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09/11/2006

Irish Film Boom As Funding Almost Doubles

According to figures published in the IBEC Audiovisual Report, Irish spend for film and television has increased from 96.9 million euro in 2005 to an estimated 175.7 million euro in 2006, showing a return to high levels of production from a low experienced in 2005.
Responding to challenges faced by Irish producers and low production levels being experienced by the film industry in 2005, Minister O'Donoghue awarded 1.5 million euro in supplementary funding to the Irish Film Board for 2005, increased the 2006 budget by 21% and has allocated a further 2.3 million euro this year.
Improvements have also been introduced to the film tax incentive Section 481, all with the direct aim of increasing production levels in Ireland.
As a result of these initiatives, the value of film and television production has increased significantly in 2006. This year projects produced with funding from the Irish Film Board have combined budgets of over 120 million euro, which in turn has generated over 80 million euro in Irish spend.
The impact on the industry of this resurgence in production activity has been an increase in employment levels and a significant return on government investment in the sector. However, the future of this high level of production activity remains in doubt as Section 481 becomes more internationally uncompetitive for feature film production.
James Morris, Chairman of the Irish Film Board commented: "This Government is firmly committed to developing the Irish film sector and supporting Ireland's competitiveness abroad. While there are difficulties posed in remaining competitive in the international sphere, the consistent success of the Section 481 scheme with over thirty projects being certified to date in 2006 and with total budgets exceeding 180 million euro is very positive. In conjunction with the Irish Film Board, I am keeping under review the effects of the enhanced Section 481 scheme announced earlier this year, together with the additional funds made available to the Board, initiatives designed to maintain Ireland as an attractive film location.
"Strong government support has had a beneficial effect on the Irish film industry this year and has enabled the Irish Film Board to develop and support more Irish filmmakers. Ten indigenous Irish films were produced this year and approximately 15 international film and televisions projects chose Ireland as a film location. However, the industry continues to face challenges, not least with regard to the ever increasing international competition in attracting film production," he said.
Indigenous Irish feature films supported by the Irish Film Board this year include 'Shrooms' directed by Paddy Breathnach, 'Garage' directed by Lenny Abrahamson, 32A directed by Marian Quinn, 'Kings' directed by Tom Collins, 'Once' directed by John Carney, 'The Tiger's Tail' directed by John Boorman, 'Small Engine Repair' directed by Niall Heery and 'How About You' directed by Anthony Byrne.
International television projects which shot on location in Ireland this year with Irish directors attached include 'The Tudors' with directors Brian Kirk and Ciaran Donnelly, 'Kitchen' directed by Kieron J. Walsh, and 'Murphy's Law' directed by Colum McCarthy.
(DS)
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