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22/10/2010

Northern Ireland Is 'Box Office' Hit

A top US TV broadcaster has received the personal thanks of two of NI's Executive Ministers for involving NI locations in their filming.
Stormont Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster and Arts Minister Nelson McCausland thanked a senior executive from Home Box Office (HBO) for choosing Northern Ireland as a filming location.
The two DUP politicians met in Belfast recently with Jay Roewe, Senior Vice President of Production, HBO, who was in Northern Ireland to review progress on their major film project along with local producer, Mark Huffam.
HBO, the USA's leading pay cable network, is currently filming the first series of its major new production Game of Thrones in Northern Ireland.
Based on a series of books by the American author, George R.R. Martin, Game of Thrones is said to be an epic struggle for power set in a vast fantasy kingdom.
The Ministers acknowledged the positive impact that filming Game of Thrones has had on the local creative industries and regional economy and encouraged HBO to continue filming here if a second series is commissioned.
When Game of Thrones began shooting over the summer Northern Ireland Screen released its latest annual report for the year 2009-2010.
The report encapsulated the agency's achievements, cultural highlights and educational successes of the past 12 months.
It said that in the past year NI Screen's main production investment fund returned £22m to the local economy on an investment of £3.9m.
Your Highness, a major feature film from Universal Pictures, which shot in the Paint Hall and various other locations around Northern Ireland brought in £11.78 million of this.
Speaking in July, Richard Williams, Chief Executive of Northern Ireland Screen said: "The economic, cultural and educational value of the screen industry and screen culture is beginning to shine through across the wide range of activities Northern Ireland Screen supports and encourages.
"Our highlight successes in attracting Universal Pictures and HBO to Northern Ireland strongly illustrate that, with vision and focus, the screen industries and the creative industries generally can play a pivotal role in the re-imagining of our local economy."
See: NI Screen Returns £22m To Economy
(BMcC/GK)
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