Real Shorts

Real Shorts

Real Shorts are short documentaries and can be up to 10 minutes in length

About Real Shorts

REAL SHORTS is a short documentary film scheme which will enable creative documentaries with high cinematic production values capable of reaching an international audience through theatrical and festival exposure. The filmmakers are encouraged to produce work with strong personal voices, presenting material which utilises the emotional and aesthetic technique of cinema.

REAL SHORTS can be up to 10 minutes in length and receive a budget of up to €20K.

Films may be made in the English or Irish language. If produced in the Irish language, subtitling will be necessary for festivals & sales worldwide.

The deadline is 1pm Fri 22nd March 2019.

The online system will automatically close down at 1pm on this day so please ensure your submission is completed and submitted well in advance of the deadline as late applications will not be accepted by email or otherwise.


When preparing your submission applicants should carefully consider the production timeframe. It is the producer’s responsibility to ensure that the schedule and budget is achievable. Late delivery can affect future applications so they must bring projects to approved rough cut stage early by June 2020 latest and deliver by Aug 2020.

Parameters of the Scheme

- Number of films:                Up to 4 per year

- Duration:                              10 minutes maximum

- Budget per film:*                Maximum €20,000

- Delivery:                             DCP, Prores & BluRay   

* The application budget should reflect costs for delivery as above and subtitling if applicable.

Who Can Apply

Applications are invited from producer/director/writer teams (where the producer and director are not the same person) subject to eligibility guidelines as follows:

  • Producers - must demonstrate their ability to produce documentary and produced at least one short film.*
  • Directors - must show ability to direct documentary material or have directed at least one short documentary film. Where a director plans to act as camera operator, the showreel should provide evidence of this ability also.*
  • Writers - must have previous writing experience eg. screen, published or online work (links to online work should be provided on their CV).
  • Projects submitted twice before unsuccessfully may not reapply.
  • This scheme is not open to full-time students
  • Producers, Directors & Writers may apply to make more than one REAL SHORTS film but may not receive funding through the scheme more than three times.

    * REAL SHORTS is not a wide-open scheme in terms of the talent it aims to attract: it is designed to enable the making of short films by producers and directors with strong creative voices and some measure of professional experience. Accordingly a short film made as part of college work will not be considered eligible in this context, though a graduation film that has achieved significant festival exposure might be.

For the avoidance of doubt, the writer, director and producer must all be attached at application stage and a COMPREHENSIVE CV should be submitted for each individual. Please note biogs will not suffice.


  • Submissions will be examined, with consideration given to the treatment, creative notes and the creative team. We aim to achieve gender balance across the selected creative teams.
  • A shortlist of teams will be invited to attend an interview.
  • After a project has been shortlisted for interview, any significant changes to the treatment, schedule or key personnel may result in the withdrawal by Screen Irelnad of the proposed interview. If such changes are necessary at this stage, they must be discussed with Screen Ireland.
  • Awards will be made to up to four projects depending on the quality of the submissions.
  • Teams selected must attend an information day in order to be entitled to claim their funding.

Important Features of the Scheme

  • REAL SHORTS films should be originated and creatively led by talent who are Resident in the Republic of Ireland and produced by an ROI registered production company using an ROI based crew. Irish Citizens living abroad for a time may also be considered if prepared to return for interview in the event of being shortlisted and who are also prepared to return home for the entirety of their production if successful in securing funding.

    For the avoidance of doubt, if any creative contributor or HoD is not an Irish citizen and is not Resident in the Republic of Ireland, they are not eligible to either apply to or participate on the scheme. Please consider this very carefully before deciding to apply.

  • The proposed team must demonstrate their ability and methodology to complete the project on schedule and to the agreed specification. The funders will hold the producer responsible for the project and as such the producer should ensure they have full commitment from their team prior to commencement.
  • Producers must provide evidence of their ability to acquire all rights worldwide in perpetuity in all forms of media now known and to be invented.
  • Particular attention should be paid to adaptation, life rights or any necessary archival materials that are essential to the project ensuring the rights are available worldwide in perpetuity in all forms of media. Evidence of availability from the source must be included with the application and costs accounted for in the submission budget.
  • Include notes on proposed cast, key technical crew, music etc. in the production notes.
  • One producer only may be approved and credited for selected projects where they will be expected to assume full responsibility for the production.
  • The following rates will apply to the production budgets of all films made under the scheme:
  • The Writer, Director and Producer fees should be in line with the budget, the overall cost of the project and the intentions of the scheme. Fees deemed excessive will be adjusted should projects be selected.
  • Daily rate for cast & crew (agreed with the Film Group of Unions): €120
  • Insurance: Allow 1.2% of budget
  • Contingency: Allow 5% of budget (production fees disallowed)
  • Screen Ireland will have approval rights over the following elements of all films made under the scheme:
    • Shooting script (and Screen Ireland may appoint a script editor in certain cases)
    • Shooting Schedule
    • Casting including voice-cast requires pre-approvalKey technical crew – requires pre-approval
    • Rough Cut
    • Credits
  • Any significant changes to a successful project’s screenplay, schedule, key personnel or cast that are not approved by Screen Ireland may result in the award being withdrawn. If such changes are necessary, they must be discussed with Screen Ireland.


  • Screen Ireland will retain non-exclusive rights in all media in Ireland and non-exclusive promotional rights for the rest of the world.  The rest of the distribution rights will remain with the film maker who can choose to appoint a sales agent or distribute the film themselves. Screen Ireland feel this will provide vital training in the area of distribution and will enable filmmakers to build relationships with distributors directly.
  • Screen Ireland have a policy of submitting REAL SHORTS films to a list of approved international festivals after they have been premiered in Ireland.

For any enquries relating to this scheme or for more information on any of the short film schemes, please email 

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