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Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards 2014 (Round 2)

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Filmbase and RTÉ are seeking Ireland’s most exciting new filmmaking talent and will support four short film projects with funding and facilities worth up to €20,000 each in 2014.

Closing date: 5pm Friday 26th September 2014
Funding available: €10,000 cash & matching facilities
Open to: Short film projects (live-action / animation / experimental)
Who can apply: New and established filmmakers welcome to apply

Short films have long been the proving ground for many of those who want to become professional filmmakers. Filmbase and RTÉ are offering the next generation of Irish filmmakers a chance to get their films made with funding and industry support.

Running for over 20 years now, the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award Scheme aims to provide new and emerging Irish filmmakers with an opportunity to make their first short films. Ireland punches well above its weight internationally when it comes to talent, craft and passion for telling cinematic stories. When short films are successful at festivals and on television they bring attention to the filmmakers involved which can create an awareness of their work and help them get their next projects financed. Since the inception of the Filmbase/RTÉ award over 120 short films have been funded through the scheme (check out the films on our Film Directory). Filmmakers who have received early career support from the scheme have included directors Kirsten Sheridan (The Bench, Dollhouse), John Moore (He Shoots, He Scores, A Good Day to Die Hard ) and Ian Power (Buskers, The Runway) as well as producers Martina Niland (Beached, Once) and John Wallace (Jellybaby, Standby)

Successful applicants for the awards receive up to €10,000 in cash towards the production budget for their film. Each production also receives access to film production equipment and editing facilities from Filmbase to a matching value of €10,000 along with advice and support for making the films. The shorts will be broadcast on RTÉ and filmmakers are encouraged to submit the film to festivals both in Ireland and abroad. Filmbase/RTÉ funded short films have a long track record of festival success, including screenings at Cannes, Sundance, Palm Springs, Berlin and Clermont-Ferrand.

Competition for short film funding in Ireland is intense and the Filmbase/RTÉ scheme is one of the few opportunities open to new filmmakers. The emphasis in the Filmbase/RTÉ scheme is on the quality of the creative ideas; for the initial application entrants are only required to submit a script therefore projects are shortlisted on the basis of the script alone. Those shortlisted will be invited to interview at which stage additional information (budget, schedule etc.) about the project will be sought. The deadline for the second round of the award this year is 5pm Friday 26th September 2014. Up to two awards will be made in this round.

We are keen to find new voices in Irish audio-visual production so think outside the box and don’t forget the story is key! Please ensure you read all of the guidelines thoroughly before applying. And even if you have applied for the scheme before, make sure to read these guidelines in full as updates/changes are made between rounds.

Award Details 2014

  • Max. two awards per round with two rounds this year (Deadlines: Fri 9th May and Fri 27th September 2014)
  • The scheme is open to applications from any genre (drama, comedy, rom-com, film noire, etc.) and can be live-action, animation or experimental works
  • Film is to be completed on film or broadcast quality video
  • The award includes a cash award of approximately €10,000 and a production package with up to 5 days of production equipment hire and 3 weeks of post-production hire from Filmbase (visit the Equipment Section for more details on what equipment/facilities are available)
  • Some awards may be higher or lower at the discretion of the panel
  • Projects submitted should be pitched at the award scheme, i.e. with a duration and production values so that the film can be completed with the finance and production package available
  • Awards are made to the Production Company

Application Guidelines 2014

NB Please read the following guidelines carefully even if you have applied before

  • Two copies of the script, along with one copy of the completed application form should be submitted to the Filmbase Office by the advertised deadline
  • Hard copy applications only
  • The completed application form should be attached to just one copy of the script. The second copy of the script should only have the title of the script on the cover page and a copy of your brief synopsis (max. 100 words). It should have NO identifying contact details on it. (this is the copy that will be sent to the reader)
  • Scripts should be approx. 8 – 15 minutes in duration (animation scripts under 8 minutes can be submitted)
  • Scripts must be formatted correctly (eg courier font, size 12 etc). See the resource notes below for advice on formatting
  • Applicants for the award must be fully paid up members of Filmbase as of the deadline date. Visit our membership page for more info
  • If the applicant is not the author of the script they must verify copyright ownership of the script (proof of this will be required if called for interview)
  • Max. 3 scripts per applicant. (Corporate members can submit up to 9 applications in total)
  • Scripts must not be bound and should be stapled in the top left hand corner
  • Additional materials (eg budgets, production notes etc) should NOT be submitted at this time
  • (NB up to two pages (A4) of art work may be submitted along with the script for animation applications only)
  • Scripts will not be returned
  • No feedback is given on scripts
  • Award-winners must not apply to RTÉ for any additional funding for their project

Additional Information

  • All scripts will be read and a shortlist drawn up of approximately ten projects.
  • The shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an interview at Filmbase with their production team. They must submit their complete production notes (budget, schedule, cast & crew ideas, Writer/Director/Producer CVs etc) in advance of the interview.
  • Principal photography must begin within three months of issue of contract.
  • A final print should be delivered to Filmbase no later than six months after the start of principal photography.
  • RTÉ reserves the right to two standard broadcasts in the Republic of Ireland of the finished film as per the contract. Filmbase will hold onto non-exclusive webcasting rights.
  • Directors of previous Filmbase/RTÉ funded shorts are ineligible for further Filmbase/RTÉ awards for one year after the delivery of final print of the film.
  • The above information is provided as a guideline, full and final requirements will be outlined in detail in the contract supplied to the successful applicants on receipt of an award.


Round 1 TimeTable:

  • Friday 9th May 2014 – Round One Deadline NOW OPEN
  • Friday 30th May 2014* – Acknowledgement emails sent to all applicants
  • Early July/Aug 2014 – Shortlisted applicants notified
  • Early Sept 2014 – Interviews
  • Mid-Sept 2014 – Selected projects commissioned
  • May/June 2015 – Delivery of completed film

Round 2 Timetable:

  • Round Two Deadline: 5pm Friday 26th September 2014
  • Acknowledgement emails sent to all applicants: By close of business Friday 10th October*
  • Shortlisted applicants notified: End December 2014
  • Interviews: Late January 2013 / early February 2015
  • Selected projects commissioned: February 2015
  • Delivery of completed film: November 2015

Please note this schedule may be subject to change.

*If you do not receive an acknowledgement email by the date noted above please contact Filmbase immediately to ensure we have received your application.

Application Forms and Deadline

Next Deadline: SEPT 2014 SECOND ROUND OPEN

All applicants must complete the following application form and include it along with two copies of their script. Please make sure you have read the guidelines in full before applying!



Please read the above application guidelines before submitting an application for the award.

If you require further information about the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards please contact Lynn at Filmbase by email on (include ‘Awards Query’ in the subject line).

Case Study & Resources

The Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme is an extremely competitive funding award scheme; every year we receive hundreds of applications for just a handful of awards. In order to help you with your application we have gathered together some handy tips and notes from a previous award-winner, reader and funder. This information is intended as a helpful resource so we hope you find it useful. Unfortunately there is no exact formula for a successful script so don’t forget that these notes and tips are intended as a useful resource and guide and are by no means definitive!


Watch Short Films:

You can now watch a number of Filmbase/RTÉ funded short films on the Filmbase YouTube channel or in the Film Directory section of this website. Films available to watch there now include Free Chips Forever! by Claire Dix and Jellybaby written by Pierce Ryan and directed by Rob & Ronan Burke. Film Directory


Case Study: Tufty

Tufty by Jason and Brendan Butler was selected for funding through the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Award scheme in January 2007. This short film case study offers the chance to view a selection of documents and footage including the original script, test footage, storyboard notes and the final film. short film case study – Tufty


Advice from a Script Reader (pdf download)

This one-pager is a brief document written up by a script reader for the scheme a number of years ago. The reference to the Celtic Tiger gives it away as being a little old however, the tips outlined are still as relevant as ever! (Please note these tips are intended as a guideline only. Please make sure to read the above guidelines fully before applying for the award).

Advice from a script reader (pdf): Click Here


Advice from a former RTÉ Development Executive (pdf)

This document includes notes from a former RTÉ Development Executive involved in overseeing the scheme for a number of years. (Please note this is intended as a guideline only. Always make sure to read the full award guidelines for any scheme that you may be applying for).

Advice from a former RTÉ Development Executive (pdf): Click Here.


Training & Events:

Don’t forget Filmbase run a whole host of Training Courses including Scriptwriting evening and day courses.

For a full list of courses available visit our Training Page.

We also host a short film night called ShortSpace where we screen and discuss short films. This is perfect for first-time filmmakers.

If you require further information about the Filmbase/RTÉ Short Film Awards please contact Lynn at Filmbase by email on (include ‘Awards Query’ in the subject line).