Throughout the Covid-19 crisis, Screen Ireland has introduced a number of new support measures for the Irish screen industries, by way of preparation for an eventual return to production activity.

Now the agency have launched a new initiative focused on the promotion of Irish acting talent, alongside a new mentorship scheme with high profile industry leaders attached.

Lenny Abrahamson will participate in the new Screen Mentoring scheme

Screen Ireland's new 'The Actor as Creator' initiative will showcase Irish acting talent in partnership with Dublin-based acting academy Bow Street, and the support of Equity, the actor's union; it's designed to create a diverse range of work from unique creative voices within the Irish screen acting community.

This talent development and promotion initiative will showcase the creative voices of 30 actors, who will create a short filmic work that expresses their creative vision. The scheme is open to experienced screen actors, and successful recipients will originate, perform and produce their work.

Screen Skills Ireland, the skills development unit within Screen Ireland, has also launched a new structured mentoring scheme, entitled Screen Mentoring. Over 100 Irish and international industry professionals from the film, TV, animation, VFX and Immersive Technology sectors have signed up to be mentors for the scheme, which will allow 50 mentees to avail of mentor support throughout 2020.

Mentors will include Normal People director Lenny Abrahamson and producer Ed Guiney, Brown Bag Films Managing Director Cathal Gaffney and production designer Tom Conroy (Vikings).

Watch: Screen Talks - composer Eimear Noone

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Screen Skills Ireland will also be extending their free online training courses until the end of July - they have delivered courses online for free to screen sector professionals over the last seven weeks. Their 'Screen Talks' webinar series Screen Talks can be watched via the SSI Vimeo channel.

The recent government report 'Economic Considerations for Reinstating Economic Activity', sets out that the earliest that live film production in Ireland might recommence would be Phase 3 (29th June) of the Government’s five-stage plan, subject to approval. 

However, a wide number of challenging key practical issues remain, including insurance, health and safety protocols and travel restrictions, prior to production activity going ahead. 

Find out more about the Actor as Creator programme here, and the Screen Mentorship Programme here.