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30/06/2003

Film report forecasts growth for Irish industry with government support

A report published today reveals that Ireland's film and television drama industry has the potential to triple in size over the next ten years if tax incentives for film production remain in place.
The economic report, Realising the Potential of the Irish Film and Television Industry - A Unique National Asset forecasts that the industry could employ up to 11,000 people directly and contribute €500 million in expenditure by 2010, with appropriate Government support.
The report, commissioned by Screen Producers Ireland (formerly Film Makers Ireland) and supported by RTE, SIPTU, IBEC Audio Visual Federation and Irish Actor's Equity Group, assesses the contribution of the Irish film and television drama industry to the Irish economy and identifies the measures required to sustain and develop the industry into the future. It states that the industry achieved an average of 18% annual growth over the last 10 years. This has resulted in a large talent pool of specialist skills available within the sector, which means that Ireland is in position to take best advantage of accelerated growth.
The report's analysis shows that the industry currently employs 4,300 directly and a further 3,000 through the influence of film on the attraction of international tourists. The 4,300 jobs alone inject €49 million annually into the Irish labour market. The industry contributes €107 million annually to Irish GDP and attracts an average of €136 million annually through foreign inward investment.
Speaking at the launch Joan Egan, Chair, Screen Producers Ireland and Executive Director, Tyrone Productions, stated that the industry is not only an economic asset but also a valuable conduit to express our national identity. Film is a powerful medium, which influences how societies see themselves and are viewed by the world. A vibrant indigenous industry promotes cultural diversity and a sense of self-determination.
"Many countries place significant emphasis on protecting their indigenous cultures through strong film and television support. Film industry Governmental support has become a standard internationally with almost every EU country now having a tax incentive in place. Indeed many countries have followed Ireland's lead in establishing such schemes. Without a tax incentive scheme, Ireland will no longer be considered as a location for international film productions, and indigenous filmmakers will struggle to survive without the necessary assistance required to produce commercially viable projects. In the absence of a tax incentive, 80% of production work would cease in the short term with a corresponding impact on jobs losses," Ms Egan said.
(GB)
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