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03/08/2006

Galway TV series ‘AIFRIC’ adds to Irish industry growth

Irish Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue has visited the production of new Irish TV series AIFRIC, the latest TV series to film in the West.
AIFRIC is a new 13 x half hour comedy drama directed by Paul Mercier (STUDS) and staring newcomer Clíona Ní Chíosain in the lead role, which will be broadcast on TG4 in November. Employing over 100 crew and a cast of almost 150 actors, AIFRIC has created major employment opportunities over a period of six months. Over 95% of the budget will be spent in the Galway region.
“I’m delighted to see this major production shooting in the West. The significant investment my Government has made in Ireland’s film and television sector over the last two years has had a real impact. Ireland has brought home an Oscar and the Palm d’Or from the Cannes Film Festival in the last six months. Failte Ireland figures indicate that foreign tourists attracted to Ireland by film and TV spend an estimated €250 million annually. There is no doubt that this industry is delivering major economic and cultural return to Ireland” said Minister for Arts Sport and Tourism, John O’Donoghue.
“The recent improvements to the tax incentive “Section 481” and a 40% increase to the Irish Film Board’s budget over three years, have delivered current full employment in the film and television sector and leveraged approximately €110 million in inward investment this year alone. Growth of this kind depends on continued Government support” said Naoise Barry, Film Commissioner, Irish Film Board.
“The contribution of Section 481 investment, the Irish Film Board's funding has been of enormous benefit during the production of AIFRIC. Without this support, Telegael would not have been able to achieve the high production standards crucial in order to make this series a success” said Micheal O'Domhnaill, Telegael Series Producer.
AIFRIC will screen images of Connemara into Irish homes all over the country, generating more tourists for the Connemara region. The series is being filmed in the Concorde film studio in Inverin, where all the sets have been constructed. Telegael also ran a three-week intensive training course for the main cast before filming began.
AIFRIC tells the story of fourteen year old Aifric and her weird and wacky family who have just moved to a new town in the West of Ireland. Aifric wants nothing more than to fit in at her new school and quickly make friends. However she knows her eccentric family will not make it easy for her. The series is aimed at the Irish teenage market, which is currently dominated by US programming.
Commissioned by TG4, the series is funded by the BCI, the Irish Film Board and is also benefiting from the recent improvements to the Section 481 tax incentive and the Irish Film Board Regional Film and Television Fund.
(GB)
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