Film industry brings €168m to economy despite cries of 'Cut!'
DESPITE cuts in funding, the future is looking bright for the production of more Bollywood blockbusters in Ireland, with €168m contributed to the economy this year.
The Irish Film Board (IFB) spent €7.5m on projects for the big and small screen in 2013, compared to €10m in 2012, as a result of government cutbacks.
However, with investment from non-EU talent -- working here through the Section 481 tax incentive scheme -- set to increase, the outlook is positive for the country's tourism and film industries.
"We're making our budget go further every year, so under the circumstances I'm extremely proud to be able to provide such a level of production activity with limited funding available," said IFB chief executive James Hickey.
There are 10,000 people employed in the Irish film industry, while activities across the film, television and animation industry this year have been valued at €168m.
Mr Hickey told the Irish Independent that our increased competitiveness and continued attractiveness as a filming location to actors would prove a game changer in years to come.
"As far as we're concerned, the tax break is the right way forward to encourage more foreign investment -- and the enhancements to include Asia are very welcome."
Yesterday, the IFB unveiled various projects in the pipeline for 2014.
IFTA-winning Gerard Barrett is set to shoot 'Glassland', starring Toni Colette and Jack Reynor, in the coming months; while Oscar-nominated producer Noel Pearson's 'The Secret Scripture' is also expected to go into production in mid-2014. 'Penny Dreadful', featuring Hollywood's Josh Hartnett, will return in the new year to shoot in Dublin until mid-March, bringing €33m to the economy.
Cinema-goers can also look forward to the long-awaited releases of 'The Stag', featuring Amy Huberman, in March; 'Calvary', which stars Brendan Gleeson in April; and Lenny Abrahamson's 'Frank' starring Michael Fassbender, in May.
The IFB is also planning to develop the skills of budding talent over the next 12 months, with significant focus on providing courses to nurture future stars in visual effects, directing, gaming, and screen-writing.
More than 2,000 people are expected to benefit from the scheme next year alone.
"This area was traditionally under the FAS umbrella, but is now being run and housed by the IFB," said the IFB's deputy chief executive Teresa McGrane. "It will have a broad remit, but will deliver intensive courses on business and enterprise, creativity and collaboration, and technical production."