Wednesday 13 December 2017

Film industry gets Indian summer with €200m boost

Mary Hanafin on the set of 'Neverland' in Killiney, Dublin, where an Indian settlement has been built
Mary Hanafin on the set of 'Neverland' in Killiney, Dublin, where an Indian settlement has been built

Grainne Cunningham

LIGHTS, camera, and a larger slice of the action.

The Irish economy is to reap the benefits of a €200m bonanza in film and television this year, Tourism and Culture Minister Mary Hanafin said yesterday.

She was speaking on the set of 'Neverland' in Killiney, Co Dublin.

'Neverland', a two-part prequel to the Peter Pan story, is just one of a bumper number of feature films and TV dramas being filmed here this year.

Ms Hanafin said major international productions were more likely to choose Ireland as their film location as a result of changes to the tax incentive Section 481 last year.

A spokeswoman for the Irish Film Board (IFB) confirmed that the impact of changes to Section 481 was only being felt this year, since film projects had a lengthy lead-in period.

The changes mean that overseas film production companies reap tax benefits on a larger proportion of their budget -- up to 28pc -- with both film and TV productions qualifying.

"It's an incredibly competitive industry and nearly every country in the world is chasing these mobile units, but Ireland has a competitive edge for high-end TV drama and feature films," the IFB spokeswoman said.

Ireland has increasingly been losing out on TV and film productions to locations in Eastern Europe in recent years. This year started with the filming of Steven Soderbergh's 'Knockout', starring Ewan McGregor and Michael Fassbender. In August, red carpet stars such as Sean Penn and Frances McDormand flew in for the filming of 'This Must Be the Place', while Rhys Ifans, Anna Friel and Bob Hoskins are currently here for 'Neverland'.

The ITV series 'Primeval' and the multimillion-dollar US drama 'Camelot' also chose Ireland for their productions. More than 6,000 workers are employed in the sector in Ireland but their employment has been threatened in recent years by the appeal of their lower-cost rivals in Eastern Europe.

Irish Independent

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