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deputy First Minster meets with NI Screen

20 October, 2008

Sinn Féin deputy First Minster Martin McGuinness met today with Richard Williams and Rick Hall, Chief Executive and Chairman respectively of NI Screen (NISC), to discuss the challenges faced by the film and television sector and, in particular, the Irish Language Broadcast Fund.

The deputy First Minister described the meeting as useful and informative and congratulated NISC on their work in promoting the screen industry here.

He said:

"Major feature films such as Closing the Ring and City of Ember have helped focus attention on the great work which is being undertaken in this sphere with leading figures in the industry such as Richard Attenborough, Shirley Maclaine and our own James Nesbitt featuring.

"Projects such as these not only serve to enhance our film industry, but can also play a major part in promoting the cultural and tourism potential of this part of the world.

"Of particular interest of course is the ongoing work being undertaken through the Irish Language Broadcast Fund, which aims to fund 75 hours of Irish Language moving image per year.

"I would like to take this opportunity to welcome BBC's recent commitment of £950,000 per year to Irish Language output across radio, television and online and also the announcement that funding of £6million will be made available to the Irish Language Broadcast Fund from 2009/11.

"In these difficult financial times it is heartening to see such a positive response to funding this particular aspect of our cultural life."

Mr McGuinness expressed his ongoing support for the ongoing work of NISC across all its areas of endeavour.

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