Monday 17 June 2019

Additional 12,000 staff to enter film, TV, and animation production by 2024

'Last year, Screen Ireland invested €13.7m into 50 projects, including 21 feature films. (stock photo)
'Last year, Screen Ireland invested €13.7m into 50 projects, including 21 feature films. (stock photo)

Michael Cogley

Employment in the film, television, and animation production in Ireland is set to double to more than 24,000 people over the next five years, the head of Screen Ireland has said.

The former Irish Film Board has also announced new requirements around dignity in the workplace, gender balance, and bullying and harassment, for those seeking funding.

Around €16.2m worth of government funding has been provided to the development agency this year, up from €14.2m in 2018.

Screen Ireland chief executive James Hickey said that the extension of the Section 481 tax incentive and continued government support to the sector has created a steady landscape for the industry. "Currently, the revenue commissioners will pay to production companies, 32pc of eligible expenditure by the production company in connection with the production of a film, TV drama, TV animation," he told the Sunday Independent.

"The extension of section 481, which the Government committed to in October's budget, was the first thing on the agenda for the industry. On a business basis, this provides a secure environment for the future development of the sector."

The tax incentive allows both indigenous and overseas film companies producing works in Ireland to claim back a significant level of the costs incurred. It was due to expire at the end of this year, but Finance Minister Paschal Donohoe extended it to 2024.

Hickey said the incentive's extension will allow for sizeable jobs growth in the industry over the coming years. "We're looking at doubling the number of people involved in film, television, and animation production over the next five years," he said. "From the period of 2008 and 2016, it was doubled from about 5,500 to about 12,000.

"We look forward to doubling that to more than 24,000 five years from now."

Last year, Screen Ireland invested €13.7m into 50 projects, including 21 feature films.

One such investment was made into Black 47, a box office success based around the Irish famine. The development agency's backing has also supported six films, which are due to appear before the Sundance Film Festival this year.

Screen Ireland's chairman Annie Doona said that the group was calling on those that receive funding to "ensure they're committed to providing a safe working environment, free from bullying, harassment, and any forms of intimidation".

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