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24/05/2006

Minister flies the flag for Irish film at Cannes

John O'Donoghue, Irish Minister for Arts, Sport and Tourism, personally launched the Irish Pavilion at Cannes and confirmed that a new Irish film office will open in LA in September.
Cast from 'The Wind That Shakes The Barley', including Padraic Delaney and Liam Cunningham, were also in attendance at the launch.
The Irish Pavilion in Cannes is the central point for the Irish presence at the festival, promoting Irish film and Ireland as a film location. It also provides an opportunity to promote Irish film internationally and endorse Irish production services and competitive tax incentives, while acting as a high profile, well-resourced base for the Irish film industry and its guests attending the Cannes Film Market and Festival.
The Irish Pavilion is a joint marketing initiative between Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board and The Northern Ireland Film & Television Commission.
The launch provided the Minister with an excellent opportunity to present the new improvements to the Irish tax incentive Section 481 to the international film community, which increase the total amount that can be raised on a film from €15m to €35m, and increase the total percentage of a production budget that can be raised from between 55% and 66% to a flat limit of 80% The improvements, which came into effect on May 18 2006, represents the most significant enhancement of this scheme to date.
While in Cannes Minister O'Donoghue met with European producers to present Ireland's key position as an attractive European co-production partner. The Wind that Shakes the Barley is an example of an Irish film structured as a successful European Co-production. The Minister will also be meeting with major UK and US film and television producers highlighting the benefits associated with shooting on location in Ireland .
Minister O'Donoghue said: "Irish films have come a long way, and now achieve real quality on a consistent basis. I am particularly happy that an Irish film is represented in the most prestigious category of this Festival's Official Competition, with Ken Loach's The Wind that Shakes the Barley, a story about the Irish Civil War. The production has an Irish cast, and was filmed entirely on location in Cork and Kerry. I attended the Premiere of the film in Cannes and I wish this fine production every success."
(GB)
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