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01/10/2007

Irish Filmmaking Receives €2 million Boost

Minister for Arts, Sport & Tourism Séamus Brennan has announced additional funding of €2 million to Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board's (IFB) to further boost initiatives to attract and encourage international film and television projects to locate in Ireland.
The extra €2 million is for the IFB's International Production Fund which has been responsible for bringing in more than €60 million worth of incoming production investment to Ireland over the past two years.
The Fund, now in its third year, aims to ensure the continuation of international production in Ireland by encouraging mobile film and television projects to locate here. The €2 million is in addition to the €20m budget the IFB is receiving in 2007 from the Department of Arts, Sport and Tourism.
Minister Brennan said: "There is now more than ever greater global competition in securing film and television productions. Ireland now holds its own thanks to our talent pool and incentives package. However, Ireland needs to be much more ambitious. I am strongly of the view that there is still a large amount of untapped talent and opportunity in Ireland, especially given our rich history of great writers and wonderful storytelling ability. I want to work with the Irish Film Board and others involved in this area to shape the policies and incentives that will allow this county tap further into that rich international seam of investment in film and television productions.
In the short term, this additional €2 million in 2007 will allow the Film Board to go aggressively into the market and seek to secure further prestigious projects over the coming months. Our target must be to match, or even surpass, the achievements last year when a similar €2 million investment towards the end of 2006 delivered film and TV production activity in Ireland that amounted to €32 million."
Large scale productions which have shot on location in Ireland as a result of the International Production Fund include 'The Tudors' starring Jonathan Rhys Meyers, 'Becoming Jane' starring James McAvoy and Anne Hathaway, 'My Boy Jack' starring Daniel Radcliffe and Kim Cattrell and 'The Escapist' starring Joseph Fiennes and Liam Cunningham. UK TV series which have located to Ireland include 'Murphy's Law', 'George Gently' and 'The Old Curiosity Shop'.
Bord Scannán na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board (IFB) ensures that in return for its investment a strong emphasis is placed on the employment of Irish talent in all grades, the use of Irish goods and services , and a high level of spend in the economy.
Last year the fund, worth €2 million, attracted seven major productions to Ireland. These projects provided employment for four Irish directors, 733 Irish crew, 141 Irish cast, and 3223 Irish extras. Four of the productions were based in Ardmore Studios.
The fund has created important opportunities for Irish cast and crew. Three Irish directors Ciarin Donnelly, Brian Kirk and Dearbhla Walsh were attached to 'The Tudors' series. Brian Kirk was also attached to direct 'My Boy Jack and Colm McCarthy has directed the last two series of Murphy's Law.
The Irish tourism industry also benefits indirectly from these high profile international film and TV productions, with popular tourist attractions featuring strongly in many of these productions. The Tudors, which was broadcast on Showtime earlier this year to an audience of over one million viewers, features images of Kilruddery Estate and Christ Church Cathedral. Murphy's Law and George Gently feature scenic images of Lugalla and Brittas Bay Co. Wicklow, amongst other popular locations. Both shows screened to a UK audience of over 7 million viewers this year.
Welcoming the Minister's announcement James Morris, Chairman, Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board said: "This fund, together with the Irish tax incentive Section 481 and our first class Irish production companies, will help create a strong package with which to promote Ireland as a location for film and television. We look forward to identifying major new projects to shoot on location in Ireland."
(DS)
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