (with funding from MG ALBA), S4C, TG4 and Northern Ireland Screen’s Irish Language Broadcast Fund (ILBF).
The aim of the Celtic International Fund is to promote co-development and then co-production through Scottish Gaelic, Welsh and Irish, and to encourage a broader European and worldwide internationalisation of productions which are originally conceived in those Celtic languages.
The Celtic International Fund will provide film-makers with an opportunity to co-develop and co-produce distinctive, ambitious works to enrich primetime programme schedules, to have a national impact with audiences in the territories of Scotland, Wales, Ireland and Northern Ireland and seek to reach audiences worldwide.
The initial call-out encompasses three genres – Factual, Drama and Animation. All successful projects will undergo a development phase where funding will be provided to both develop ideas and the co-production framework, which must have a production element in Scotland, Wales and either Ireland, or Northern Ireland.
The Celtic International Fund will be administered by a joint commissioning team drawn from the Celtic language broadcasters and funders who are partners in the scheme.
TG4 Director General, Alan Esslemont, welcomed the new co-production initiative: “In a media landscape dominated by high production values, driven by international giants with deep pockets, it is more and more important that TG4 works with partners in order to create an environment allowing our own independent companies to bring quality ideas into the international market. This new Celtic partnership, combined with recent EBU initiatives on European co-production, means that TG4 will become an important partner in European and worldwide programme markets allowing us to bring higher quality programmes to our viewers.”
Head of the ILBF, Áine Walsh, welcomed the new co-production initiative: “We are delighted to be part of this initiative, which will enable Irish speaking producers in Northern Ireland to work alongside their Celtic neighbours to develop content that can be enjoyed by a global audience. This new partnership will lead to a stronger and more developed production sector and we are excited to see new factual, drama and animated content with high production values and that has originated in the Celtic territories, make its mark in the global market.”
Amanda Rees, S4C Creative Content Director, said: “The Celtic International Fund has given us the opportunity to build invaluable partnerships with our fellow Celtic broadcasters and help pool the substantial creative talent that we have in our midst.”
“The Wall is a series which looks at both sides of the world’s most contentious divides, narrated by stories of families and communities split apart. This series is timely and relevant to audiences worldwide and is a shining example of what we can produce through co-operating with other broadcasters.”
Iseabail MacTaggart, Director of Strategy & Partnership at MG ALBA added: “We are ambitious for our production sector and see this initiative as an opportunity to both allow production companies to compete on a global stage and to create new and enhanced content for BBC ALBA audiences. By collaborating internationally, we increase the quality and reach of our content.”