Religious Content now sits within the Factual Group, headed by Seán Mac Giolla Phádraig. All television proposals should therefore be targeted to fit in with wider advice about RTÉ One’s and RTÉ2’s contestable slots, contained in the Factual Commissioning Brief.
Because of the Religious Genre’s in-house production capacity, commissioning opportunities on both TV and Radio are limited, but not non-existent. On radio, because of The Leap of Faith’s presence in the schedule from October to May, only ideas likely to attract BAI and/or other third party funding will be considered. While fully funded TV proposals will be considered, ideas that attract finance from other broadcasters or funding bodies are, of course, desirable. Please discuss all proposals with Roger Childs before approaching third parties.
Most Christian worship on Radio and TV is produced in-house. A limited number of Worship Outside Broadcasts are commissioned each year and those slots were recently commission after a tendering process. There are no immediate plans to replace the existing short reflective films for The Angelus.
Other commissioned output must broaden and complement the existing in-house Religious slate, whose main elements are as currently follows:-
Would You Believe? – Ireland’s longest-running documentary series covers a broad range of religious and spiritual subjects, using a variety of narrative styles and approaches, including profiles, observational documentaries, investigations and authored essays. Emphasis in recent times has been on maximising impact with high quality “Specials” on issues of national interest (e.g. the ethics behind the abortion referendum; Mary McAleese on the changing Irish family; a scene-setter for the Pope’s Irish visit; religious patronage in schools; the way we deal with paedophiles) as well as short runs of eclectic 26’ films.
All Walks of Life, with Mary MCAleese – a new series in which the former President of Ireland interviews a variety of individuals about their lives, values and beliefs (or lack of them), while walking along ancient Irish pilgrimage routes.
Worship – weekly Christian Masses and Services, plus Christmas and Easter ceremonies – wherever possible shared between TV & Radio.
Minority Festival Shorts – short films marking and exploring a variety of minority faith festivals.
Our annual Christmas Carols – usually from a prestigious location.
The Leap of Faith (RTÉ Radio 1) – an eclectic mixture of conversation and features on subjects right across the spectrum of belief and spirituality.
So, what aren’t we currently doing, for which independent producers might be able to attract funding from non-RTÉ sources?